PEDREGON LOOKING FOR QUICK TIMES, FAST SPEEDS AT MOTORPLEX ENNIS, Texas - The last time Tony Pedregon visited the Texas Motorplex, he had 100,000 reasons to smile. The Gardena, Calif. driver collected the Winston No Bull Challenge bonus payday...
PEDREGON LOOKING FOR QUICK TIMES, FAST SPEEDS AT MOTORPLEX ENNIS, Texas - The last time Tony Pedregon visited the Texas Motorplex, he had 100,000 reasons to smile.
The Gardena, Calif. driver collected the Winston No Bull Challenge bonus payday of $100,000, defeating Dean Skuza in the final round of the mid-April event at the all-concrete quarter-mile located south of metropolitan Dallas. As he returns to one of the quickest tracks on the NHRA circuit, his attention turns again to numbers. While he'd like to cash in on another huge payday, Pedregon would just as soon spend his time calculating numbers in the single digits.
Pedregon claimed the quickest elapsed time for a Funny Car in NHRA competition when his Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang unleashed a 4.779 second run at Gainesville, Fla. earlier this season. He's anticipating similar conditions this time out at the Motorplex and hopes to better that performance and back-up the run for an NHRA national record.
"Anytime we can get on a good surface with our car, it makes good power," Pedregon said. "We ran a 4.77 at Gainesville earlier this year and we've been nipping at a performance like that all year long. We've just been waiting to get back to racing on a good surface like Dallas. Our goal it to go qualify and try to win the race. If our car performs like we think it should, it sure would be nice to get the national record."
Pedregon hopes to build on his three victories as well at the 14th annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec, Oct. 21-24 at the $1.8 million race, the 20th of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.
"We're geared up for it and anything can happen," Pedregon said. "We've set some high goals for our team and we're going to try and work hard to make those happen. I think we're very capable of winning. We have three races left and I think you'd see a big smile if we could win one of 'em." Pedregon hopes a victory will turn the current trend. Lately, the new man on the Funny Car scene has been cashing in. Tommy Johnson Jr., driver of the Interstate Batteries Pontiac Firebird, defeated Pedregon at Memphis for his second win in three straight finals. However, Pedregon isn't too worried about his new competition.
"Whatever they did to their car, they turned a 4.80 car into a 4.90 car, so I'm not real worried about them," Pedregon said. "I think in the end our cars are going to outperform them. If we make mistakes, then we leave the door open for somebody to beat us. That's what happened in Memphis. Right now it seems like a lot of teams have underachieved. We've got consistency and more performance. We're going to a fast track where it really is forgiving and it passes out those good ET slips. I think you'll see the difference at the Motorplex."