RICHMOND, Va. (October 4, 2006) -- Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, and his Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car Team are headed back to the NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg, Va. (near Richmond),...
RICHMOND, Va. (October 4, 2006) -- Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, and his Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car Team are headed back to the NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg, Va. (near Richmond), this weekend for the 21st of 23 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events in 2006. Pedregon sits in 10th place in the 2006 NHRA point standings and is looking forward to a good performance in Richmond and the remaining races in the season order to move up in the standings, creating a solid foundation for a championship run in 2007.
NHRA POWERade Drag Racing returns to Virginia for the first time in five years, bringing nitro-fueled thunder to the hallowed battlegrounds where Civil War cannons once roared. Host of an NHRA national event from 1995 to 2000, Virginia Motorsports Park has been the site of many record-breaking runs in all classes.
"Virginia is the home state of our primary sponsor, Advance Auto Parts (company is based out of Roanoke), and it will be especially important for us to do well there. We'd love to win one there for all of the great people at Advance Auto Parts who have supported us," Pedregon said. "I raced there from '96 through 2000, and look forward to going there again. We are looking forward to running in front of the great fans in that part of the country. Virginia Motorsports Park is a really nice facility and I know we'll put on a good show. We are going to do everything in our power to see we get our Advance Auto Parts car in the winner's circle."
During his rookie season in Funny Car in 1992, Pedregon won the NHRA world championship. With this accomplishment he became the only racer other than John Force to win the championship in the 90s. In 1997, Pedregon was also the first motorsports athlete to receive the "Premio De Oro," the only national award for Hispanic athletes. Born into a racing family, Pedregon's father, Frank, raced Top Fuel dragsters in the 1960s. His brothers Tony and Frank also compete in the Nitro Funny Car ranks. In 1980, Cruz won his first official drag race at the age of 15, driving a 1953 Kenworth truck.
How to get to Virginia Motorsports Park: From Interstate 85 southbound, use Exit 63-A and travel five miles; the track is on the right. From I-85 northbound, use Exit 53 and travel west to Route 1 north. Go seven miles, and the track is on the left. From I-95, take I-85 south to Exit 63-A. The track is five miles on the right.
After conquering the quarter-mile Virginia Motorsports Park this weekend, the NHRA warriors head on October 26-29 to The Strip At Las Vegas Motor Speedway.