Seattle: Cruz Pedregon Saturday summary

Cruz Pedregon Continues His Qualifying Streak Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Grabs Sixth KENT, Wash. (July 24, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon continues to qualify his Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo in the top half of the field, taking home the sixth ...

Cruz Pedregon Continues His Qualifying Streak
Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Grabs Sixth

KENT, Wash. (July 24, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon continues to qualify his Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo in the top half of the field, taking home the sixth position for this weekend's NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event at Pacific Raceways.

Pedregon, landing his sixth-straight, top-eight qualifying effort, logged a 5.031-second elapsed time at 287.23 mph in the third-qualifying session. A feat accomplished during the more than 140-degree track temperatures of mid-day.

"Our third run was a great one" Pedregon said. "We were the third quickest of the third) round, and that's what your looking for in these conditions. Being that is was the hottest part of the weekend -- I was quite pleased.

The extreme conditions made it tough for everyone. Pedregon had to shut off early in the fourth session, but it wasn't enough to dissuade the California resident away from his enthusiasm.

"We made some real progress today, especially considering the conditions," Pedregon said. "We feel real good about the performance of the team. Something weird happened on that last run. We had an oil leak, and since I was already in the show, I just shut it down. When you're in these cars, you have to make split-second decisions. It turned out to be a good one because you never know what could happen with 6,000-horsepower underneath you.

"The track was very hot, and it wasn't going to make a significant change to our position -- even if we did run," Pedregon continued. "We were running a little different set up, but we'll have to wait until tomorrow. I feel good about things. It's going to be warm out there, and if we can get down the track in the heat of the day, something we've already proved this weekend, we'll be around in the late rounds. We're going to continue on our pace and keep getting those win lights."

Pedregon lines up against No. 11 qualifier Tony Bartone in round one tomorrow.

Advance Auto Parts Racing Notebook:

TEAMWORK: Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car program is really coming together. After a semifinal round appearance at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., Pedregon followed that up with his final-round effort at last weekend's Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

"I have to give a lot of credit to Wes Cerny, our car chief, and the entire crew," Pedoregon said. "Our performance is solid, even with all the changes and different conditions thrown our way. The 90 to 85-percent rule change, and it may not sound like a lot, has been a big change for everyone. We've pretty much continued our qualifying pace, except for one position. I want to give credit to all the guys on this great team. The Advance Auto Parts race team has been getting better. We're trying to speed up our time in between rounds -- that's really coming around. We actually have our engine assembly time back where we need to be. This team, all the way around, is shaping into a championship-level operation. It's something we've been striving for the entire season."

LOVING SEATTLE: Cruz Pedregon would love nothing better than to slide his Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo into victory lane tomorrow here at Pacific Raceways. Despite finishing in the runner-up position to John Force in 1993, the California resident has never won in the Great Northwest. Pedregon is looking to change that for tomorrow.

"I love it up here in Seattle," Pedregon said. "I have never won here. I thought about it this morning -- it sure would be nice to win here in Seattle. It's nice to win them all, but this is one that's always eluded me. I've had great cars here in the past, but we couldn't pull through. If we can make our way to the late rounds tomorrow, I really like our chances."

-PedregonRacing.com-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Bartone , John Force , Cruz Pedregon