CRUZ PEDREGON "LETS IT RIP" AT ROUTE 66 RACEWAY Joliet, Ill. (June 11, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon, the Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car driver, and his team rolled into Joliet for the 10th Annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals looking to ...
CRUZ PEDREGON "LETS IT RIP" AT ROUTE 66 RACEWAY
Joliet, Ill. (June 11, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon, the Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car driver, and his team rolled into Joliet for the 10th Annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals looking to advance all the way to the final round on Sunday.
While a trip to the Winner's Circle will have to wait, Cruz Pedregon did start to show the kind of consistency needed to keep pace with the pack and make it to the upcoming final eight, Countdown to the Championship showdown. And it started with his best qualifying performance of the season.
Pedregon took advantage of the cool, Friday night evening, second round qualifying session. "The conditions were perfect to run a big number," said The Cruzer.b^0x001cWe tuned it up and let it rip; our 4.77 @ 305.01 mph was good enough for the 7th qualifying spot."Pedregon, like the rest of the field, was unable to improve his qualifying position in the hot, sun drenched Saturday qualifying sessions.
On Sunday, in front of a packed Route 66 Raceway crowd, Pedregon and his team were looking to go rounds.The Cruzer was matched up against Gary Densham.With a slight starting line advantage, it was all Pedregon as Densham was up in smoke at the hit.b^0x001cOur first round win was solid," said Pedregon. "Our time, a 4.901 @ 301.94 mph, was right in there with the rest of the pack."
In the next round, it was Pedregon against Championship point leader, Ron Capps.It was a reunion of sorts, except this time both drivers were racing on familiar ground- asphalt and concrete. Pedregon and Capps represented the NHRA at Tony Stewart's, "Prelude to the Dream" benefit race at the high banks of Eldora Speedway on June 6, 2007. Competing against the NASCAR stars, they spent most of the race in an uncharacteristic position- sideways and turning left. "It was so cool to race with Ron Capps at Eldora," said Pedregon. "We both held our own and represented the NHRA proudly."
Pedregon and Capps were all business as they lined up for the second round of eliminations.Pedregon was characteristically lightning-quick off the line. "We had a lead on Capps until just about half track when we dropped a cylinder," stated Pedregon. "Then, it burnt an exhaust valve, which is like dropping another cylinder.I saw his fender about 0x00be track and I was hoping we could hang on for the win, but it just wasn't cooperating at the top end."
With his top-eight finish at Chicago, Pedregon gained 53 valuable points and remains 10th position, just 23 points outside the top-eight.