Tony & Cruz Qualify For Prestigious Skoal Showdown Top Eight NHRA Nitro Funny Car Teams Battle For $100,000 Bonus CLERMONT, Ind. (Aug. 26, 2005) -- Tony and Cruz Pedregon are two of the eight drivers qualified for this year's 24th annual ...
Tony & Cruz Qualify For Prestigious Skoal Showdown
Top Eight NHRA Nitro Funny Car Teams Battle For $100,000 Bonus
CLERMONT, Ind. (Aug. 26, 2005) -- Tony and Cruz Pedregon are two of the eight drivers qualified for this year's 24th annual Skoal Showdown, which will be contested in conjunction with next weekend's running of the U.S. Nationals at historic Indianapolis Raceway Park.
The field was set through NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Nitro Funny Car qualifying, as each driver accumulated points during a 23-race span. Points started to count during last year's 50th anniversary U.S. Nationals and ended with last weekend's Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park. The better a driver qualified, the more points were earned.
"It's a real honor for the Advance Auto Parts team to be a part of this event," said Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 POWERade Funny Car World Champ. "One of the reasons I really like this field is because each driver earns a position. You have to consistently qualify well to gain a spot in this event.
"And to have Tony competing in this as well, it just show's the strength of our two-car race team," Pedregon continued.
Tony Pedregon, who drives the Q Racing Nitro Funny Car, won this event back in 2003, toppling then teammate John Force in the final. He talked about his ninth-straight appearance in this elite race.
"This is an important event for our race team, and holds a lot of financial incentive," said Tony, who also made it to the finals in 1997 and 1999. "This is the second-straight appearance for the Q Racing team as well, and it's a real testament to how well we have performed. We have a good car with a lot of power and we have demonstrated that with these performances.
"It's also the first time both Cruz and I will compete in this event together, as a multi-car team," Tony continued. "It just validates how strong our two cars and teams are."
Even though Cruz has yet to win one, he has come very close on four separate occasions, recording runner-up finishes in 1993, 1995, 1996 and 1998.
"Winning the Skoal Showdown has been one of my career goals," Cruz noted. "I would love to share that big check among the members of the Advance Auto Part team."
The Skoal Showdown winner earns a $100,000 bonus from U.S. Tobacco. Any driver who wins both the Showdown and the U.S. Nationals next weekend will earn a $50,000 'Double-Up' bonus from NHRA. A race day purse of $147,000 is available for the eight drivers competing in the Showdown.