Las Vegas II: Cruz Pedregon final summary

Cruz Pedregon Moves on to Second Round Advance Auto Parts Completes Busy Weekend With Rock N' Roll Legend Santana LAS VEGAS (Oct. 31, 2005) -- Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car moved into the second round of eliminations...

Cruz Pedregon Moves on to Second Round
Advance Auto Parts Completes Busy Weekend With Rock N' Roll Legend Santana

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 31, 2005) -- Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car moved into the second round of eliminations during today's AC Delco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Pedregon lost an extremely close second round match up with Gary Scelzi, who clicked off a 4.770-second elapsed time at 325.45 mph. Pedregon clocked a 4.824-second lap at 321.19 mph.

"We had some engine damage from our first run," Pedregon said. "We ran pretty well in that second round, but we just never really got on track this weekend. We think we had some ignition problems that caused us to not really have the set up we wanted. Subsequently, we ran a 4.82-second elapsed time out there. They ran a 4.77 and it was enough.

"The team recovered well though," Pedregon continued. "They really fought through a rocky weekend and we came out stronger. We were still consistent, but not consistently quick. For the team to recover and pull out a first round win like we did and hang right there with Gary Scelzi's hot car -- and if he had bobbled we were right there -- it was a pretty good weekend. I'm so happy for this team and the way they reacted means a lot to me and our great sponsors like Advance Auto Parts and Quaker State."

Pedregon advanced to the second round when he narrowly defeated Whit Bazemore to open eliminations. Despite running a slower elapsed time at 4.839 seconds at 320.05 mph, his .039 to .076 of a second reaction time advantage at the start did the trick. Bazemore logged a 4.820-second elapsed time at 325.36 mph.

"That was a huge win," Pedregon said. "That was like a semifinal or a final round -- when you look at the quality of the opponent -- especially when you go up against the number four qualifier. This team came out and really did their jobs this weekend."

Advance Auto Parts Notebook:

BUSY DAY: Rock n' Roll legend Carlos Santana was in attendance at today's AC Delco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He was there to support Tony and Cruz Pedregon, as they promoted Santana's Milagro Foundation and showcased commemorative paint schemes.

"Tony (Pedregon) and I have had a lot of good things happen in our racing careers, but meeting Carlos Santana ranks right up there at the top," Pedregon said. "To actually be affiliated with Carlos through his Milagro Foundation is outstanding. And to have him out here at the track today was incredible.

"We got along really well," Pedregon continued. "We connected on many different levels and found out we have a lot of things in common. I just can't believe how down to earth he was. Everything you hear about Carlos Santana is true -- he's just a great guy. We were trying to speak in Spanish and English back and forth and he was cracking both Tony and I up.

Pedregon talked about some of the similarities between music and racing.

"The focus involved in what he has to do up on stage, in front of thousands of people, reminded me of how similar it is to drag racing, especially at the starting line," Pedregon continued. "Everything leading up to the first moments of racing has to be spot on. It's been a great promotion and we hope to do some other things with Santana in the future."

-PedregonRacing.com-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Cruz Pedregon