Cruz Pedregon honored by nation's motorsports press

INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 3) -- New Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon has been selected to the top tier of the 39th annual All-America Auto Racing Team alongside motorsports giants Jimmie Johnson, Scott Dixon, Carl Edwards, Helio Castroneves, Scott Pruitt, and fellow drag racer Tony Schumacher.

Named to the prestigious First Team by the 400-plus members of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA), Pedregon is now eligible for the Jerry Titus Award, given to the one driver that garnered the most in the seven different categories recognized by the AARWBA. That MVP will be named Jan. 10 at the official All-America Team ceremony in Ontario, Calif.

"I'm honored and humbled to make the All-America Team," Pedregon said. "You always hear athletes complaining about the media but my experiences have always been real positive. We appreciate the exposure the media gives to Advance Auto Parts and the rest of our sponsors, in fact it's vital to our success, and we realize the value of the relationships we have with them.

"It's especially gratifying to be named to the First Team. To see your name next to the NASCAR champ and the IRL champ and all the others that had such phenomenal seasons kind of reminds you that we accomplished something pretty special in 2008."

Pedregon mastered the second year of the NHRA's playoff system -- the Countdown to 1. He began the six-race stretch with a strong runner-up finish in Charlotte, N.C., before closing out the year with a remarkable three straight wins in his Toyota Solara.

Overall, his race day record of 37-20 added up perfectly for his second world title and first since 1992, when he upset drag racing legend John Force and ruined his sweep of the 1990s.

"Just like the championship itself, being named to the All-America Team is something I will share with everyone on this team, especially our crew chief Rahn Tobler," Pedregon said. "I certainly didn't do this by myself."

-credit: cr