Dallas Cruz Pedregon story (Top Fuel)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 CRUZ PEDREGON PUTS TOUGH WEEK BEHIND HIM ENTERING DALLAS ENNIS, Texas -- It's a good thing that Cruz Pedregon has enjoyed some of his best days as an NHRA Funny Car driver...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 CRUZ PEDREGON PUTS TOUGH WEEK BEHIND HIM ENTERING DALLAS ENNIS, Texas -- It's a good thing that Cruz Pedregon has enjoyed some of his best days as an NHRA Funny Car driver at Texas Motorplex. Because if there's any guy who deserves a break entering the 12th annual, $1,604,500 Revell Nationals Oct. 16-19 at the Motorplex, it's Cruz Pedregon. The race is the 20th event of the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. "I consider myself really lucky, but yeah, it was a tough week," Pedregon said. Pedregon, from Camarillo, Calif., endured a nightmarish nine days from Sept. 27-Oct. 5. He failed to qualify in the McDonald's Pontiac Firebird on Sept. 27 at the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Topeka. His crew chief, Dave Settles, was released from the team the next day. On Sept. 29, he underwent an emergency appendectomy at Topeka but chose to drive four days later at the Pennzoil Nationals presented by AutoZone at Memphis, Tenn., despite suffering from a slight fever while recuperating from the appendectomy. Pedregon advanced to the final, where he lost to John Force when his car was engulfed in a spectacular fire. Pedregon ended up in the hospital for the second time in seven days, as he was treated and released for a second-degree burn to his right index finger. "I've been on fire before, but this was the worst," Pedregon said. But there was a positive side to this tough week. Pedregon's car, tuned by committee by his crew and McDonald's Top Fuel crew chief Mike Green, is a major player again. That could help Pedregon end a 15-month victory drought at Dallas, where he has two career victories since 1992. "We all have a good feel for what our car needs," Pedregon said. "We made radical changes, we were aggressive in everything we did. In one week, you can make a difference."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Cruz Pedregon