CRUZ PEDREGON AND THE ADVANCE AUTO PARTS RACE TEAM REACH QUARTERFINALS DURING A COMPETITIVE WEEKEND IN ATLANTA (COMMERCE, Ga., May 8): Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts Race Team reached the quarterfinals in NHRA POWERade Nitro Funny...
CRUZ PEDREGON AND THE ADVANCE AUTO PARTS RACE TEAM REACH QUARTERFINALS DURING A COMPETITIVE WEEKEND IN ATLANTA
(COMMERCE, Ga., May 8): Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts Race Team reached the quarterfinals in NHRA POWERade Nitro Funny Car action from the Southern Nationals at Atlanta (Ga.) Dragway in this past weekend after rain delayed final rounds until late afternoon on Sunday.
"It was a good recovery, a good way to bounce back from the weekend in Bristol," Pedregon said of his quarterfinal appearance. "I feel like we had a strong car. The second round race with Hight, we lost a couple of cylinders. We had a near-perfect light (.001)."
Pedregon's weekend started off with a bit of a mechanical issue during the Friday night qualifying run: "The Friday night run was more than dramatic -- it was a scary time for me. A filtration system was left off the car by accident, and all of the clutch dust came into the cockpit. What the TV audience saw on the in-car camera was what I saw -- nothing. Total blackout in the cockpit. It was not good. I knew where I was going until about half-track, then all of a sudden I couldn't see. It was as bad as it looked on the ESPN broadcast from in the cockpit of my Advance Auto Parts car. It was unfortunate, as that was a potential .71 or .72 run, which could have put us in the top three or four qualifiers.
"Today was a special day for the Pedregon Racing teams," Pedregon said, referring to his brother Tony's Funny Car final round win. "We collectively beat the five cars in the two biggest financially supported teams, the Force and Schumacher organizations. That's really an accomplishment. There's no question that, other than John Force's team, there's no other team that works better together than Pedregon Racing. We have some of the same sponsors, like Quaker State, Snap-on, Great Stuff, Herzog, Pug, Sioux City, Mr. Gasket, Mountain View Chevrolet and The Palms, so when Tony wins, we all feel good about the effort."
The former event winner (1998) retained a positive outlook for the upcoming May races in Columbus and Topeka and is already working on bettering his performance for the next stop on the NHRA tour: "We maintained 7th in the point standings with our run in Atlanta, but we are looking to move up in the points in the next few races in Columbus and Topeka, so we are staying and testing our cars on Monday in Atlanta. We're excited about testing and looking forward to the next race."
In 2005, Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Race Team finished for the second consecutive year in the top 10 in points, was #1 qualifier twice and recorded a career best ET speed of 4.680 seconds at 330.80mph.
NEXT RACE: NHRA Nationals at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, OH, May 19-21, 2006