TONY PEDREGON AND THE Q POWER RACE TEAM REACH QUARTERFINALS IN HOUSTON (BAYTOWN, Texas): The O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil, has been very good for 2003 Funny Car World Champion, Tony Pedregon, and his Q Power Race Team.
TONY PEDREGON AND THE Q POWER RACE TEAM REACH QUARTERFINALS IN HOUSTON
(BAYTOWN, Texas): The O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil, has been very good for 2003 Funny Car World Champion, Tony Pedregon, and his Q Power Race Team. Pedregon has had a lot of success at Houston (Tex.) Raceway Park, winning four previous NHRA events, and was looking forward to a return to the homebase of his sponsor, Q Power.
His 8th-fastest qualifying speed after three solid runs produced a time of 4.798, but he elected not to make a fourth qualifying run after mechanical gremlins plagued his car on Saturday.
"We had a mechanical problem we found Saturday, and it turned out it was a bent valve in the engine, so we decided to not make a final qualifying attempt," explained Pedregon. "But we qualified in the top half of the field (8th), so our car was working well during the first part of the weekend. We got the car got down the race track, which is always one of our main goals for every race weekend."
Pedregon was paired against Whit Bazemore during the first round of eliminations, winning that battle with a nice pass. During the second round, Pedregon had to try to beat his former car owner and teammate John Force, and did not have the run he expected based on the progress during the weekend, going up in smoke right off of the starting line after getting the initial jump.
"All of our recent work in testing, especially after Gainesville, really has paid off," Pedregon said. "I think we've turned the corner. Our expectations are to go to Vegas and get back to the way the car was running late last year. We just need to fine-tune the combination we have right now."
The focus was not only on Pedregon as a four-time NHRA Funny Car winner in Houston, but it was also on this champ because of the presence of his sponsor's representatives: "It was an important weekend for our team and our sponsors. My primary sponsor, Q Power, has their headquarters in Houston, so we had quite a few of their associates out to the track. It's always nice to meet with fans and our corporate partners face to face. I hope, with our recent performances, we are giving them something to look forward to in Las Vegas and the rest of the upcoming races."
In 2005, Tony Pedregon and the Q Power Race Team finished 7th in points with two wins, was #1 qualifier three times and recorded the second quickest elapsed time in NHRA history at 4.680 seconds in Chicago.
NEXT RACE: NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 6-9, 2006