TONY PEDREGON'S Q HORSEPOWER TEAM WINS IN LAS VEGAS; EYES SECOND NHRA CHAMPIONSHIP IN COUNTDOWN SHOWDOWN AT THE FINALS INDIANAPOLIS (October 29, 2007) -- Tony Pedregon moved one race closer to clinching his second NHRA Funny Car World ...
TONY PEDREGON'S Q HORSEPOWER TEAM WINS IN LAS VEGAS; EYES SECOND NHRA CHAMPIONSHIP IN COUNTDOWN SHOWDOWN AT THE FINALS
INDIANAPOLIS (October 29, 2007) -- Tony Pedregon moved one race closer to clinching his second NHRA Funny Car World Championship title by winning the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, Nev.He beat Ashley Force in a thrilling, final round showdown to collect his 36th career national event win.
Pedregon was the only Countdown to the Championship driver to advance beyond the first elimination round.With his event win, he increases his lead in the Championship to 91 points of his closest competitor, Gary Scelzi.
"I would have been happy with a one or two round lead, so to leave here with a 91 point lead is a luxury," said Pedregon, the 2003 NHRA Nitro Funny Car World Champion. "This was a huge win for the Q Horsepower team."
In the final round on Sunday, Pedregon's 4.871 at 318.47 mph outpaced the quicker-but-losing Ashley Force's 4.829 at 298.93 mph.He got a jump on Force and held on for the holeshot win.
"Our work is not done. We know we need to go to Pomona and get this car in the show and then go rounds on Sunday.I'm not going to change a thing for this race- we need to continue to do what we've been doing because that's what got us to this point."
Pedregon pedaled the Q Horsepower Funny Car to an important first elimination round win over Jerry Toliver, and then got by Jeff Arend who jumped the start in the second round of Funny Car action.
"I have fond memories of this venue; it's where I won my Championship in '03," said Pedregon. "I don't know what happened with the track conditions, but they sure changed. We smoked the tires in the first two rounds, but Dickie [crew chief, Venables] got the car hooked up in the semifinals."
Pedregon faced his brother and teammate, Cruz Pedregon in the semifinals.Tony Pedregon got the jump and didn't look back taking the round win with a 4.912 at 316.08 mph pass.
"We found ourselves backing up on the power all day on race day," said Venables of the changing track conditions.b^0x001cWe finally got it down the track in the semifinal round."
Pedregon was in the last pair to make qualifying runs during Friday's second qualifying session.With the track temperature at a cool, 94 degrees, Pedregon launched the Q Horsepower car down the track and into the No. 2 qualifying spot with a 4.770 at 314.09 mph.
"We came in here knowing every qualifying position would be important," said Pedregon. "We had two good runs on Friday.On Saturday, we were just too aggressive going after the top spot.We felt we needed to qualify on the pole to pick up that extra Championship point."