Chevy Monte Carlo And Tony Pedregon Team Up For Fastest Funny Car Speed in NHRA History COMMERCE, Ga., May 15, 2004 - Chevy Monte Carlo and Tony Pedregon teamed up to make motorsports history tonight at the Summit Racing Southern Nationals ...
Chevy Monte Carlo And Tony Pedregon Team Up For Fastest Funny Car Speed in NHRA History
COMMERCE, Ga., May 15, 2004 - Chevy Monte Carlo and Tony Pedregon teamed up to make motorsports history tonight at the Summit Racing Southern Nationals presented by Pontiac after the defending POWERade champion ran the fastest speed ever by a Funny Car driver. Pedregon's Quaker State Chevrolet blew through the traps at a blistering velocity of 329.83 mph, and a track-record e.t. of 4.765 seconds to take the No. 1 qualifying spot heading into tomorrow's final two sessions of time trials.
This is the first race in the new Chevy Monte Carlo for the 39-year-old Pedregon, and he started out the weekend by parking his Chevrolet in the lead qualifying position after the first round of time trials with a run of 4.820 seconds. The track and speed record came later during the evening qualifying session.
"This is our first race with the Chevy Monte Carlo," said Pedregon. "One thing I noticed is that it drives better, and I think that's because it has better frontal downforce and better overall aerodynamics. The new Chevrolet is also more stable and it's quieter inside the car. I got on the radio and said that it ran at least a 4.78. I would have been happy with that but then they said it ran the 4.76 at 325, and I said, 'all right!' Then they said it went 329 mph and I got a little loud after that.
"I don't know what they did to the track. I think it was a combination of Dickie (Venables) and Kurt (Elliott) correctly reading the conditions. We stayed after Bristol and made some runs because we felt like we were lacking in performance and consistency. We stayed and tested, and I really felt good coming out of that session because I really thought it would set the stage for this weekend."
Although Pedregon has never been No. 1 qualifier at the Summit Racing Southern Nationals, he is the defending champion and a two-time winner of this event.
"I'm certain we can contribute that speed to the technology that GM Racing has invested in the new Chevrolet," said Pedregon. "For the first six races we've been racing the Camaro, which is a five-year-old design. We've made as many upgrades as we could to the old car, but the new Monte Carlo allows us to move ahead and everyone on the team is very pleased with the results.
"I could tell by the way the engine was revving up that it was a good run. In the first session, it dropped a cylinder and still ran a 4.82. We knew there was more out there, especially when it cooled off by seven, eight degrees for the evening session. The conditions were there and we took advantage of it -and we've got the new Chevrolet to go with it. That's a big help."