LARGEST CROWD IN SAN ANTIONIO RACEWAY HISTORY WITNESSES CRUZ PEDREGON AND THE ADVANCE AUTO PARTS RACE TEAM'S NUMBER ONE QUALIFYING RUN (SAN ANTONIO, Texas): Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts Race Team stormed into San Antonio Raceway for...
LARGEST CROWD IN SAN ANTIONIO RACEWAY HISTORY WITNESSES CRUZ PEDREGON AND THE ADVANCE AUTO PARTS RACE TEAM'S NUMBER ONE QUALIFYING RUN
(SAN ANTONIO, Texas): Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts Race Team stormed into San Antonio Raceway for the re-introduction of Nitro Funny Car competition to the IHRA after a 14-year absence, and walked away with the top qualifying spot with a 4.765 sec. / 321.12 run. Pedregon also tested last week at Gainesville Raceway and ran a 4.76, which bodes well for him and his Advance Auto Parts Team heading into the next race on the NHRA schedule in Houston, March 31-April 2.
"That was huge, it was big for us," Pedregon said of the strong qualifying number. "It's a credit to IHRA, the race track and (track owners) Todd and Judy Zampese. It also says a lot about what this class will be. People across the country will read an NHRA Nitro Funny Car driver ran a 4.7 in San Antonio, and you can't run 4.7s at just any track. The track condition was phenomenal and that is what people will see. The car doesn't know what track we're at - we set it up and as long as the track is good it will run. Lots of times we come to a new race track and aren't confident to push it too much. We set this up, tuned it down just a little bit and it ran a great number."
After a first elimination round win over Bob Gilbertson, Pedregon was paired up with NHRA foe Gary Densham in round two, but experienced traction problems.
"We had a good time at the event in San Antonio this past weekend," stated Pedregon. "We qualified great, but the new tire is different and we're still working the kinks out. We're a little disappointed, but we're all professionals and realize that you can't win every race. Just because you qualify in the top spot, that does not guarantee a victory. The track appeared to deteriorate a little, which didn't help matters on our end. We're going to put the car back to when we tested at Gainesville last week when we ran a 4.7." Texas is a big market for the Advance Auto Parts Team, as they have a lot of stores and associates in the area. Pedregon will stay in that region and head to Houston's NHRA Spring Nationals this weekend: "We're excited to move on to Houston and get back to performing at a top level again. We had a good event, though. The crowd was great, and it was nice to meet new fans in the San Antonio area. It was also fun to spend some time with the Advance Auto Parts team members who came out to visit us. We are going to try to make this San Antonio event an annual race for us and come back and try to win it next year."
In 2005, Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Race Team finished for the second consecutive year in the top 10 in points, was #1 qualifier twice and recorded a career best ET speed of 4.680 seconds at 330.80mph.
NEXT EVENT: NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston (Tex.) Raceway Park, March 31-April 2, 2006