Tony Pedregon Claims Top Qualifier Award At Route 66 Raceway Joliet, Ill., May 22, 2004 - Defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon earned his second consecutive number one qualifying award for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals. Driving the...
Tony Pedregon Claims Top Qualifier Award At Route 66 Raceway
Joliet, Ill., May 22, 2004 - Defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon earned his second consecutive number one qualifying award for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals. Driving the Quaker State Chevrolet Monte Carlo with the "Shrek" 2 promotional paint scheme, Pedregon ran the fastest and quickest Funny Car run in NHRA history with an elapsed time of 4.716 seconds at 331.28 mph posted during the Friday night session.
During today's first qualifying session Pedregon posted an elapsed time of 4.793 seconds at 296.70 mph. Due to persistent rain showers the final qualifying session was canceled.
"We dropped a cylinder down track and I shut it off early," said Pedregon. "We would've liked to have had tonight's session but Mother Nature took over. We're still very pleased with how the car is performing and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's race.
"We have a great team established here and I'm thrilled to have earned the pole," added Pedregon. "Last nights run was very exciting, Dickie (Venables) and Kurt (Elliott) have been doing an outstanding job. We're going to go after it tomorrow and put four consistent runs together and see if we can't get our first win of the season."
This is Pedregon's third top-qualifier award of the season (Las Vegas, Atlanta) and 28th of his career. With his 4.716 second elapsed time, he has set the low E.T. 26 times in his career and with his speed of 331.28 mph he has set the top-speed 25 times in his career.
Pedregon needs to run an elapsed time of 4.763 seconds to claim the national E.T. record and will also need to run 327.96 mph to earn the national record speed.
The Quaker State/"Shrek" 2 racing team will face Jerry Toliver in round one of eliminations, slated to begin tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. Pedregon has a 9-6 advantage over Toliver in race day competition.
Television coverage of final eliminations can be seen on May 23rd on ESPN2 from 7:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m. (ET)