Cruz Pedregon Drives to Fourth Final of 2004 Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Taking Big Strides ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 26, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon is making a habit of appearing in final rounds. For the fourth time in the last seven races, the...
Cruz Pedregon Drives to Fourth Final of 2004
Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Taking Big Strides
ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 26, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon is making a habit of appearing in final rounds. For the fourth time in the last seven races, the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car trekked to the final round of a NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event. This time it was at the Texas Motorplex.
It was a close finale too, as Pedregon was barely edged at the stripe by Del Worsham, who ran a 4.934-second elapsed time at 315.56 mph. Pedregon, who qualified sixth, drove to a 4.948-second elapsed time at 307.02 mph. Despite the disappointment, he is thrilled with how the Advance Auto Parts team is performing.
"Credit goes to Del Worsham," said a disappointed, yet satisfied Pedregon. "It was a good final round and I sure enjoyed that one. I think we've beaten Del the last two times we've raced, so it must have been his turn.
"I'd like to have that one back though," Pedregon contined. "If I had to do it over again -- and I had a pretty good day of reaction times -- I had a little trouble seeing the light in the final because of the sun. I actually started to anticipate the light a little bit. I kind of caught myself, relaxed for a split second, and had a little slower reaction time (.097). It wasn't terrible considering what happened. If Del would of bobbled at all, we would have had it. I'm just pleased we're moving up in points and it's important we continue to do that."
The California resident defeated Ron Capps in round one, Gary Scelzi in round number two and Eric Medlen in the semifinals. In his match up with Scelzi, Pedregon lapped the suburban Dallas quarter mile in 4.950 seconds at 312.50 mph. According to Pedregon, each round victory gets the team one step closer to the ultimate goal -- a NHRA national event victory.
"We just had a great team meeting and (crew chief) Wes (Carny) talked about how motivated we are to win," Pedregon said. "We're very satisfied with the weekend and we had a shot to win. We were within a half a car length of winning that race. You can't ask for much more than that. It would be nice to win, but we're getting to these finals and that's important.
"We're consistent and Wes just gave me a statistic where we've made 16 runs in a row where we haven't hade tire shake in the one and a half second zone," Pedregon added. "A lot of teams experience troubles in this area, so that's very encouraging for where this team is headed. It says a lot about what this team has been able to do and what Wes has been able to do. We'll win our share of races."
Advance Auto Parts Notebook:
BACK-TO-BACK: For the second time in 2004, Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car has appeared in two-straight NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series final rounds
Earlier this year, Pedregon made back-to-back final rounds at Denver and Seattle. This weekend's final came on the heels of Pedregon's dramatic final-round push during the 50th anniversary U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park three weekends ago.