POMONA, Calif. -- Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, and his Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car Team are headed back to the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona next weekend for the NHRA Finals, the 23rd and last NHRA POWERade...
POMONA, Calif. -- Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, and his Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car Team are headed back to the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona next weekend for the NHRA Finals, the 23rd and last NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event in 2006. Pedregon currently is holding 10th place in the 2006 NHRA point standings and is looking forward to another good performance in NHRA's fall visit to Pomona, creating a solid foundation for a championship run in 2007.
With Southern California's foothills serving as a dramatic backdrop, the season concludes where it began nine months earlier with an event traditionally laced with championship drama and last-chance bids for teams to accomplish goals for the year. The historic racetrack, which hosted NHRA's first official event in 1953, typically enjoys seasonably cool temperatures that translate into perfect racing conditions and a spectacular, no-holds-barred battle for the prestigious NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series world championships.
"We tested in Las Vegas this past Monday, and went in a different direction with our setup trying to find that perfect engine combination that will get our Advance Auto Parts car back near the top and contending for victories on Sunday," Pedregon stated. "The results of that test should be helpful not only in Pomona, but for the '07 season. Pomona is my home track, always has been and always will be, and we're going to try to go out and try to win this race. I'll have a lot of my family there with me, like my mom and sisters, and a bunch of great friends, so it will be great to be able to do well for them and all of our sponsors. We have had some of our strongest runs there in previous years, ending up in the semifinals last year, with Tony (Pedregon, teammate) eventually winning the race. Our team has a real good shot of finishing in 8th in points if we do well in Pomona, which would be our best result of last five years, so that is our mission as we look forward to the race next weekend."
During his rookie season in Funny Car in 1992, Pedregon won the NHRA world championship. With this accomplishment he became the only racer other than John Force to win the championship in the 90s. In 1997, Pedregon was also the first motorsports athlete to receive the "Premio De Oro," the only national award for Hispanic athletes. Born into a racing family, Pedregon's father, Frank, raced Top Fuel dragsters in the 1960s. His brothers Tony and Frank also compete in the Nitro Funny Car ranks. In 1980, Cruz won his first official drag race at the age of 15, driving a 1953 Kenworth truck.
How to get to Auto Club Raceway at Pomona: The track is about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. From Interstate 10 east, exit at Fairplex Drive or White Avenue and go north to the track. From I-10 west, exit at Fairplex Drive and go north. The track is about one mile north of the interstate. Arrow Highway provides access from the north.
The NHRA Finals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona is the last race of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Series season. The 2007 season kicks off with the NHRA Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona on February 9-11.