Pedregon drives Camry to victory in Las Vegas

Brown runner-up in Top Fuel

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (April 7, 2013) – Cruz Pedregon drove his Toyota Camry to victory over Courtney Force in the Funny Car finals to win the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday.

Cruz Pedregon
Cruz Pedregon

Photo by: NHRA

Pedregon, was the epitome of consistent on the way to the victory, running each of his four winning passes between 4.158 and 4.180 on a day when heat and wind played havoc with the drag strip. He defeated Gary Densham, Johnny Gray and Alexis DeJoria before closing out his run with the triumph over Force.

"I’m proud of our Snap-On Toyota team,” said Pedregon. “I was so impressed with our consistency and the way our guys handled our turn-arounds on 50 minutes – answering the bell every time. We were confident coming into today and weren’t really showing our hand in qualifying. We just raced the track and tried to be smart and stay within ourselves.”

Antron Brown continued his dynamic season with a runner-up finish in Top Fuel to Tony Schumacher after earning number one qualifying honors on Saturday. His 3.811-second pass in the opening round also gave him the quickest run on Sunday. He defeated fellow Toyota drivers Brandon Bernstein and Morgan Lucas in the first two round, then knocked off Terry McMillen to reach the final.

Lucas was the only other Toyota Top Fuel driver to make it past the first round as Shawn Langdon, Khalid alBalooshi and Bernstein all fell on their opening runs.

Pedregon was the top Toyota in Funny Car, but overall three of the four Camrys entered advanced to the second round or beyond. Alexis DeJoria reached her third semi-finals by defeating John Force and Robert Hight, while her Kalitta teammate Del Worsham knocked off Ron Capps to advance to the second round. Tony Pedregon narrowly missed advancing when he lost a cylinder after leading Jack Beckman early.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series next heads to Charlotte, N.C., for the Dollar General NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 19-21 at zMAX Dragway.

Antron Brown, Matco Tools/Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “Hats off to Tony and the U.S. Army team. They did a great job. Running three 3.85s today got them the win and they deserve it. They ran a 3.85 in the final round and our Matco Tools/U.S. Army car was tuned go 3.83 to 3.85. We knew that’s what it was going to take to win. Unfortunately, it dropped a hole at the hit of the throttle and that’s how it goes. We’re off to a good start. It’s all about going rounds. When you get in that final and you get to go up Tony, that’s all you can ask for. The DSR cars got the cake today because we made it to the final, but he got the icing. We love the icing and he got it from us this time. Next time we are going to make sure that we’re the ones with the icing and the cherry.”

Alexis DeJoria, Tequila Patrόn Toyota Camry Funny Car: “We continued to make progress with this car. We did really well each round and we were consistent throughout the weekend against some tough competition and I’m proud of how we performed. I’m super stoked to be racing for a great company like Kalitta Motorsports and to have the support of Tequila Patron and Toyota. We all feel confident and we’re looking forward to getting back out there in Charlotte. Overall, it was a really good weekend for Team Patron.”

Shawn Langdon, Al-Anabi Racing Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “The track conditions were different today from yesterday – it was hotter, and a lot of cars had problems. We still had a really nice run going, but we just overpowered the track a little bit and spun the tires around half-track. That’s definitely not how we hoped this day would work out. We’ll regroup and be ready to go when we get to the Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte.”

Morgan Lucas, Geico Powersports Toyota Top Fuel Dragster: “It just seemed like the track wasn't there. We had the car down on power and the track still wouldn't hold it. You know that during a long season you are going to have weekends like this. We'll have to put it behind us quickly. Any points are well-received and we were able to come out of today's race with a handful.”


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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Gary Densham , Cruz Pedregon , Jack Beckman , Brandon Bernstein , Johnny Gray , Morgan Lucas , Robert Hight , Shawn Langdon , Terry McMillen , Courtney Force
Article type Race report
Tags brown, camry, dejoria, funny car, langdon, las vegas, lucas, nhra, pedregon, top fuel, toyota