Chandler, Ariz., March 7, 2004 --It was a known fact that one of the Pedregon brothers would advance to round two as they paired up against each other for the first time as teammates in the first round of final eliminations at Firebird ...
Chandler, Ariz., March 7, 2004 --It was a known fact that one of the Pedregon brothers would advance to round two as they paired up against each other for the first time as teammates in the first round of final eliminations at Firebird International Raceway for the NHRA Nationals. Cruz, a former Funny Car champion drove the Advance Auto Parts Pontiac to about half-track before smoking the tires and slowing to an elapsed time of 8.600 seconds at 97.57 mph. Tony crossed the stripe with an elapsed time of 4.886 seconds at 312.57 mph to take the brotherly victory.
"Of course I wanted to beat Tony but I'm just as happy to see him advancing rounds," saidCruz. "We were just a little too aggressive in our set up. We knew we were going to have to step it up since Tony ran a 4.88 to our 4.90, but it ended up being just a little too much. We're encouraged about where we're heading with our operation and will now look towards Gainesville.
"We have a very busy week ahead of us as we head to Orlando for the Advance Auto Parts Leadership Conference prior to the race," said Cruz. "It will be great being able to spend some time with the Advance Auto Part team members. They will be joining us at the race in Gainesville as well, so we're looking forward to a couple of fun weeks."
Del Worsham won the event with an elapsed time of 4.970 seconds at 303.78 mph over Tony Pedregon who slowed to an elapsed time of 5.098 seconds at 251.58 mph after dropping a cylinder.
"I'm very happy for Tony and his team for advancing to the finals, said Cruz. "They had a crazy day, with changing motors, dropping cylinders, oil leaks but they never gave up. All in all it was a great day for the entire team and we will take this momentum into the next race."
Cruz currently sits 13th in the points standings after two events. Del Worsham is first with 186, Gary Densham is second with 151, Gary Scelzi is third with 126, Tony Pedregon is fourth with 125 and Jerry Toliver, Whit Bazemore and Eric Medlen are all tied for fifth place with 111 points.
The next event for the Advance Auto Parts Racing team is the GatorNationals in Gainesville, Fla. on March 18-21.