Pomona: Team Castrol eliminations summary

Pedregon wins Pomona in impressive fashion. Tony Pedregon posted the quickest time in each round of competition Sunday, beating Johnny Gray in the final to win the 43rd annual K&N Filters Winternationals at the Los Angeles County ...

Pedregon wins Pomona in impressive fashion.

Tony Pedregon posted the quickest time in each round of competition Sunday, beating Johnny Gray in the final to win the 43rd annual K&N Filters Winternationals at the Los Angeles County Fairplex.

Pedregon drove the Castrol SYNTEC Ford to times of 4.739, 4.784, 4.788 and 4.765 to claim the 20th victory over his career and grab the POWERade points lead for only the second time in his career.

Pedregon last led the points in 1999 after beating Gary Densham to win the Winternationals.`This time, the 37-year-old phenom expects to maintain his advantage for more than a single race.

It was Pedregon's fifth win in the last 11 races dating back to July of 2002.

Pedregon's teammates, John Force and Gary Densham, enjoyed less that stellar 2003 debuts as both were ousted in the first round.

TEAM CASTROL Details:

JOHN FORCE, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: 7th at 4.809 seconds, 321.81 mph.
Race results: Lost to Tommy Johnson Jr.

Notable: Only the second time in 16 years that John has found himself outside of the Top 10.`The last time he was on the outside looking in was after the 1994 Winternationals.JQuotable: "Obviously, we've got some work to do, but I've got the right guys to do it.`You don't win or lose the championship at the Winternationals.`We just need to focus and get this ol' hot rod back in shape." -- John Force.

TONY PEDREGON, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: 3rd at 4.766 seconds, 324. 75 mph.
Race results: Beat Dean Skuza, Del Worsham, Tommy Johnson Jr., Johnny Gray.

Notable: Took the points lead for only the second time in his career and posted the quickest quarter mile time in the last 15 months when he was clocked in 4.739 seconds. Quotable: "We had conditions that probably were good enough to go for the (national) record, but we agreed not to go after it.`We felt that we didn't want to make a mistake.`We didn't want to get (too) aggressive.JMy attitude right now is really positive."`-- TONY PEDREGON.

GARY DENSHAM, Team Castrol/Auto Club of Southern California Ford Funny Car:
Qualifying position and performance: 4th at 4.774 seconds, 323.12 mph.
Race results: Lost to Bob Gilbertson.

Notable: Second straight first round loss on his home track on which he set the current NHRA speed record of 326.87 mph just a year ago. Quotable: "You can see those new (LED) lights real good.`Apparently I saw them a little too good (in fouling out by .003 of a second)." -- GARY DENSHAM.

Next events: 19th annual CSK Nationals, Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 21-23; 34th annual Mac Tools Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla., March 13-16; 4th annual Summitracing.com Nationals, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 3-6; 16th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals, Houston, Texas, April 10-13.

-jfr/tc-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Gilbertson , Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , John Force , Gary Densham , Johnny Gray , Tommy Johnson Jr.