Tony Pedregon Advances to Quarterfinals at Route 66 Raceway Joliet, Ill., May 23, 2004 -- Coming into today's final eliminations at Route 66 Raceway, defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon had the fastest and quickest Funny Car in NHRA...
Tony Pedregon Advances to Quarterfinals at Route 66 Raceway
Joliet, Ill., May 23, 2004 -- Coming into today's final eliminations at Route 66 Raceway, defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon had the fastest and quickest Funny Car in NHRA history. He ran an elapsed time of 4.716 seconds at 331.25 mph with his Quaker State / "Shrek" 2 Chevrolet Monte Carlo during the Friday night qualifying session to claim his third top-qualifier award of the season.
During the first round of eliminations today Pedregon defeated Jerry Toliver with an elapsed time of 4.993 seconds at 279.15 mph. Toliver smoked the tires early slowing to an elapsed time of 9.596 seconds at 78.20 mph.
In the second round Pedregon faced John Force. Pedregon made a great move off the starting line but then made a hard move to the right crossing the centerline which is an automatic disqualification.
"We made some adjustments to the wing and we think it might have made the front end a little too light," explained Pedregon. "It was on a 4.71 run but then made a hard move to the right and it was all over. It's something I've never encountered before as a driver. The car just wasn't responding to what I was doing."
"We feel like we let one slip away," added Pedregon. "We've got one of the best performing cars out here. We just need to be able to put a string of runs together on race day. We're going to keep pressing and go to Topeka next week and see what we can do there. I've had a lot of success there so I'm looking forward to heading back."
During the semifinals today fellow Funny Car driver Whit Bazemore topped Pedregon's fastest and quickest run with an elapsed time of 4.713 seconds at 333.25 mph.
"We're still very pleased with our car and how it's performing," said Pedregon. "The conditions were great today and we unfortunately just weren't able to take advantage of them. This new Monte Carlo body is great and has brought us up to the same level with the other competitors. Sure we would've liked to have held on to the 'fastest and quickest' title but I'm just as happy that we were able to accomplish what we did this weekend. I've got a great team and with Dickie (Venables) and Kurt (Elliott) making the calls, it's just a matter of time before we can put a whole weekend together and get in the winner circle."
Pedregon moved up to 9th in the NHRA POWERade Funny Car points standings, just four rounds out of the top-five.
The next stop for the Quaker State / "Shrek" 2 racing team will be the NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka in Topeka, Kansas on May 27-30.