CRUZ PEDREGON FALLS SHORT IN RAIN SHORTENED WEEKEND; 9TH IN COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS SEATTLE, Wash. (July 23, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car Team rolled into the Pacific...
CRUZ PEDREGON FALLS SHORT IN RAIN SHORTENED WEEKEND; 9TH IN COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
SEATTLE, Wash. (July 23, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car Team rolled into the Pacific Northwest for the second of three races on the Western Swing.This time it was the Pacific Raceways in Seattle, Wash. that hosted the NHRA professional stars for the 14th of 23 events on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing series.
Pedregon was hoping to make four good qualifying runs to acquire data necessary for Sunday's final eliminations, but Mother Nature played her roll by providing enough rain to shorten qualifying to just one run.
NHRA's top ten rule came into play.Those Funny Car teams in the top ten in points were guaranteed a spot in the field even though they were below the bump line after one session.The rule bumped Pedregon down into the No. 15 spot while Gary Densham, Tim Wilkerson and Jerry Toliver, all outside the top-ten in points, were bumped out and would watch from the sidelines on Sunday.
"What hurt us the most was a broken fuel line fitting on our one and only qualifying run," said Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA World Funny Car Champion. "Right at the hit the throttle was spraying fuel, and Nitro is fuel you don't want spraying anywhere, except in the cylinder.Having only one run to collect data played more of a roll than anything else. It is important to our team to have more runs to get our rhythm going."
Pedregon faced the No. 2 qualifier, Kenny Bernstein in the first round of final eliminations.Bernstein had the advantage most of the way down the 1,320 and edged Pedregon at the stripe with a 4.818/317.05 mph to Pedregon's 4.843/311.13 mph.JJ"We faced a good opponent in Kenny Bernstein," said Pedregon. "They ran a 4.854 in qualifying. We needed to win the round to hang onto our 8th place points position.We were right in it, but we just came up short. The Advance Auto Parts Team will go back after it next weekend in Sonoma."
Pedregon leaves Seattle's Pacific Raceways in the No. 9 Championship Points position and will be aiming to return to the top eight at the Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals at Sonoma's Infineon Raceway, June 27-29, 2007.