CRUZ PEDREGON THUNDERS INTO FINAL ROUND IN BRISTOL; IMPROVES TO 7TH IN CHAMPIONSHIP POINT BATTLE Bristol, Tenn. (July 8, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts NHRA Funny Car team thundered into Sunday's Final Round at the NHRA...
CRUZ PEDREGON THUNDERS INTO FINAL ROUND IN BRISTOL; IMPROVES TO 7TH IN CHAMPIONSHIP POINT BATTLE
Bristol, Tenn. (July 8, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts NHRA Funny Car team thundered into Sunday's Final Round at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at the legendary Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn.Up against an unknown variable in the form of a new track surface and the blistering hot, 133 degree track temperature, Pedregon methodically garnered round wins.At the end of the day, his Advance Auto Parts Funny Car team would improve from 10th to 7th in Championship points.Pedregon's team was ready for Bristol.On his way to a final round match up against 13-time NHRA Champion, John Force, Pedregon notched round wins over Jerry Toliver in the first round, Ron Capps in the semifinals and Jim Head in the quarterfinals.
"My hat is off to the entire Advance Auto Parts team," stated Pedregon. b^0x001cWayne and Kevin gave me a good car today and I did the best I could keeping it hooked up and in the groove today."
Veteran tuner and crew chief, Wayne Dupuy and assistant crew chief, Kevin Butterfield burned the midnight oil in search of the consistency factor.If the Bristol weekend is any indication, the elusive combination has been found. "We have bunch of horsepower at the hit of the throttle," said Dupuy.b^0x001cIt's very temperamental, but we are learning to control it and apply it all the way down the track."
Pedregon faced Championship Point leader, Ron Capps in the quarterfinal round. Pedregon, with lane choice, had a slight starting line advantage when he lost traction at the 200 ft. mark.b^0x001cThe car got a little sideways," said Cruzer.b^0x001cI had to calm it down by working the throttle a bit and we went on to an important round win."
In a classic final round match up, Cruz Pedregon, giving up lane choice faced his old nemesis, John Force. Both launched evenly off the line, but it was Force all the way with Pedregon at his door.Force crossed the stripe with a winning 4.993/284.62 to Pedregon's 5.024/279.73.
"John Force is a great opponent," said Pedregon. "We've had some great final round showdowns.I've won a few and he's won a few. We would have liked to have beaten him today, but we gave him a good race and it was good final round for the fans."
With a successful Bristol weekend behind them, Pedregon likes his team's progress heading into the Western Swing.b^0x001cI'm fired up about putting consistent runs together at these hot tracks," said Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Funny Car World Champion.b^0x001cThe key for us moving up in points is to do well every time we pull up to the line this summer- that includes qualifying and gathering important round wins."