Memphis: Cruz Pedregon Saturday summary

Cruz Pedregon Makes Strong Final Pass Advance Auto Parts Funny Car Grabs 10th MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 21, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon maneuvered the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car to the tenth-qualifying position for this weekend's NHRA...

Cruz Pedregon Makes Strong Final Pass
Advance Auto Parts Funny Car Grabs 10th

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 21, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon maneuvered the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car to the tenth-qualifying position for this weekend's NHRA National Event at Memphis Motorsports Park.

Pedregon came back strong in the fourth session, clicking off a 4.948-second elapsed time at 296.37 mph, after smoking the tires in the third round. His run sets up a first round match with long-time rival John Force.

"The car was trying to run fast all weekend," Pedregon said. "We stumbled last night, got out of the groove, and spun the tires. This morning we just made the wrong set up call, but tonight was a lot better.

"It was a good run, even though we left something on the table," Pedregon continued. "We felt we needed to be conservative because when you're not in the field you just want to get solidly in the show. It's a good starting point and we're ready to race."

High humidity and erratic temperatures have thrown a curve ball to the teams. Pedregon talked about the conditions of this weekend.

"It's pretty warm out here this weekend," Pedregon said. "But we're hanging in there pretty good. We fixed the weight around in the car because it wanted to drift to the right. It's kind of been doing that the last several races. We changed that around, so the car is leaving nice and straight again.

"It's a challenge because the grooves are so narrow here and there's not a big margin for error," Pedregon added. "This team has done such a great job of adapting. One thing we left with last week was a set up we thought would drive well when the track temperature was above 105 degrees or so. First round should be interesting, conditions wise. We feel like we have a set up that will go right down the race track."

Advance Auto Parts Racing Notebook:

OLD FOES: Former Funny Car World Champion Cruz Pedregon, driver of the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car, will face off against 12-time champ John Force in the first round of competition. Ironically, up until brother Tony Pedregon's championship of last season, Cruz (1992) had been the only driver to win a championship other than John Force since 1989.

"It's a good first round match up," Pedregon commented. "I definitely enjoy racing Force, but prefer racing him in the later rounds. He always brings the best out in us."

-PedregonRacing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , John Force , Cruz Pedregon