Tony Pedregon -- Final Results Gainesville, Fla., March 21, 2004 -- Defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon lost a close first round battle with his Quaker State Chevrolet Camaro at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., ...
Tony Pedregon -- Final Results
Gainesville, Fla., March 21, 2004 -- Defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon lost a close first round battle with his Quaker State Chevrolet Camaro at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., the third race on the 23-event NHRA POWERade schedule.
The Quaker State Racing team came into today's eliminator qualified 10th with an elapsed time of 5.025 seconds at 302.41 mph and drew Tommy Johnson Jr. as their first round competitor. Pedregon's reaction time of .087 beat Johnson's time of .090 and it looked as if Pedregon had the race won until a lost cylinder at the 1000 foot marker let Johnson slide by and cross the finish line first for the win. Pedregon ran an elapsed time of 5.020 seconds at 290.60 mph to Johnson's slightly quicker elapsed time of 5.013 seconds at 298.70 mph.
"The car was on a good run, it just lost a cylinder in the last second, said Pedregon. "When it did that I knew that Johnson was close because I could here the echo and I was hoping we could pull out the win but he got to the finish line just a bit quicker than us. If I had been up against anyone else in that session I would've won, but that's drag racing.
"Next up is Las Vegas which is one of my favorite tracks to go too," added Pedregon. "I'm probably a little partial since I won both races last season and clinched the championship there but it is a great facility and I'm looking forward to going back."
Pedregon is currently seventh in the NHRA POWERade standings with 157 points. Jerry Toliver is sixth with 162 and Gary Scelzi is fifth with 164. Del Worsham leads the class with 298 points.
"It's a tight points race and we're very early in the year," said Pedregon. "We're happy with where we're at right now, with just a couple of round wins we're in the top five so we're encouraged and we will keep working hard."
The next event for the Quaker State racing team is on April 1-4 at The Strip in Las Vegas for the NHRA Nationals.