CRUZ PEDREGON... Advance Auto Parts Driver Familiar With Mile-High Altitude MORRISON, Colo. (July 11, 2005) -- Former Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts team head to one of the most scenic and challenging racetracks on...
Advance Auto Parts Driver Familiar With Mile-High Altitude
MORRISON, Colo. (July 11, 2005) -- Former Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts team head to one of the most scenic and challenging racetracks on the NHRA POWERade Series schedule, Bandimere Speedway. Pedregon and the team headed by crew chief, Wes Cerny, will work hand-in-hand to tame this mile-high track during the 26th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.
"The altitude -- about a mile in thin air- and the hot weather pose a challenge for all teams," said Pedregon. "We know the motor won't be able to make big power and there isn't any air pushing the car down, so it will be loose."
It seems that Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts crew have found a good formula to work in these conditions. During the last two years at Bandimere Speedway, Pedregon made it to the finals. Last season, Pedregon lost to Phil Burkhart in a close match. In 2003, he met John Force in the finals. Pedregon won the Mile-High event back in 1993.
"Drivers and crew chiefs, we all have stories about racing there," added Pedregon. "We won the race in 1993 and remember what we did back then. We definitely have a lot of information going into the race. I think we know what does not work."
"For a lot of years, I dreaded going to Bandimere Speedway," Pedregon commented. "In 2003, we went into the race with a little different game plan from what we had ever done, and it worked. We arrived to the final, runner up to John Force, and had a great event with a very close race posting a 5.050-second elapsed time at 302.55 mph to Force's 5.044 seconds at 298.45 mph. A year later, against Burkhart, we were in good shape at about 300 feet, but suddenly my car smoked the tires. It was also a close race with my 5.715 seconds pass to Brukhart's 5.338 seconds run.
"The set up in the car from those runs will give us some direction on how to set the car up for this year. There are some things you need to do there that go against the normal way of thinking because you are at higher altitude, in the thinner air and the engine is down on power. Racing in Bandimere is quite a bit different from anything we have done before. But it has worked before and it should work for us again."
Following a number one qualifier in Englishtown N.J. and a quarterfinal finish in Madison, Ill., Pedregon heads to Denver sixth in NHRA Nitro Funny Car points with 664.