Commerce: Cruz Pedregon preview

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 20, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car Team are off to Atlanta for the Southern Nationals, Commerce, Ga., April 26-29, 2007 for the next round of the 2007, $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 20, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car Team are off to Atlanta for the Southern Nationals, Commerce, Ga., April 26-29, 2007 for the next round of the 2007, $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, the six of 23 powerhouse events this year.

After a consistent performance in Las Vegas, Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion feels like the team is on a roll. "We are more consistent with each run and we're getting better with each race," said Pedregon. "My crew chief, Wayne Dupuy and Kevin (assistant crew chief, Butterfield) have been studying the run data and we found a few improvements we'll make to get us a more top-end speed.And I can't say enough about my guys on the team.They are working so hard to keep us in the hunt for the Championship."

Despite its reputation as one of the tougher events on the tour to win, Pedregon likes his chances to win the Southern National's- one of NHRA's long-established events. "We love Atlanta- the fans are great and the facility is one of my favorites.I have one there in the past andI'm looking forward to another consistent performance in the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet.

If past history is any predictor of future success, Pedregon should be optimistic.After all, he won this event in 1998 and finished in the runner up spot in 1995.In 2006, Pedregon seemed to be in midseason form as he qualified in the No. 7 spot and faced Ron Capps in round one. Capps got the holeshot, but Pedregon drove around him at the finish.The margin of victory was approximately 16 inches.

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.

How to Get to Atlanta Dragway: The track is about 65 miles north of Atlanta on Interstate 85 at U.S. Highway 441. From Atlanta, take I-85 north to Exit 149 (Highway 441). Travel north on Highway 441 to Steven Tanger Boulevard. Go left on Tanger Boulevard, then right on Ridgeway Road, and follow the signs to the track (approximately a half-mile on the right).

After conquering the Nationals in Atlanta, the NHRA warriors head to St. Louis for the NHRA Midwest Nationals on May 4-6, 2007.

While in Atlanta, tune into 96.7 FM and listen live to legendary NHRA track announcer, Bob Frey.

-credit: pr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Cruz Pedregon