Columbus: Cruz Pedregon Saturday summary

Cruz Pedregon Takes Number One Spot, Runs Career Best And Sets Track Record Columbus, OH, June 12, 2004 -- Former Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon saves his best qualifying effort for last at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio today....

Cruz Pedregon Takes Number One Spot, Runs Career Best And Sets Track Record

Columbus, OH, June 12, 2004 -- Former Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon saves his best qualifying effort for last at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio today. The Wes Cerny tuned Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Monte Carlo powered to a career best and track record elapsed time of 4.769 seconds at 301.00 mph in the final session to earn his first pole since the 1998 NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif.

"Finally," exclaimed Pedregon. "With the troubles we've had over the past few races with dropping cylinders, it feels good to be able to put a solid run together. It felt like it was on a great run, but then the blower belt came off and I thought it was going to be just a mediocre run. Then the guys came over the radio and said that it ran a 4.76 and I started thinking, 'man it did pull me back pretty hard and it did fell pretty good.' Plus we had an oil pressure problem back in the pits before the second session and the team was just thrashing away, they really worked together and gave me a great race car.

"Cerny had been really frustrated lately because our car wasn't running the same as Tony's," explained Pedregon. "The cars are set up the same and run all the same parts and really should just be running close to the same. But we haven't been running on all eight cylinders and we finally found the gremlin that had been hurting us. Now we can take this momentum into race day tomorrow and see if we can't go some rounds and pull out the victory.

"This is a big boost for this whole team," added Pedregon. "They've been working so hard, and finally that have something to be proud of. I knew we were capable of running well, and we were able to prove that today. All the credit goes to Wes Cerny and the entire Advance Auto Parts team."

This is Pedregon's 30th career top-qualifier award. He will face Jerry Toliver in the first round of eliminations slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. (ET) tomorrow. Pedregon has a 3-1 advantage over Toliver in race day competition.

ESPN2 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage of the NHRA Nationals on Saturday, June 12th from 7:00 p.m. -- 8:00 p.m. (ET). Three hours of final eliminations coverage will air on Sunday, June 13th on ESPN2 from 3:00 p.m. -- 6:00 p.m. (ET).

-cp

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon , Jerry Toliver