INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 15, 2006) -- Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, and his Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car Team are headed to Memphis (TN) Motorsports Park for the NHRA Nationals, the 17th of 23 NHRA POWERade...
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 15, 2006) -- Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, and his Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car Team are headed to Memphis (TN) Motorsports Park for the NHRA Nationals, the 17th of 23 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events in 2006. Pedregon retains his place in the top 10 in the NHRA point standings after the last round in Brainerd.
NHRA's annual visit to "the birthplace of the Blues" is a crucial stop on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series because the race is the last before the year's biggest event, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. Race teams come to Memphis Motorsports Park to fine-tune their combinations for the Big Go and the stretch run for NHRA POWERade world championships. It's also the final event for Funny Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors to earn points toward respective participation in the Skoal Showdown and Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle bonus events at the U.S. Nationals.
"If there's one track that has been tough on me through the years, it's Memphis," explained Pedregon. "We hope to change that this weekend. It's always very hot there, and hard to get a good grip. Coming off of a consistent weekend in Brainerd, I know the Advance Auto Parts team has a good setup, so we hope to change all of our luck in a positive direction. We are definitely looking forward to the opportunity to change our fortune heading into the Labor Day weekend and the U.S. Nationals. It would be nice to go into Indy and the rest of the races toward the end of the season with some momentum."
During his rookie season in Funny Car in 1992, Pedregon won the NHRA world championship. With this accomplishment he became the only racer other than John Force to win the championship in the 90s. In 1997, Pedregon was also the first motorsports athlete to receive the "Premio De Oro," the only national award for Hispanic athletes. Born into a racing family, Pedregon's father, Frank, raced Top Fuel dragsters in the 1960s. His brothers Tony and Frank also compete in the Nitro Funny Car ranks. In 1980, Cruz won his first official drag race at the age of 15, driving a 1953 Kenworth truck.
How to get to Memphis Motorsports Park: Take Interstate 240 to the Warford Road exit (Exit 6). Go north on Warford Road 6.0 miles to Raleigh Millington Road. Turn left onto Raleigh Millington Road and continue to Fite Road. Turn left onto Fite Road at the Memphis Motorsports Park billboard and continue on Fite Road for .4-mile. The track is on the right.
After conquering the quarter-mile Memphis Motorsports Park, the NHRA warriors head to the biggest event of the year, the massive U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, held annually on Labor Day weekend, August 30-September 4.