Cruz Pedregon makes big move to Toyota Solara body TOPEKA, Kan. (May 28) -- Already a lofty third in the POWERade Funny Car points, former world champion Cruz Pedregon believes a switch to a Toyota Solara body will take his Advance Auto Parts...
Cruz Pedregon makes big move to Toyota Solara body
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 28) -- Already a lofty third in the POWERade Funny Car points, former world champion Cruz Pedregon believes a switch to a Toyota Solara body will take his Advance Auto Parts race team to new heights. Pedregon will debut his new carbon-fiber shell this weekend at Heartland Park Topeka, where he's won four times in six final-round showings.
"I'm already a Toyota guy," the 1992 series champ said from his Indianapolis race shop. "My midget team runs Toyotas and all of our support vehicles are Toyotas. It's certainly a brand we believe in and are proud to represent.
"We've done our homework on this deal. We've had numerous discussions with the design people and they've been very forthright with all of the wind tunnel data. Rahn [Tobler, Pedregon's crew chief] is convinced there's some extra speed in that body."
Both Pedregon and Tobler believe the Solara design will help them apply maximum horsepower to the various racetracks they'll face in the coming months as the POWERade Drag Racing Series steams towards the Countdown to the Championship, which will set a 10-car field of potential champions in early September.
"With the way Rahn runs this car and from what we've determined we'll get out of the Solara body, we're really excited about the summer and running on hotter racetracks," Pedregon said. "We just seem to perform better when the track temperatures get above 120 degrees and we won't change our usual strategy this year.
"The reality is that most of the Funny Car bodies out there are pretty similar. It's not like a car at Indy that's running for 500 miles where an inch of a body piece here or there makes a huge difference. We're searching for a lot of down-force for just a few seconds. The clutch application and fuel system are where it's at, but the fact this body is lighter, has extremely low drag, and offers great visibility should all contribute to better racing for us. We're excited."