Tony Pedregon Readies for 'Big' Weekend U.S. Nationals; Skoal Shootout On Tap For Quaker State Racing INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 2, 2004) -- Quaker State Racing Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car driver Tony Pedregon will be trying to repeat as Skoal Shootout...
Tony Pedregon Readies for 'Big' Weekend
U.S. Nationals; Skoal Shootout On Tap For Quaker State Racing
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 2, 2004) -- Quaker State Racing Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car driver Tony Pedregon will be trying to repeat as Skoal Shootout champion on Sunday at Indianapolis Raceway Park. It's only one of the goals Pedregon is seeking as the 50th Anniversary U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park gets underway this weekend.
Pedregon will be making his eighth-straight appearance in the Shootout, which he dominated last year by screaming past former car owner John Force in the final. As for the money, the winner receives a cool $100,000 to win.
"This event means a lot to this race team -- especially on the financial side," said Pedregon, who recorded a 4.947-second elapsed time in that Shootour final. "It's a very prestigious race. Budweiser had hosted this race for a number of years, now Skoal has taken it over. This race hasn't lost its luster a bit. If anything because its Skoal's inaugural event, it may mean a little more.
"It says a lot about our team to maintain this position," continued Pedregon, who joined borther Cruz and sponsor Quaker State in forming his own team at the beginning of this season. "We had some low qualifiers and this event is all about performance. This event sure goes a long way for a race team. We're one of the top eight Funny Cars on the circuit, along with a couple Schumacher cars and three Force cars. We have some big dogs in this field. I think we earned our spot and I think we're as capable as any of these other teams to win this thing."
Pedregon and his Quaker State Racing team's recent performances have given them confidence. He feels the team is putting together the right of the puzzle.
"We're going into the biggest race weekend of the year," Pedregon said. "And we're headed in the right direction. We had a good test at Indy and learned some things during our weekend match race in Cordova (Ill.). We're by no means content, but we know we have all the pieces in place to go out and win a race. And this would be the biggest one to win."
Quaker State Racing Notebook:
QUALITY QUALIFIER: Tony Pedregon and the Quaker State Racing Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car race team have found their qualifying stride lately. In the last three races, Pedregon has recorded a second (Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.); a sixth (Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway) and a fifth at the most recent event in Memphis, Tenn.
So far this season, Pedregon has qualified in the top half of the field in 11 of the 17 races run.