Joliet II: Cruz Pedregon Saturday summary

Cruz Pedregon Records Career-Best Elapsed Time Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nabs Fourth Slot JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 2, 2004) -- Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon lowered his career elapsed time mark during today's...

Cruz Pedregon Records Career-Best Elapsed Time
Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nabs Fourth Slot

JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 2, 2004) -- Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon lowered his career elapsed time mark during today's final qualifying sessions for tomorrow's NHRA National Event at Route 66 Raceway.

Pedregon drove to the fourth slot, lapping the suburban Chicago quarter mile in 4.766 seconds at 325.30 mph, bettering the 4.769-second elapsed time he ran during the Pontiac Excitement Nationals at National Trail Raceway in Kirkersville, Ohio earlier this year. Of note, the 4.862-second bump spot made this the quickest Funny Car field in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series history.

According to Pedregon, the team's consistency is what's really got him optimistic however, "We had three qualifying runs in a row that were outstanding. We were really smart with how we played things. The car is very predictable. It would have been nice to run low elapsed time, but were running within ourselves right now. That's so important.

"So much credit has to go to this team and (crew chief) Wes (Cerny) for making the right calls," Pedregon continued. "We didn't go out there and get caught up in everything. We didn't want to throw everything at it and then go up in smoke. It was thought out and planned -- running a 4.81, 4.78 and 4.76 in succession. Each run was over 320 mph."

Pedregon will pair off against Johnny Gray in the first round of eliminations.

"We have a good place to start as well," Pedregon said. "We have lane choice and have qualifying in that all important top half of the field. Life is good over here and we're happy for Advance Auto Parts and all of our great sponsors. We have a car that's something to be proud of because of its consistency. We have a great chance to win this race."

ADVANCE AUTO PARTS NOTEBOOK:

TOP SPEED: Cruz Pedregon, driver of the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car, also broke his career best speed mark. Pedregon's 325.30 mph run during today's third and final qualifying session bettered his 324.14 mph pass at Atlanta Dragway earlier this year.

-PedregonRacing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon , Johnny Gray