Las Vegas II: Pre-race quotes

Tony Pedregon, driver of the Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang, on closing in on John Force's Funny Car points lead and the competition among the teams -- "We still function as a team even though there's this competition within. In all the years that ...

Tony Pedregon, driver of the Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang, on closing in on John Force's Funny Car points lead and the competition among the teams -- "We still function as a team even though there's this competition within. In all the years that we've raced, the competition has pushed me as a driver and I know it's pushed John. We've never allowed that to be destructive. Competition within a team or with another opponent is a good thing. In a champion, it always brings out the best. The last thing I want to do is put pressure on John because he is the kind of driver who is better under pressure. He thrives on it."

Jeg Coughlin, driver of the Jeg's Mail Order Chevy Cavalier, regarding allegations of rules violations by his opponents -- "Those guys (Jim Yates and Greg Anderson) can't complain now. They both had a shot at me (in eliminations at Dallas) but we came out on top both times. There have been lots of rumors and this and that floating around in the pits. We're not going to focus on that. There have been lots of pokes directed at us. I guess it comes with the territory. No one's pointed the finger at us directly and we've been in the barn [for NHRA technical inspection] at every race, so it's all just stupid talk."

Larry Dixon, driver of the Miller Lite dragster, regarding his championship chances -- "I do know that the championship trophy is not given out until the season is over. I don't have a lot of control over that; we only have control over our race car. If we do well at the races, the championship will come to us. If we don't do well, especially in the final stretch, then we don't deserve it. Flat out, that is just the way it is."

Warren Johnson, driver of the GM Performance Parts Pontiac Grand Am on the parity in Pro Stock - "With 20 years of stability in the Pro Stock rules, parity is obviously here. That's evident in the closeness of the qualifying and the competitiveness of this class. Anybody can win on any given Sunday."

Kenny Bernstein, driver of the Budweiser King dragster, who trails Larry Dixon by 108 points with two races to go-- "This team isn't ready to throw the towel in yet. We all still have the 'fire in the belly' to win, and I guess even if we didn't have a mathematical chance, we'd be out there trying just as hard. Larry's team is strong, and both our cars seem pretty evenly matched right now. To make it more difficult, there are some spoilers in the mix. Doug Kalitta has really been running well and so have four or five other teams. So at the last event in Dallas we were sweating Dixon in the second round, then Kalitta in the semifinals. It's like facing the firing squad every time you pull to the line. There's no breather."

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , John Force , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson