Dallas: Cruz Pedregon final report

CRUZ PEDREGON GOES TO THE FINAL ROUND INDIANAPOLIS (September 24, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car team raced into the final round at the NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in...

CRUZ PEDREGON GOES TO THE FINAL ROUND

INDIANAPOLIS (September 24, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car team raced into the final round at the NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas (near Dallas) September 20-23, the 20th race on the $50 million, NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.It was his third final round finish of the season.

After qualifying 8th with a solid, 4.860/317.34 mph run down the Texas Motorplex strip, Cruz Pedregon made his way through the field Sunday with victories over Tim Wilkerson, Gary Scelzi and Ashley Force who left the track to attend to her father, John Force who was injured in his semifinal match-up.In the finals, Cruz faced Tony Pedregon, his brother and teammate, who made it to the final round from the opposite side of the ladder.

"We had one of the most consistent cars in Dallas," said Pedregon. "Since Rahn [crew chief, Tobler] has come on board, we've made ten runs in a row going A to B, under full power and pulling the shoots at the end of the 1320.These runs have come under all different track conditions including the hot, greasy tracks.The streak ended in the finals this weekend, but we feel if we can do it once, we can do it again.This is attributable to Rahn who is methodically dialing in this Advance Auto Parts Funny Car. As the team owner and driver, I'm proud of our entire team."

"Going to finals was big for us," said Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car World Champion. "Tony is always a formidable opponent. We were looking for the win, but we're happy for Tony."

This race marks the first time that Tony and Cruz would face each other in the finals as teammates.They were paired against each other in the Houston finals in 1997.

In Sunday's first round of the finals, Pedregon beat Gary Scelzi.He was quick off the line (.046 to .076) and first across the stripe in 4.819 seconds.

Pedregon, in his Rahn Tobler-tuned Funny Car faced and defeated Tim Wilkerson, the No. 1 qualifier of the meet.He posted a 4.877/317.57 mph pass to Wilkerson's losing 4.877/277.66 mph.

"The team did a good job," said Rahn Tobler, crew chief of the Advance Auto Parts team. "They worked well under pressure today despite us being under a time constraint between the second and third round, and then again before the final round."

Pedregon was paired with Ashley Force in the semifinal round, but unfortunately, she was attending to her injured father, John Force. Thus, Pedregon received a bye run and would face Tony Pedregon in the finals.

"We are heading to Richmond with momentum," said Pedregon. "It's near the headquarters of our primary sponsor, Advance Auto Parts, so we'll be looking to end up in the Winner's Circle."

-credit: pr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Cruz Pedregon , Tim Wilkerson , Ashley Force