Sonoma: Cruz Pedregon Friday summary

Cruz Pedregon Grabs Fourth on Friday Advance Auto Parts Team Keeps Qualifying Momentum Alive SONOMA, Calif. (July 30, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon wielded his Advance Auto Parts Racing Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car to the fourth position following the...

Cruz Pedregon Grabs Fourth on Friday
Advance Auto Parts Team Keeps Qualifying Momentum Alive

SONOMA, Calif. (July 30, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon wielded his Advance Auto Parts Racing Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car to the fourth position following the first two rounds of qualifying for this weekend's Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway.

Pedregon hasn't qualified outside the top eight since the Memorial Day weekend race at Heartland Park Topeka (Kan.), at the end of this past May. His 4.903-second lap at 311.56 mph may keep that streak alive as Infineon Raceway heads to warmer conditions tomorrow.

"We made a great run," Pedregon said. "I want to give (Crew chief) Wes (Cerny) a lot of credit for keeping this car and the Advance Auto Parts Racing team so consistent - especially the way he set the car up. It's a very difficult decision to go out there and either; go for the number one spot, or make a consistent run, that you know will get down the track and just have enough horsepower to get into the top half of the field. There's a fine line there.

"That decision was up to Wes," Pedregon continued. "He knew, based on the track conditions from the first session, what we needed to get down the track and get into the fourth spot. This has been the great strategy that this team has utilized the last few races. It's something we've worked at, and now we're really seeing the fruits of that labor. A good qualifying position is so critical to the process of winning a race."

ADVANCE AUTO PARTS RACING NOTEBOOK:

HARD TO SEE: Cruz Pedregon, driver of the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car, had a tough time getting down the track during that second-qualifying session. Pedregon explained the trouble.

"That was the most difficult run I've ever made in my career -- as far as visibility was concerned," Pedregon said. "I was really just driving off of instincts. I felt I was going straight and I knew the car was on a good run. I felt it move over to the centerline, so I instinctively moved it back. I really had no idea where I was out there.

"I used my different impact helmet - that had a clear visor," Pedregon continued. "I thought we were going to making a night run, so I didn't use my helmet with the dark visor. It just happened that the sun was setting in the West, as we were driving into it. I thought we were going to run a little later, but they ran us about 20 minutes earlier than first thought. Luckily, I kept it between the lines and we made a good run."

-PedregonRacing.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon