Memphis: Cruz Pedregon preview

Pedregon bullish on his chances in Memphis MEMPHIS (Sept. 26) -- One week ago, drag racing champion Cruz Pedregon had his Advance Auto Parts Toyota Solara ranked No. 1 in the Funny Car standings. At the start of this weekend's event at Memphis...

Pedregon bullish on his chances in Memphis

MEMPHIS (Sept. 26) -- One week ago, drag racing champion Cruz Pedregon had his Advance Auto Parts Toyota Solara ranked No. 1 in the Funny Car standings. At the start of this weekend's event at Memphis Motorsports Park he's sitting fifth overall. But just as it was when his stock was up, Pedregon refuses to change his tactics after a minor downtick.

"We earned the No. 1 ranking with our consistency," said Pedregon, who has just three first-round losses this season. "If we are fortunate enough to win another championship this season it will be the sole result of that same consistency. We will not waver from our plan of attack. It's worked so far and I have the utmost confidence it will continue to work."

Although Pedregon dropped a few rungs on the playoff ladder in Dallas, it wasn't for lack of trying from his talented team. Crew chief Rahn Tobler tuned him to a solid race-day performance of 4.23 seconds at almost 300 mph, quicker than many in the class, but his opponent managed to go just a few ticks quicker, winning by .03 seconds.

"If we had smoked the tires or blown something up, then you feel like you gave it away," Pedregon said. "But that didn't happen. We fought hard and came up just a little short. That's drag racing. We've won our share of close races this season. That one just wasn't meant to be."

The 21st annual Mid-South Nationals represent the third of six races in the NHRA's Countdown to 1 playoffs that will decide the 2008 champion. With four races left, there are 16 rounds of racing that can potentially be claimed. Currently, Pedregon is three and a half rounds off the lead.

"I'd expect that this thing will go down to the final race in Pomona," Pedregon said. "Everyone is fighting for every point and as we've already seen in these first few playoff races, big swings can happen.

"We're very optimistic about this weekend and about the rest of the season. We've always raced well down the stretch and this team knows how to keep it together regardless of the circumstances. Hopefully, we'll go back to Indy on Monday with smiles on our faces."

-credit: pr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon