INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 29, 2006) -- Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, is headed to Houston this weekend for the NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas, home to the...
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 29, 2006) -- Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, is headed to Houston this weekend for the NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas, home to the fastest quarter-mile strip in the country.
"Coming off of two successful weekends in Gainesville and San Antonio (IHRA race), along with a really good test after the Gainesville race (ran 4.70), I am really looking forward to getting back to Houston Raceway Park," Pedregon said of this weekend's event. "I've had some success there, winning in '92 and '98, so the track holds a lot of good memories for me. We are still getting adjusted to the new tire, but each week we have been finding a way to improve while working with that situation. Not only does Texas have a large Hispanic population, it also is a key market for my sponsor, Advance Auto Parts, so the entire event is really import to our program."
During his rookie season in Funny Car in 1992, Pedregon won the NHRA world championship. With this accomplishment he became the only racer other than John Force to win the championship in the 90s. In 1997, Pedregon was also the first motorsports athlete to receive the "Premio De Oro," the only national award for Hispanic athletes. Born into a racing family, Pedregon's father, Frank, raced Top Fuel dragsters in the 1960s. His brothers Tony and Frank also compete in the Nitro Funny Car ranks. In 1980, Cruz won his first official drag race at the age of 15, driving a 1953 Kenworth truck.
Baytown is about 30 miles east of downtown Houston, and the track is 2.5 miles south of Interstate 10. From downtown Houston, take I-10 east to Highway 146 and go south to FM 565 (the second stoplight). Take FM 565 east (left) about three miles to the track. From Highway 146 south, take Highway 99 east to FM 1405, then go north to FM 565 and east about two miles to the track.