Baytown: Tony Pedregon preview

Tony Pedregon Heads "Home" To Houston Houston, Tex., April 13, 2004 -- For defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon, Houston Raceway Park has been very kind. He has raced at the infamous track 14 times in his professional Funny Car...

Tony Pedregon Heads "Home" To Houston

Houston, Tex., April 13, 2004 -- For defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon, Houston Raceway Park has been very kind. He has raced at the infamous track 14 times in his professional Funny Car career and has managed to accumulate four wins, two runner up finishes and has advanced to three semifinals. He has also qualified in the top-half of the field at 12 of the 14 races.

Entering his first season as team owner and driver, this race has an added significance since his sponsor Quaker State is based in Houston.

"I'm going to be spending some time at the Quaker State corporate offices on Thursday, and I'm looking forward to getting better acquainted with everyone," said Pedregon. "We have quite a few people coming out to the race and I think they are equally as excited for this weekend as we are and are very strong supporters of this new drag racing team.

"I've always enjoyed racing in Houston," added Pedregon. "There seems to be a big Hispanic following and it keeps getting bigger, and whenever the drag races come into town they show their support to our team. I have relatives that live in San Antonio and El Paso so it's kind of like a home track for me even more so now with Quaker State involved."

Pedregon earned his first low-qualifier award of the season in Las Vegas where he set the track record elapsed time of 4.747 seconds. He was runner up in Phoenix and currently sits 8th in the NHRA POWERade Funny Car points standings.

"In a short amount of time I feel we've really gotten the performance level where it needs to be and now we just need to focus on consistency. The Houston track is at sea-level and the surface has a tendency to get fast when conditions are right and if they are then we have to be ready to react and make good calls."

Two qualifying sessions are scheduled for Friday, April 16th at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. with two final sessions scheduled for Saturday, April 17th at noon and 3:00 pm. Final eliminations are slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 18th.

Qualifying coverage of the NHRA Spring Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. -- midnight (ET) on Saturday, April 17. Final eliminations will be aired on ESPN2 from 5 p.m. -- 7 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, April 18.

-pr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon