Norwalk: Cruz Pedregon preview

With Tobler by his side, Pedregon marches confidently into Norwalk NORWALK, Ohio (June 26) -- With three decades of drag racing experience, a Funny Car world championship, and 27 national event victories to his credit, Cruz Pedregon certainly ...

With Tobler by his side, Pedregon marches confidently into Norwalk

NORWALK, Ohio (June 26) -- With three decades of drag racing experience, a Funny Car world championship, and 27 national event victories to his credit, Cruz Pedregon certainly knows how to be successful at the top level of the sport. That's why it's so easy for him to get excited about this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Norwalk Raceway Park.

"We're right where we want to be," Pedregon said. "We've gone back to basics and we're ready to make some serious moves in Norwalk."

Pedregon directly attributes his upbeat mood to his decorated crew chief, Rahn Tobler, who calls the shots on his Advance Auto Parts Toyota Solara.

"I'm so lucky to have Rahn on my team," Pedregon said. "Here's what's great about Rahn; For the last few races we haven't had the success we expected, so Rahn and I got to talking and he flat-out says he chased some ideas too far and has gotten off the path that was working for us earlier in the year. He told me he's going back to basics and putting the car right back where it was when we were going to the semis and the finals every week.

"Now, I've been around racing for a long time and I've worked with plenty of different crew chiefs but I've never been around someone of Rahn's stature that is willing to admit something like that. There's so much ego and attitude out here but with Rahn it's all about doing whatever is best for the team. He's impressed me so much in our time together and this just adds to his legacy in my opinion."

A misstep last weekend in Englishtown, N.J., resulted in Pedregon missing the field, his first DNQ of the year, which dropped him to his lowest ranking of ranking of the year, sixth place. Yet he knows he's less than one race away from second as the tour hits its summer stride.

"This is a great racetrack for us to regain our footing, so to speak," Pedregon said. "I've raced Norwalk many times in the past doing special events and the Night of Fire exhibition deal. I feel very comfortable there and we have lots of experience at the facility. That could help quite a bit because most racers are just seeing this place for the second time ever this time through.

"We know this weekend and the three races of the Western Swing are basically going to decide which 10 teams make the Countdown to the Championship and we're fully expecting to be in the top half of that group."

-credit: cp

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon