Pedregon wins 22nd annual Budweiser Shootout Highlights: Tony Pedregon turned the tables in the 22nd annual Budweiser Shootout bonus race, upsetting teammate John Force in an all-Castrol final round to claim the $100,000 top prize and end his...
Pedregon wins 22nd annual Budweiser Shootout
Tony Pedregon turned the tables in the 22nd annual Budweiser Shootout bonus race, upsetting teammate John Force in an all-Castrol final round to claim the $100,000 top prize and end his frustration at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Runner-up in the Funny Car bonus race in 1997 and 1999, Pedregon used a rather pedestrian final round time of 4.947 seconds to get his first victory of any kind at IRP. Force had the choice of lanes for the final in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang, but was victimized by a loss of traction in his bid for a record sixth Budweiser victory.
Ironically, Pedregon lost in his two previous final round appearances even though he had the better car. Both times, mechanical problems deprived him of a breakthrough victory.
Pedregon's win, coupled with Force's fifth runner-up finish in the event, boosted the team's earnings in the Budweiser bonus program over 22 years to more than $1.1 million.
The Team Castrol Fords went down in 1-2-3 order in Sunday's 49th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, taking a little lustre off Tony Pedregon's $100,000 victory in the companion Budweiser Funny Car Shootout at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Pedregon, the POWERade points leader for all but two races this season, was upset in round one by Dean Skuza but managed to maintain his three-round advantage over the rest of the field when No. 2 Whit Bazemore also was ousted in the initial round.
John Force, the defending champion and No. 1 qualifier, was ousted in round two when his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford lost traction against Johnny Gray's Pontiac and veteran Gary Densham followed a round later when he too lost to Gray.
Despite the result, Pedregon maintained his hold on first place, Force strengthened his third place position and Densham moved past Del Worsham into fourth place overall with just six races remaining in the 2003 NHRA POWERade Series.