HOUSTON, AN OLD FAVORITE Houston Marks Milestones in Cruz Pedregon's Career Baytown, Texas. (April 5, 2005) -- Houston Raceway Park and Cruz Pedregon will meet one more time for the 18th Annual NHRA Spring Nationals. It was Houston, 1992, when...
HOUSTON, AN OLD FAVORITE
Houston Marks Milestones in Cruz Pedregon's Career
Baytown, Texas. (April 5, 2005) -- Houston Raceway Park and Cruz Pedregon will meet one more time for the 18th Annual NHRA Spring Nationals. It was Houston, 1992, when then rookie Pedregon earned his first career Funny Car victory.
The race was one of his six victories that ended with Pedregon bringing home that year's NHRA Funny Car championship.
"That was an special race for me because it started the '92 season which was the year we won the championship," said Pedregon. "Also, I won some important races there (Houston Raceway Park) during my years as semi-professional in the Sportsman category. I have to say that Houston has been good to me in the past and hopefully we can get some of that old performance out of the car this weekend."
A few years later, in 1997, Pedregon and his brother Tony raced each other for the first time during the final round. And if there were a driver they want to have at their side during that run, it would be each other. Naturally, both brothers always pull for each other but that year, it was Tony's turn, this time we shall see.
"That race in Houston was the first time in drag racing history that two brothers raced each other in the final round of a national event," said Pedregon. "We ended blowing up an engine, but returned the following year (1998) and won the fall race. Coincidentally, my current crew chief (Wes Cerny) was my crew chief that year as well. We both have a little history together in this track."
Same as Gainesville Raceway, Houston Raceway Park can be considered what is known as a 'fast track'. The track is at sea level and when the conditions are right, it has a tendency to get fast. Pedregon is certain he can react to the variable conditions and get his Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car to a solid run.
"We are not planning on being as aggressive as we were in Gainesville," explained Pedregon. "It's very tempting to be forceful and run strong, but our objective is to win the race. After what we learned from the Gainesville performance and our history last year, I'm confident on my team's ability to adapt to the changing conditions of the track."
Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts team have their game plan ready for Houston.
"I'd be happy if we qualify among the top five, and Sunday we'd just go quick enough to win the race. We have done it before, we'd try to do it one more time," concluded Pedregon.
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Advance Auto Parts Notebook: Six victories away from 300 Not many drag racers can say that they have almost 300 hundred round victories under their belt. Cruz Pedregon will become third among active Fuel category drivers to cross that threshold. His brother Tony Pedregon and veteran driver John force are the other two. With 294 round victories already under his belt, he is only two national events away from achieving that goal. So far this season, Pedregon has qualified in the top half of the field in Pomona, Calif. and Phoenix. Pedregon is reassured that they have a strong car and with help of experienced crew chief, Wes Cerny, the 300 victories achievement is not too far ahead.