CRUZ PEDREGON GOING FOR 300TH ROUND VICTORY Bristol, Tenn. (April 21, 2005) --Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car head to Bristol to compete in the fifth annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. The Bristol Dragway...
CRUZ PEDREGON GOING FOR 300TH ROUND VICTORY
Bristol, Tenn. (April 21, 2005) --Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car head to Bristol to compete in the fifth annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. The Bristol Dragway may be the place where Pedregon crosses the 300-round victory barrier. Only two other active Fuel category drivers can claim to have surpassed that threshold, Pedregon's brother, Tony, and veteran driver John Force.
After reaching the semifinal round at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Pedregon will arrive at this weekend's NHRA national event with 299 round victories under his belt. So far this season, Pedregon has completed 12 rounds and qualified in the top half of the field in Pomona, Calif., and Phoenix.
Bristol Dragway holds unique memories for Pedregon. It was there Pedregon made his debut as team owner and driver in 1999. A few years later, Pedregon is reassured the Advance Auto Parts team has a strong car and help of experienced crew chief, Wes Cerny.
"In 1999, Bristol was the first race for me as team owner and driver so it's a special place for me," said Pedregon. "We've come a long way since then and it would be nice to pull out the victory. The performance is there and the car is getting more consistent every race."
Bristol Dragway, a state of the art Burton Smith-owned facility, is a favorite among drivers and fans that marvel at the echo produced by the roaring car engines.
"I have always liked racing in Bristol. It is one of those tracks that bring back some good memories for me," said Pedregon. "I went there when I was in my mid-teens and got fascinated with the Thunder Valley Nationals. Bristol Dragway is nested between two mountains, and there's nothing like it. Anybody that has been there does not forget it.
"It's a phenomenal facility as well, very hi-tech, and the fans in Bristol are very enthusiastic. It is also the closest race to the Advance Auto Parts headquarters (Roanoke, Va.); therefore we get a lot of employees coming out to the race."
During last year's race, Pedregon qualified in the number-two spot. After five races this season, Pedregon sits in the fourth spot in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series points.
"I have not won in Bristol yet, but it gives me an extra incentive to want to get into the winner's circle there, and celebrate the 300-round mark," concluded Pedregon