Gainesville: Cruz Pedregon preview

(Indianapolis, Ind.): After strong appearances at the first two races of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season in Pomona and Phoenix, reaching the quarterfinals in the latter race, Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car...

(Indianapolis, Ind.): After strong appearances at the first two races of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season in Pomona and Phoenix, reaching the quarterfinals in the latter race, Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car Team are anxious to attack the prestigious NHRA ACDelco Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Fla. the weekend of March 16-19, 2006.

The Santa Rosa Valley, Calif. resident has a history of winning at the huge Gatornationals event, the first of the year for the eastern side of the country, taking the #1 qualifying spot and winning in 1998, and also being the top qualifier in 1997.

"With the way my Advance Auto Parts car is working, I am really looking forward to heading to Gainesville this weekend," stated Pedregon. "Although we look forward to every race, Gainesville is really special because it's such a big race. It's the first stop on the eastern side of the country."

Pedregon fully understands the significance of this third stop on the NHRA schedule, and knows doing well in Gainesville could be the catalyst for a successful 2006 campaign: "The Gatornationals is such a traditional race, a prestigious race. And I've won there in a dragster, as well as the Funny Car a few years ago, so we obviously feel like we can do well there again. I can't wait to go in there with the car I have now, which is the best car I've brought there in years. It will be interesting to see how the different teams adjust to the new tire situation. We feel like we had a really solid test in Gainesville and we'll be able to go in there as prepared as we could possibly be. I'm looking forward to a great weekend."

After conquering the fast quarter-mile at Gainesville Raceway this weekend, the NHRA warriors head to Houston for the NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park from March 31 -- April 2. Check your local ESPN2 listings for broadcast times and event coverage.

-cpr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon