INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 4, 2006) -- Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, is headed to Las Vegas this weekend for the NHRA Nationals from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the fifth of 23 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing...
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 4, 2006) -- Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, is headed to Las Vegas this weekend for the NHRA Nationals from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the fifth of 23 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events in 2006.
"Las Vegas is kind of like a home track for me because it's near California, where I live," said Pedregon of the upcoming weekend's race. "Although we haven't won there yet, I always look forward to going back to Las Vegas. It's a newer race on the circuit (NHRA first competed at The Strip in 2000, the year the track was completed), and it's a first class facility. I always try to encourage fans and our sponsors to go there -- I like showing it off."
Entering the weekend in the top 10 in points, Pedregon has had solid races leading up to Las Vegas: "We are really looking forward to breaking through with a win early this season, and I would like nothing better than for that to happen in Vegas. Our team has set pretty high standards across board -- to run 4.7s every week, and Vegas' fast track will certainly support those times. Goodyear has done a great job with this new tire, and I think we are right there with knowing what the tire can take."
During his rookie season in Funny Car in 1992, Pedregon won the NHRA world championship. With this accomplishment he became the only racer other than John Force to win the championship in the 90s. In 1997, Pedregon was also the first motorsports athlete to receive the "Premio De Oro," the only national award for Hispanic athletes. Born into a racing family, Pedregon's father, Frank, raced Top Fuel dragsters in the 1960s. His brothers Tony and Frank also compete in the Nitro Funny Car ranks. In 1980, Cruz won his first official drag race at the age of 15, driving a 1953 Kenworth truck.