Madison: Tony Pedregon Saturday summary

St. Louis, MO, June 26, 2004- Qualifying was completed today for the NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis, MO. Defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon qualified the Quaker State Nitro Funny Car 16th with an elapsed...

St. Louis, MO, June 26, 2004- Qualifying was completed today for the NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis, MO. Defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon qualified the Quaker State Nitro Funny Car 16th with an elapsed time of 4.999 seconds at 302.62 mph.

"We're having some issues with this new tire and we're dealing with tire shake early," explained Dickie Venables, crew chief. "The sidewalls on the tires are stiffer and we went one way with the set up and feel like we need to go the other way now. We'll get it dialed in for tomorrow and be ready to go."

"I'm confident that we'll get this tire situation handled," added Pedregon. "It's something I'm sure Dickie will figure out and we'll be set to go. I'm looking forward to racing tomorrow and going some rounds."

     Pedregon will face Gary Scelzi in the first round of eliminations,
slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow.   He won this event in 2001 and
was runner up in '99.  Last year he advanced to the semifinals.

ESPN2 will televise three hours of final eliminations coverage on Sunday, June 27th, from 9:00 p.m.- midnight (ET) on Sunday, June 27.

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).

The poles close for ESPY balloting July 9, 2004. So make your vote for Tony Pedregon count today and log on to ESPN's voting site at:

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