LAS VEGAS, Nev. (October 18, 2006) -- After a strong final-round appearance in Richmond last weekend, Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, and his Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car Team are headed back to the Las Vegas...
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (October 18, 2006) -- After a strong final-round appearance in Richmond last weekend, Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, and his Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car Team are headed back to the Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas (NV) Motor Speedway next weekend the 22nd of 23 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events in 2006. Pedregon is the defending champion of this event, winning the spring NHRA Nationals in April. Pedregon moved to 9th place in the 2006 NHRA point standings after Richmond and is looking forward to another good performance in NHRA's fall visit to Las Vegas and the remaining races in the season order to move up in the standings, creating a solid foundation for a championship run in 2007.
"The Advance Auto Parts Team is really looking forward to going back to Vegas, for sure," Pedregon said. "It's where we won our last race, and you always like going back to where you have had success in the past. We've got every bit as good of a car as we had in April, if not better. Throughout the summer, because of various things we have learned, we've actually developed a better, faster car than we had in the spring - we are in much better shape now than we were earlier in the season. We're confident we can go to Las Vegas, do well, and continue our strong season-ending effort."
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.
How to get to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: From the Las Vegas Strip and downtown, follow Interstate 15 north to Speedway Boulevard (Exit 54). Follow signs to the main parking area.
After conquering The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the NHRA warriors head on November 10-12 to the NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.).