Cruz Pedregon Awaits Tough First Round Test Advance Auto Parts Machine Qualifies 15th BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 14, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon, driver of the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car, has a big first round match up with Gary Densham ...
Cruz Pedregon Awaits Tough First Round Test
Advance Auto Parts Machine Qualifies 15th
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 14, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon, driver of the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car, has a big first round match up with Gary Densham to open tomorrow's NHRA National Event at Brainerd International Raceway.
Pedregon, who qualified 15th with a 5.128-second elapsed time at 263.20 mph during today's third session, will try to keep his streak of five-straight, first-round victories alive.
"We're going to let it all hang out tomorrow," Pedregon said. "The car wants to run well and I think we'll get out there and give Gary Densham a good race. We're going up against a formidable car, but if we can get by the first round, we'll be back in the battle again.
"I think we're just a couple of tweaks away from making a great run," Pedregon added. "The car ran really well during the first part of our runs. I think it would have run a high 4.80-second elapsed time in that fourth session. It just spun the tires though."
The Advance Auto Parts team recovered from a slow start, improving on yesterday's elapsed-time performances. The former NHRA POWERade Funny Car World Champion is ready for tomorrow.
"We have made enough runs and we have enough data to be fine," Pedregon said. "(Crew chief) Wes Cerny will make the right adjustments. We know we're going to have to run well to win out of the 15th position. But we're going to come out swinging in that first round and we're capable of doing that. Sometimes, and I think this might if happened to us this weekend, when you try to be a little too conservative, other things start to creep up.
"I think because we had so many problems earlier in the weekend and we really haven't had the data to adjust to the track," Pedregon continued. "We're a step behind and we really haven't totally recovered from our slow weekend start, but I'm real optimistic and I feel good about our chances for tomorrow."
Advance Auto Parts Racing Notebook:
RACE DAY: Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car will not change the strategy that has seen the team win 10 rounds of competition in the last five races, dating back to the event at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.
"I like to qualify in the top half," Pedregon said. "Really, Sunday is the big picture for any race weekend. There have been plenty of cars win race from the bottom half of the field. We're going to approach things the same way. When we're paired up tomorrow, we're all even and you have to throw qualifying out the window.