Cruz Pedregon Makes Second Semifinal of '05 Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Drops a Cylinder Las Vegas, Nev. (April 17, 2005) -- Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car almost won his semifinal round match up with...
Cruz Pedregon Makes Second Semifinal of '05
Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Drops a Cylinder
Las Vegas, Nev. (April 17, 2005) -- Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car almost won his semifinal round match up with Whit Bazemore during today's NHRA Nationals at The Strip At Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The Advance Auto Parts car raced with the handicap of having dropped a cylinder early in the pass. Pedregon, who clicked off a 5.113-second elapsed time at 303.78 mph, fell a bit shy of Bazemore's 5.089-second lap at 302.35 mph. Bazemore went all the way to victory after beating Tony Bartone in the final round.
"We lost a cylinder at the beginning of the pass and still almost beat Bazemore's car," said Pedregon. "When you lose a cylinder you lose at least 700 or 800 horsepower. My teammates made the best calls they thought were necessary at the time, but you run so much fuel through these engines that some times you step over the line."
This race was the 36th time the Advance Auto Car driver had faced Bazemore during eliminations. Pedregon has won 19 of those races, but it was not meant to happen today.
"Overall, I am pleased with the Advance Auto Parts team's effort and Wes Cerny's (crew chief) leadership," commented Pedregon. "Every time you make it to semifinals, beat a lot of good cars or come very close to beating one, you know you are doing your job. I have no doubts that we can keep on with this pace and move up in the points. And even though it would be nice to be in the winner's circle, it's still very gratifying to keep going rounds."
Pedregon will race next April 29-May 1 at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn., close to Advance Auto Parts' home turf. Pedregon jumped up to the fourth position in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points with 302.
"We are going to take the momentum we have built up to Bristol. I am very pleased with the team and the car we have, I am ready to race in Bristol," concluded Pedregon.