FIRST ROUND NOTES TONY PEDREGON, 34, Chino Hills, Calif., will start from the No. 4 position for the fourth time this season after driving the Castrol SYNTECÃ¢â€žÂ¢ Ford Mustang to a qualifying time of 4.957 seconds at an Automobile Club ...
FIRST ROUND NOTES
TONY PEDREGON, 34, Chino Hills, Calif., will start from the No. 4 position for the fourth time this season after driving the Castrol SYNTECâ„¢ Ford Mustang to a qualifying time of 4.957 seconds at an Automobile Club of Southern California World Finals speed record of 314.41 mph. During his brief pro career, Tony has won only one time from the No. 4 spot, prevailing in 1998 at the spring race at Houston Raceway Park in which he beat his teammate and mentor, John Force, in the final.
SEASON TO DATE: Tony has reached the finals seven times in 21 races this year, winning at Pomona, Calif., Dallas, Texas, where he claimed a $100,000 No Bull bonus at the Castrol Nationals, and Denver, Colo. As a result of that performance, Tony will finish second in points behind his boss for the third time in the last four years.
CAREER RECORD: Tony has eight victories in 21 career final round appearances. He has gone to the finals 21 times in 94 starts for Team Castrol and John Force Racing.
VERSUS TOMMY JOHNSON JR.: Tony is 1-3 against Tommy Johnson Jr. against whom he first raced in Top Fuel (losing in the first round of the Autolite Nationals at Sonoma in 1993). Tony's only win against Johnson came in the semifinals of this year's Sears Craftsman Nationals at St. Louis.
QUICKEST MAN ON THE PLANET: Tony owns the quickest quarter mile in Funny Car history at 4.779 seconds, a mark he set last March in the first round of the MAC Tools Gatornationals.
PREVIOUSLY AT POMONA: Tony has won two times at the Fairplex, once in each event. He won this year's Winternationals and was the World Finals winner in 1997. He might have won a second time at this race but his car wouldn't fire for the final in 1996 and teammate John Force singled for the victory. He avenged that loss by beating John in the â€˜97 final.
DID YOU KNOW? Tony was the initial winner (1996) of the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award that identifies the sport's future stars.....Tony is the only Funny Car driver other than Force to have broken the 4.80 second barrier and one of only three drivers (with Force and Tommy Johnson Jr.) to have exceeded 320 mph....Tony and John are on opposite sides of the ladder and, as a result, could meet in the final round for the third time in their last four appearances in the World Finals .....Tony has won more rounds of racing at the Fairplex than at any other track. He's won 10 rounds in the Winternationals and nine at the World Finals.....Tony is trying to become the first Funny Car driver to win BOTH events at Pomona in a single season since Bruce Larson in 1989.