Tony Pedregon Ends 2005 Winning At Pomona Raceway Q Racing Moves To Seventh In Final Points POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 6, 2005) -- Tony Pedregon, driver of the Q Racing Nitro Funny Car, grabbed his second win of the 2005 season during today's running...
Tony Pedregon Ends 2005 Winning At Pomona Raceway
Q Racing Moves To Seventh In Final Points
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 6, 2005) -- Tony Pedregon, driver of the Q Racing Nitro Funny Car, grabbed his second win of the 2005 season during today's running of the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway.
During the final, Pedregon defeated Eric Medlen by clicking off a 4.751-second elapsed time at 319.22 mph. Pedregon had a strong car all weekend, while Medlen's car, which wound up in the sand trap at the top end during the previous round, smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle.
Pedregon blistered the Pomona Raceway quarter mile in the opening round, defeating brother Frank Pedregon with a 4.750-second lap at 320.43 mph.
In round two, Pedregon's dramatic holeshot victory over John Force also ended his former bosses' championship hopes. Pedregon's .053 of a second reaction time and 4.778-second elapsed time at 316.75 mph overcame Force's quicker 4.752/323.27 combination. Pedregon's victory handed the title to Gary Scelzi.
If the first two rounds weren't emotional enough for Tony, he then had to face brother and teammate Cruz Pedregon in the semifinals. It was a tight contest, but Tony's 4.739-second elapsed time was enough To fend off Cruz's 4.872-second lap.
The 2003 NHRA Funny Car champion, who also triumphed at Maple Grove Raceway (Mohnton, Pa.) earlier this year, enjoyed his second win of the season.
"This was a great day for the Q Racing team," Pedregon said. "There was a lot of drama in beating such a big name like John Force. We knew coming into this race that there was a championship on the line among three great drivers, but our goal was winning at Pomona Raceway. I really think we earned this victory. When I crossed the finish line after defeating John (Force), I felt like I had won my first race - I can get used to this.
"Our victory did not come easy," Pedregon added. "Every round today had its challenges. The first one is always tough because it is the first. I also had to race hard against John and Cruz (Pedregon). But it was the last round where I had to work the hardest to keep my focus and do my best. I was being told I had a single, but I went through something similar just last year in Chicago, but John (Force) jumped out of an out house and got me - so I knew better."
Pedregon assessed his second season as a Funny Car team owner.
"I came to this race feeling that we had some unfinished business from earlier this year," Pedregon added. "We captured Pomona's Raceway's elapsed time record (4.681 seconds), but did not go past second round this past winter. But Dickie Venables (crew chief) and the rest of the Q team, have put the work and the time to bring us to victory lane today. We've stayed close and have achieved this victory together. There is a lot of money in the pits, a lot of good equipment, but it's talent that makes these cars win races.
"The goal our first year was just to survive it without going broke," Pedregon continued. But I knew things would stabilize in the second season, financially. And as a team, we've had the support of all of our sponsors thorough the year. We also have Q oil, and best of everything. We've won the last race the way we wanted and we plan on coming back better and stronger. I have confidence in myself, and I have confidence in the car and my team. I cannot say it came easy, we took our losses this year, but it has paid off in the end.
Pedregon is optimistic about the 2006 season.
"Next year we plan on being more aggressive because Cruz and I have a lot of things money can not buy -talent and teams that work as a unit," Tony said. "Our new strategy on running the cars similar and working as a unit, is beginning to pay off. We're here for the long run because the performance and consistency is going to continue."
With Gary Scelzi as the new 2005 NHRA Funny Car champion, Pedregon also talked about adding one more name to the elite group of drivers that hold a Funny Car title.
"We're in good company adding Gary to the group," Pedregon said. "I know how he feels, and I feel for John (Force) and Ron (Capps), but they are successful drivers and they know this is just part of the game. Cruz and I welcome Gary to the group that has been able to get the title from John though the years.
Until Gary Scelzi's championship, only Cruz Pedregon (1992) and Tony Pedregon (2003) had outdueled John Force to win a NHRA Funny Car championship since 1990.