Madison: Tony Pedregon final summary

St. Louis, MO., June 27, 2004 - Defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon suffered a first round loss today at the NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis, MO. Pedregon faced Gary Scelzi in the first round. The...

St. Louis, MO., June 27, 2004 - Defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon suffered a first round loss today at the NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis, MO.

Pedregon faced Gary Scelzi in the first round. The car made a great move off the line but smoked the tires at about the 330 marker giving Scelzi the win running an elapsed time of 4.840 seconds at 324.67 mph to Pedregon's elapsed time of 5.040 seconds at 259.71 mph.

"The car did what we wanted it to do," explained Dickie Venables, crew chief. "It launched good and it was looking like it was on its way to putting up a good number. Unfortunately it smoked the tires, and Scelzi got around us. We're going to go back to the shop and start preparing for Denver."

"We've learned a lot this weekend and I think it will benefit us the rest of the year," said Pedregon. "We've got a couple of weeks off to regroup and get ready for the western swing."

The Quaker State racing team will head back to their shop in Brownsburg, Indiana to begin preparing for their next event on July 15-18th for the NHRA Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, Colorado.

Pedregon is among the nominees for ESPN's ESPY Award for best driver. This award is voted on by the fans and will be announced during the ESPY awards on July 14, 2004 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. You can watch it on the ESPN telecast July 18th, at 9:00 p.m. Other nominees include; Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR), Matt Kenseth (NASCAR), Scott Dixon (IRL) and Michael Shumacher (Formula One).

**Top Fuel dragster driver Darrell Russell suffered a fatal accident during the second round of final eliminations today. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family from the entire Quaker State racing team.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Matt Kenseth , Tony Pedregon , Gary Scelzi , Scott Dixon