Gainesville: Cruz Pedregon preview

Pedregon Ready To Lead Team To Winner Circle Gainesville, Fla., March 15, 2004 -- Former Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts team will have some extra team members in the pits this weekend as they head to Gainesville...

Pedregon Ready To Lead Team To Winner Circle

Gainesville, Fla., March 15, 2004 -- Former Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts team will have some extra team members in the pits this weekend as they head to Gainesville for the NHRA Gatornationals on March 18-21.

Advance Auto Parts will be enjoying their first hospitality event of the season along side Pedregon and his team.

"It's always a good time when team members from Advance Auto Parts join us for a race, said Pedregon. "They really like drag racing and have a lot of fun with us throughout the weekend."

Pedregon has spent the last few days in Orlando at Disney World where Advance Auto Parts held their Leadership Conference for approximately 3,500 team members from across the U.S. He signed many autographs, took part in leadership meetings, and even had a little fun at Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios.

"I learned so much about Advance Auto Parts these past few days," said Pedregon. "They really inspired me with their speeches and I'm going to take everything I gained from this conference back to my team. The people are the ones that make it happen. I was reminded once again you are only as good as the people you have working for you. Like Advance, I feel we have followed that example with the members we have on our team. They are so eager to keep moving forward with their success, it's a lot like running a Funny Car operation. You can't give up and walk away if you have a bad day, week or even a bad year. You keep plugging away trying to make your team better and successful.

"We're continuing to get better with the car consistency and we look to continue that trend here at the Gatornationals. Wes (Cerny) and I visited winner circle here in 1998 and we look to do that again this year."

There will be two rounds of qualifying on Friday, March 19, at 12:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. with two more scheduled for Saturday, March 20, at 12:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations will be on Sunday, March 21, beginning at 11 a.m.

Qualifying coverage of the NHRA Gatornationals can be seen on March 21st from 2:30 a.m. -- 4:30 a.m. on ESPN2. Final eliminations can be seen on March 22nd from 11:30 p.m. -- 1:30 a.m. on ESPN2.

-cpr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon