Columbus: Tony Pedregon preview

Columbus, OH, June 8, 2004 The Quaker State racing team heads to National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio this weekend for the tenth race on the NHRA POWERade series tour. Reigning Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon is a two-time winner at ...

Columbus, OH, June 8, 2004 The Quaker State racing team heads to National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio this weekend for the tenth race on the NHRA POWERade series tour. Reigning Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon is a two-time winner at National Trail ('00, '03) and, with the performance surge seen over the past few races, the team hopes to notch its first win of the season this weekend.

"We've been qualifying very well and we're starting to see that consistency carry over to race day," said Pedregon. "The engine and mechanicals are solid and Quaker State has fine-tuned our oil and lube package to where we're really seeing advantages in power and speed. The team is working very hard and we feel that first win is just around the corner."

Pedregon holds the track record elapsed time of 4.780 seconds set last year where he earned the top-qualifier award. He was the number one qualifier in 1999 as well. In addition to his two wins, Pedregon has been in the semifinals twice ('96, '01).

Pedregon is coming off a semifinal finish in Topeka where he qualified second. He's been the top-qualifier at three events -- Las Vegas, Atlanta and Joliet -- and captured a runner up finish in Phoenix. At Joliet, Pedregon became only the second driver in Funny Car history to break 330 mph. He currently sits ninth in the NHRA POWERade Funny Car standings, just 41 points out of the top-five.

"We've accomplished a lot in a short time," added Pedregon. "We're very pleased with how the car has been performing. We're knocking on the door for our first win, and our goal is to break through this weekend in Columbus."

In pre-race activity, Pedregon will be at Dave Gill Pontiac-GMC dealership in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday, June 9, signing autographs from 4:00 p.m. -- 7:00 p.m. The big Quaker State hauler and Nitro Funny Car will be on display.

The Quaker State racing team starts qualifying on Friday, June 11 with two sessions scheduled for 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 pm. (ET). Two more qualifying sessions are slated for Saturday, June 12 at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (ET). Final eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, June 13.

ESPN2 will televise qualifying Saturday, June 12 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (ET). Final eliminations air Sunday, June 13, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (ET).

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon