Columbus: Cruz Pedregon final summary

Columbus, OH, June 13, 2004 -- Final eliminations were completed today for the Pontiac Excitement Nationals at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio. Former Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon came into today's eliminator as the top-qualifier...

Columbus, OH, June 13, 2004 -- Final eliminations were completed today for the Pontiac Excitement Nationals at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio. Former Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon came into today's eliminator as the top-qualifier driving the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet to a career best and track record elapsed time of 4.769 seconds at 310.00 mph claiming his first pole since the 1998 NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif.

Pedregon faced Jerry Toliver in the first round of eliminations, but suffered a first round lost after slowing to an elapsed time of 7.268 seconds at 123.53 mph to Toliver's elapsed time of 4.989 seconds at 301.07 mph.

"We were looking to run a low 4.80, but the clutch engagement timers that are activated by the throttle switch, went off too soon," explained Pedregon. "They are weather sensitive and the change in temperature from when we were in the pits to the starting line was about ten degrees and it just caused the car to smoke the tires.

"We have a very fast race car right now and the window for error is very narrow," added Pedregon. "But we're still very excited about being able to qualify number one, setting a career best and a track record. We're going to continue our aggressive qualifying efforts and work on our consistency as we head to Englishtown next weekend."

Pedregon remains 11th in the NHRA POWERade Funny Car points standings.

The next event for the Advance Auto Parts racing team will be the NHRA Nationals in Englishtown, NJ at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park on June 17 -- 20th.

-pr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon , Jerry Toliver