Indy ORP: Tony Pedregon preview

PEDREGON CONTINUES QUEST FOR NHRA CHAMPIONSHIP AT U.S. NATIONALS AS THE INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 29, 2007) -- Tony Pedregon, the 2003 NHRA Nitro Funny Car Champion and his Q Horsepower team are making final preparations for the biggest, most...

PEDREGON CONTINUES QUEST FOR NHRA CHAMPIONSHIP AT U.S. NATIONALS AS THE

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 29, 2007) -- Tony Pedregon, the 2003 NHRA Nitro Funny Car Champion and his Q Horsepower team are making final preparations for the biggest, most prestigious event of the year, the U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.The 53rd annual race will be held Aug. 29 -- Sept. 3; it's the 18th of 23 powerhouse events of the $50 million, NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Pedregon is 4th in the Countdown to the Championship standings as his Q Horsepower team enters the next segment, the Countdown to Four.The U.S. Nationals is the first race of the four-race play-off that will halve the field of eligible Championship contenders from 8 to 4.The final four teams will move into the Countdown to 1, the play-off segment that will determine the NHRA POWERade Champion.

"This weekend has more meaning than any other Indy U.S. Nationals in the history of the sport," said Pedregon. "This has always been a big race, but there is more on the line now because of the Countdown to the Championship and the money on the table with the Skoal Showdown, but realistically we have four races in the Countdown and it all starts here. We'll need the same consistent performance, the kind of performance our Q Horsepower delivers, each time we pull up to the line."

Pedregon heads into the U.S. Nationals in the top half in the Countdown and the top half of the Skoal Showdown.

"Our focus remains the same," Pedregon stated. "We need to qualify well and get ready for race day.Hopefully, we'll qualify before the Showdown so we can focus on our performance in that important event.Monday is the big day with important Championship points on the line.

We are capable of winning; we just need to put it together like we did at Reading.We have all right components with Q Horsepower and we certainly have the right people.One of our strengths is that our team has worked together for a long time.We are constantly seeing the benefits for the continuity of our program and this will be important heading into the Countdown to the Championship races."

Performance and consistency has its rewards. Pedregon and his Q Horsepower team will compete in the 26th annual Skoal Showdown this weekend.It will be Pedregon's ninth career appearance in this bonus event.He accumulated enough points to qualify for the $100,000 Skoal Showdown at 23 NHRA national events beginning with last year's U.S. Nationals and ending at the 2007 Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.Pedregon, a winner of the 2003 Skoal Showdown, will be face Mike Ashley in first round action.

In addition to the Skoal Showdown, Pedregon's Q Horsepower team is in contention for the Full Throttle NHRA Pit Crew Championship, an award program for top-performing pit crews.Currently, the team is 3rd, just 56 points from the top spot.

"My team knows what it takes to win," said Pedregon. "The Full Throttle NHRA Pit Crew Championship program is another bonus award that recognizes them for their hard work and dedication.They are rewarded for the success of team.I think it's great and I'm really pulling for them."

Pedregon picked up his 34th career win at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., Aug. 16-19, by blistering the Maple Grove Raceway with round wins over Ron Capps, Del Worsham and John Force in the final round.He qualified in the top half of the ladder for the 11th time this year with a solid 4.839 E.T. at 321 mph pass.

-credit: pr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Ron Capps