Phoenix, Ariz., March 2, 2004 -- Former Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts team head to Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix, Ariz., on March 4-7 for the NHRA Nationals for the second race on the NHRA 23-event ...
Phoenix, Ariz., March 2, 2004 -- Former Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts team head to Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix, Ariz., on March 4-7 for the NHRA Nationals for the second race on the NHRA 23-event schedule.
With the first race in the books, the 2004 season is now under way. Pedregon and the team are very optimistic and look forward to getting back to racing when qualifying begins on Friday.
"We made a lot of test runs in Phoenix prior to the start of the season, said Pedregon. "The track was a bit green last time we were there because they repaved the surface and it just didn't have enough runs on it, but we're anticipating some much faster times this weekend.
"In Pomona we ran our best run in the first round of eliminations with an elapsed time oft.90 at 308 mph. We plan on starting with that set upand work towards making the car consistent. ThenWes (Cerny)can continue to make more powerwhich willlower our elapsed timesand wecan start qualifyingtowards the top of the field. We feel very confident we can do that.
"This is the first race of the year that we'll have a night qualifying run and that makes for a fast racetrack when the temperatures go down. That's always a good session so we're looking forward to that. The key will be to make a good pass during that first session so we can be more aggressive during the night session and go for the pole."
Cruz won this event in 1993 after qualifying on the pole. He earned runner up honors in 1994 and 1999 and advanced to the quarter finals in 1992 and 2002.
Nitro Qualifying: Friday, March 5, 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Sat., March 6, 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Final Eliminations: Sunday, March 7, 11 a.m.