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Tue, 25 Oct 2005, 08:51 AM

Bazemore Survives Huge Fire in Vegas Testing on Monday
Courtesy of Judy Stropus

LAS VEGAS -- Whit Bazemore survived a huge fire today while testing the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway following yesterday's NHRA National event.

Bazemore was on his second test pass of the day when the car's engine exploded at the 1000-ft. mark. Despite running close to 300 mph and having both the parachutes and tires burn off the car, Bazemore was able to stop without crashing. The car was virtually destroyed, but Bazemore was unhurt.

"It was a pretty big fire," said Bazemore. "That's always a concern, especially when testing, because the NHRA Safety Safari is not on hand. But the local track officials did an excellent job of responding."

The Matco Tools team will race a new car at the season finale of the POWERade Drag Racing Series in Pomona, Calif., Nov. 3-6.

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