Tony Pedregon Story (F/C)

Report from Motorsport News International FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 TONY PEDREGON KEEPING AN EYE ON BIG BROTHER IN FUNNY CAR ENNIS, Texas -- It's been nearly 20 years in the making, but Tony...

Report from Motorsport News International

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761

TONY PEDREGON KEEPING AN EYE ON BIG BROTHER IN FUNNY CAR

ENNIS, Texas -- It's been nearly 20 years in the making, but Tony Pedregon is about to get revenge on one of his older brothers for those rough-and-rumble rides along the 91 Freeway in Los Angeles.

Tony and his older brothers, Cruz and Frankie, always would accompany their father, Frank, to drag races throughout Southern California when they were boys, as their father was a prominent racer. Cruz and Frankie often would gang up on Tony, as brothers often do, and rough him up in the family's van en route to the track.

"My attitude hasn't changed since I was a kid," said Tony Pedregon, 31. "I tell everyone that my older brothers, that was my competition when I was growing up."

Some things never change. Pedregon is locked in a tough battle with his brother, Cruz, for second place in the NHRA Winston Funny Car point standings entering the 11th annual, $1,496,900 Chief Auto Parts Nationals, Oct. 10-13 at Texas Motorplex. The race is the 18th of 19 events this season in the $27-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Tony Pedregon, from Gardena, Calif., leads his brother by 53 points. He has emerged as the newest Funny Car superstar this season driving the second Castrol GTX Pontiac Firebird owned by six-time NHRA Winston champion John Force, winning one race and appearing in six final rounds.

The emergence of Pedregon has extended a rivalry with his brother that started when they raced bicycles against each other as kids. Off the track, the brothers are close. On it, nope.

"It's really not a lot of hype," Pedregon said of his battle for second with his brother. "I think that it's pretty serious. I think we really push each other, and I think that's helped me in my driving. Maybe it's doing the same for Cruz over there."

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , John Force