Cruz Pedregon Indianapolis Preview

INDIANAPOLIS (September 1, 1999) - There's an old saying that change is opportunity, and for Cruz Pedregon, the added responsibility as team owner of his own NHRA Winston Funny Car team is not only a welcome challenge but also the...

INDIANAPOLIS (September 1, 1999) - There's an old saying that change is opportunity, and for Cruz Pedregon, the added responsibility as team owner of his own NHRA Winston Funny Car team is not only a welcome challenge but also the realization of a lifelong dream. "We're certainly capable of winning races," Pedregon said, "and we definitely have the equipment to get the job done. My goal for the remainder of the season is to do a good job, run up front, be competitive, and make any sponsor proud to be part of this program. That's why we brought in the talented personnel and purchased the equipment that we did. I've made a lifelong commitment to this project and we're determined to see it through all the way to a Winston Funny Car championship." Pedregon's plan for the remainder of the 1999 race season is to compete at three events. He has already shown the explosive potential of his Funny Car operation at Bristol, Seattle, and Sonoma where he performed well enough to secure a place in the Big Bud Shootout for Funny Cars at Indianapolis Raceway Park on September 5. After Indy, the former Winston Funny Car champion will finish up the season racing at Dallas and Pomona. Pedregon secured the sponsorship assistance of goracing.com to help him through the final half of the season. Veteran crew chief Ron Swearingen will turn the wrenches on Pedregon's Pontiac Firebird Funny Car. "We really had to hustle to get everything completed on time and none of this would have been possible without goracing.com and Pontiac," Pedregon explained. "In this sport you need good sponsors to be competitive and goracing.com stepped to the plate for these six races when we needed them. "Now we have to focus on finding a permanent sponsor for the 2000 race season so that we can continue what we started this summer. We have a great program and a lot to offer any corporation or group that is looking for the tremendous exposure opportunities inherent in a championship-caliber NHRA Funny Car team." Since 1992, when he won the Winston championship as a rookie, Cruz Pedregon has been a fan favorite and fierce competitor on the NHRA drag racing circuit, sharing his time freely with children and charitable organizations at each stop on the tour. Walk by any autograph session where Pedregon is participating and you will observe a sea of well-wishers clamoring for his attention. Over the course of a stellar racing career, Pedregon has won 21 national events in 41 final-round appearances. In his seven years as a professional Funny Car driver, the 35-year-old Californian has finished in the top 10 of the Winston standings all seven seasons and in the top-five six times with his best finish in '92. He's the only driver this decade besides John Force to win a Winston Funny Car championship, and with the exception of 1997, Pedregon has won a race every year he's competed in the category with six victories in '92, two in '93, three in '94, five in '95 and one in '96. In 1998 he won four national events and the $100,000 Winston Invitational at Rockingham. "The important thing is that we're learning as we go but just to be out here competing says a lot about the hard work that every one has put into this racecar," Pedregon said. "I really love being a car owner. I get here in the morning and even though I have lot more responsibility, it gives me an opportunity to look at the big picture and what it takes to make this team successful. I've taken a lot of pride in how this operation turned out and the only thing that's frustrating is starting from the middle of the season instead of taking an entire winter to get ready and make everything right. If we can get a permanent sponsor for next year, we'll make a run at the leaders and be right there fighting it out to the very end, I promise you that."

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Cruz Pedregon