INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 13, 2007) -- Tony Pedregon and his Q Horsepower NHRA Nitro Funny Car team head to Memphis, Tenn., the "birthplace of the blues," for the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals, Sept. 14-16. It's the 19th of 23 powerhouse events...
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 13, 2007) -- Tony Pedregon and his Q Horsepower NHRA Nitro Funny Car team head to Memphis, Tenn., the "birthplace of the blues," for the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals, Sept. 14-16. It's the 19th of 23 powerhouse events of the $50 million, NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and the second of four races in the Countdown to Four.Pedregon, following a semifinal appearance at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, moved into 3rd place in the Countdown to the Championship. He is 21 points from 2nd and only 42 points, or slightly more than two round wins from the no. 1 position.The top two drivers after the race in Richmond, VA will advance to the final playoff rounds, the Countdown to One
"Memphis is an important race for us in the Countdown," said Pedregon, the 2003 NHRA Nitro Funny Car World Champion. "Although we moved into third after Indy, we didn't feel like we ran to our full potential. We are looking forward to running at Memphis and hope it is a better event for us."
The O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals moved from its muggy mid-August date to September which could improve the performance potential of a racetrack. Pedregon and his veteran tuner, Dickie Venables are looking forward to the new September date.
"The weather in Memphis could play a factor," said Pedregon. "When it's hot, this track can get tricky. We may be lucky and be provided with favorable conditions that will help our consistency. With our Q Horsepower oil, the hotter it gets, the more it protects while providing the horsepower we need to win. Going into another important Countdown to the Championship race, we will be pushing hard during qualifying and on race day and need that extra level of protection."
Pedregon and Venables know how to get down the Memphis Motorsports Park strip. In the Venables-tuned Funny Car, he visited the Winner's Circle in 2002 and was the quickest car in both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, posting solid 4.9's in every round including a 4.909 in a final round showdown against Del Worsham.
"This year is no different," said Pedregon. "We approach this race as we do all of them. We have a lot of respect for the competition, but we never want to lose focus on our goal of qualifying for the show. We just need to pay attention to the conditions, play our cards right and qualify.
"The O'Reilly group knows how to put on a good show. We always look forward to racing at one of their events. They definitely add to the excitement."