Las Vegas II: Cruz Pedregon final report

PEDREGON ADVANCES TO THE SEMIFINAL ROUND IN LAS VEGAS; MOVES INTO TOP TEN IN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS INDIANAPOLIS (October 29, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon's Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nitro Funny Car Team, with a semifinal round appearance, finished in the...

PEDREGON ADVANCES TO THE SEMIFINAL ROUND IN LAS VEGAS; MOVES INTO TOP TEN IN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

INDIANAPOLIS (October 29, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon's Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nitro Funny Car Team, with a semifinal round appearance, finished in the top eight of the 16-car field at the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 25-28, 2007.His strong finish moves him into the No. 10 position in the NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship.

Pedregon's Funny Car is consistent and he proved it again this weekend in Las Vegas.

"It was a solid day for the Advance Auto Parts team," said Pedregon. "In the last three races, we've gone to final round, quarterfinal round and semifinals.I've told my team that if we keep going to the semifinal round, we'll win our share of races and that's what we'll keep doing."

Under sunny, Las Vegas skies, Pedregon notched an important first elimination round win over Countdown contender, Gary Scelzi with a 4.994 at 303.23 mph pass.Scelzi struck the tires early in the run.

"Our main goal today was to make it down the track," said Pedregon's crew chief, Rahn Tobler, of the round win. "Fortunately, we made it down the track and he (Scelzi) didn't so that was a big win for us and important for Tony's team. We dropped a cylinder which allowed our car to make it down when many of the other cars didn't make a full run."

Pedregon faced Phil Burkart from team Force in the second round. Both cars were up in smoke at the 300 ft. mark, but it was Pedregon besting Burkart in the tire-smoking, pedal-fest.

"Cruz did a good job hustling the car down the track to get us the win," said Tobler. "We struggled in the heat today, but with each pass I learn more about what this car needs on hot surfaces."

Pedregon faced Tony Pedregon in the semifinal round.Cruz Pedregon was in search of his first National Event win and Tony Pedregon was looking for a win that would distance him from those chasing him in the Countdown to 1.Both cars launched together, but when Cruz struck the tires, Tony went by for the win.

"The track conditions were tricky in the semis against Tony," said Pedregon."We couldn't quite make it through that tough area and Tony's did. It was an important round win for their team.We did all we could and came up a little bit short."

In addition to the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Pedregon's Advance Auto Parts/Toyota powered midgets were in action at the 1/2 mile dirt track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"It was great weekend for Advance Auto Parts and Pedregon Racing midgets," said Pedregon. "We had one-two finish at the 1/2 mile dirt track next door and a semifinal finish at The Strip.My teammate and brother, Tony won the race and is in line to win the Championship. The great Sammy Swindell took first in the midget race while young gun, Darren Hagen came in second. My NHRA team was there to cheer us on and our dirt track success on Saturday provided a little extra motivation for us on Sunday."

With Cruz Pedregon coming on strong late in the year and Tony Pedregon in the hunt for the NHRA POWERade Championship, the Advance Auto Parts hospitality area was full of supportive sponsors and their customers.

"It was great to have the Executive V.P. of Advance Auto Parts and his wife, here with us this weekend," said Pedregon."As an owner, I really like it when the top executives of our sponsors, like Advance Auto Parts, Herzog, Pug, and Palms come out to the races. Our Advance Auto Parts team members across the country have been watching us on ESPN2 -- watching us improve. They tell me we are right around the corner from a win."

-credit: pr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Gary Scelzi , Cruz Pedregon , Sammy Swindell , Phil Burkart , Darren Hagen