Tony Pedregon Drives to Showdown Semis Quaker State Racing To Start Third in Tomorrow's 'Big Go' INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 5, 2004) -- Tony Pedregon is downright giddy following today's Skoal Showdown and final two rounds of qualifying for this ...
Tony Pedregon Drives to Showdown Semis
Quaker State Racing To Start Third in Tomorrow's 'Big Go'
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 5, 2004) -- Tony Pedregon is downright giddy following today's Skoal Showdown and final two rounds of qualifying for this weekend's 50th Anniversary U.S. Nationals at historic Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Despite running into a strong John Force in the semifinals of today's Skoal Showdown, Pedregon wrapped up the third-qualifying slot with a 4.822-second elapsed time at 315.64 mph, logged during last night's final night session. Pedregon advanced to the semifinals of the Showdown by defeating a tire-smoking Gary Scelzi in the opening round -- clicking off a 5.152-second elapsed time at 284.21 mph.
Pedregon also recorded two solid qualifying efforts today, setting up a first round match with Jeff Arend. Even though he didn't improve on last night's mark, the reigning POWERade Funny Car World Champion is quite satisfied thus far.
"We've learned a lot this weekend," Pedregon said. "When you race John in the semis, it's always tough. It's tough to qualify when you're trying to win a big money event.
"We've reevaluated our strategy and ran a 4.87 in the heat," Pedregon added. "We're doing things that we think will be better short term and long term. I think that final run really set the stage for tomorrow.
Pedregon detailed his fifth and final pass of the weekend.
A cloud came over on that last run, but there was still some temperature in the track." Pedregon said. "The challenge for this team has been adapting to the hotter climate, and that's something that's been our key focus in the last couple of races. I believe we've made some real progress here, especially in the last two days. We've probably made more progress here this weekend than we've made in the last six months. That's very encouraging for us and it's happening at the right time -- at the biggest race.
Pedregon cracked off a top-eight qualifier for the fourth-straight race.
Quaker State Racing Notebook:
NO PRESSURE: The U.S. Nationals is the biggest drag race of the year, and the overflow crowds have provided a little extra energy to the weekend. With all the pomp and circumstance, one might think that it would put a little added pressure on the drivers. Tony Pedregon, who drives the Quaker State Racing Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car, relayed what's at stake.
"We raise the bar a little bit here this weekend," Pedregon said. "I've been eating my Wheaties, so I know I'm ready to go. It's been a good opportunity for us to finish strongly to end the season. Quaker State doesn't fail us and we want to deliver one for this weekend."