Bristol: Tony Pedregon preview

(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., April 20) - 2003 NHRA World Champion Tony Pedregon and his Q Power Nitro Funny Car Team head to Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway next weekend for the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Pedregon, coming off of a tumultuous ...

(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., April 20) - 2003 NHRA World Champion Tony Pedregon and his Q Power Nitro Funny Car Team head to Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway next weekend for the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

Pedregon, coming off of a tumultuous weekend in Las Vegas, has high hopes heading into the Bristol race: "The incentives are high at Thunder Valley," he said. "I've won a lot of races and have been able to win in pretty much every market, but I just haven't been able to visit the winner's circle in Bristol. So there's incentive because I haven't won, incentive because of the whole Las Vegas issue where we had a 4.79 disallowed because we did not stop at the inspection scales, and incentive because the race is presented by my major sponsor, Q Power. It's a great facility - it goes without saying anything owned by Bruton Smith is gold - and I'm looking for redemption there."

The spirits are high at the Pedregon camp headquarters, after brother Cruz's win in Las Vegas. Tony now looks for his time in the winner's circle.

"Look for our team to go to Bristol trying to avenge the Vegas situation on the track," Pedregon said. "As a team we moved ahead and looked at all aspects of our program and learned from that situation, and we will try to improve. I know going into Bristol we'll be better prepared than at any other race this year."

Bristol Dragway is on Highway 394. From the south, exit Interstate 81 at Tennessee Exit 69, then travel east on Highway 394. From the north, exit Interstate 81 at Virginia Exit 17 and take Virginia State Route 75 south to Tennessee 44 south to U.S. 421 north to Highway 394 south; or exit Interstate 81 at Virginia Exit 3 and take Highway 11E south to Highway 394.

After conquering the fast quarter-mile at Bristol Dragway next weekend, the NHRA warriors head to Atlanta May 4-7.

Check your local ESPN2 listings for broadcast times and event coverage.

TONY PEDREGON HISTORY AT BRISTOL DRAGWAY:

Tony was No. 1 qualifier in both 2002 and 2003. Bristol Dragway is one of the few venues on the NHRA circuit that Tony Pedregon has not conquered with a win.

Not many racetracks resemble Bristol Dragway, known as "Thunder Valley" because it cuts a path between two mountains in the shutdown area. The unique vista is familiar to NHRA fans; the facility hosted NHRA's venerable Springnationals when it made its tour debut in 1965. The event remained at the facility until 1967, and the track hosted non-NHRA events until it was closed in 1996, when a massive $18 million renovation was begun. The facility reopened in 1999 and was the site of NHRA's all-star event that year and in 2000 before hosting its first national event in 34 years in 2001.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon