Seattle: Cruz Pedregon preview

First win in Seattle on Pedregon's mind SEATTLE (July 15) -- Former world champion Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon has won 27 national events in his two-plus decades of professional drag racing, but for some unknown reason, the quarter-mile gods...

First win in Seattle on Pedregon's mind

SEATTLE (July 15) -- Former world champion Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon has won 27 national events in his two-plus decades of professional drag racing, but for some unknown reason, the quarter-mile gods have never smiled on the So-Cal native in any of his previous visits to Pacific Raceways.

The son of "Flamin' Frank" Pedregon hopes to finally change that this time through when he lines up his 8,000-horsepower Advance Auto Parts Toyota Solara at this weekend's event, the 14th of 24 on the 2008 POWERade Drag Racing Series.

"I'm a West Coast guy, and we have always run well here, but we've just never been able to seal the deal in Seattle," Pedregon said. "I love the city and it's always great to get back to sea-level after being in Denver, so this race is always a welcome stop on the tour. This time should be no different. From the looks of it, the weather will be nice and cool so we should have every opportunity to be very fast here."

Pedregon has managed two consecutive semifinal round finishes in the last two races, which helped him climb back up into the top five in the championship chase. His last big outing in Denver propelled him past legend John Force in the rankings. It doesnâ^À^Ùt get much better than that.

"The car is really consistent right now so I am definitely looking to continuing our hot streak," Pedregon said. "After what we have been showing, I believe a win is extremely possible. Of course, the race to win right now is this weekend at Pacific Raceways because it's the next one on the schedule."

Seattle will mark the second straight event where the nitro classes will be competing on a 1,000-foot racetrack in place of the traditional 1,320-foot, quarter-mile track, in order to give the cars an extra 320 feet of area to stop. The interim change came about in the wake of Scott Kalitta's death after a high-speed accident June 21 in New Jersey.

"My crew chief Rahn Tobler and I have talked about this quite a bit and we will continue our game plan of running the reliable set-up we did so well with at the beginning of the season," Pedregon said. "We are confident the results we have been getting lately can directly be attributed to our getting back to that basic set-up. We're not going to change just because the track's a little shorter.

"I want to win Seattle just because I've never won there before, but the important thing is for us to win a race, any race, as a team. These guys have been working their tails off and doing a great job and it's time for them to be rewarded. It's certainly within our grasp this weekend.

"We're also running a new car and it fits me like a glove. I feel like I was born in this car. Over the many years I have been doing this I have grown to like gauges and switches in certain spots and for me to fit a certain way in a car. I have that total feeling of comfort with this new car. It's really nice."

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Cruz Pedregon , Scott Kalitta