Tony Pedregon Drives Chevy Monte Carlo To Second Funny Car Victory Of 2005 Captures 29th Career Win At Pomona Raceway POMONA, Calif., Nov. 6, 2005 - Tony Pedregon put his Chevy Monte Carlo in the winner's circle for the second time this season...
Tony Pedregon Drives Chevy Monte Carlo To Second Funny Car Victory Of
Captures 29th Career Win At Pomona Raceway
POMONA, Calif., Nov. 6, 2005 - Tony Pedregon put his Chevy Monte Carlo in the winner's circle for the second time this season after defeating Eric Medlen in the final round of the NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway. It was Pedregon's 29th career Funny Car victory, his second at the NHRA Finals and his fourth overall at Pomona Raceway.
"This is a like a good day fishing for a drag racer," said Pedregon. "It's kind of funny. I only sit in the car and blast down the quarter mile for five seconds but we beat some big names today. We're hitting our stride at just the right time and earned this win today. I can get used to this - it kind of feels like it used to. It's not without its price though. We work hard, put in the time and it paid off tonight. To beat the cars and drivers we did today, I'd say, makes us a pretty good team."
Pedregon's Chevrolet entered the Sunday eliminator qualified in the No. 3 position after running 4.710 seconds at 329.99 mph. On raceday, Pedregon defeated older brother Frank in round one running 4.750 seconds at 320.43 mph, John Force in round two with a 4.778 e.t. at 316.75 mph, and brother Cruz in the semifinals with a 4.739 second lap at 324.83 mph. In the championship round against Medlen, Pedregon's Chevy Monte Carlo bolted to a 4.751 second run at 319.22 mph to take the win light while the Ford slowed to a 14.59 e.t. at 68.73 mph. Pedregon's win and third final round of 2005 moved the Q Racing Chevy Monte Carlo driver to seventh place in the final NHRA POWERade Funny Car standings.
"I really felt earlier this year that we had some unfinished business," said Pedregon. "The way we came on shows our mettle. Talent is what wins races and I think we have the best of everything on this team.
"I have confidence in myself, my team and the racecar. We took our lumps this year and it made men of us. This was a good way to wrap up the season. It was a great year, and although we didn't win the championship we accomplished a lot."
In Pro Stock, a pair of GM-branded cars advanced to the semifinal round of today's eliminator. Kurt Johnson's ACDelco Chevy Cobalt entered the race qualified in the No. 3 position. He defeated Larry Morgan in round one with a 6.748 e.t. at 205.72 mph, and Rickie Smith in the quarterfinals with a 6.744 second lap at 205.98 mph. In round three, Johnson lost on a red-light foul to Tom Martino.
"The track was tricky and we still didn't have a handle on it in the end," said Johnson. "The car is not set up to be really quick on this racetrack. We felt lucky to qualify third like we did. We struggled for most of the day and I wasn't going to be late in the semifinals, especially when you're racing a guy that's right there with you and he's cutting double-o lights every time - you have to be ready. I let the clutch out and his win light was on. It got dark, I changed glasses and it all helped - too much."
No. 1 qualifier and Pontiac GTO driver Jason Line also advanced to round three before losing to Jeg Coughlin Jr. During time trials, Line's GTO posted the quickest lap of the weekend at 6.677 seconds. He defeated Bob Panella Jr. in round one of eliminations, Mark Pawuk in round two and then fouled with a red light in the semifinals.
"It was good to be the No. 1 qualifier - fun for me personally," said Line. "Unfortunately I didn't capitalize on it. We lost lane choice, and not that it really mattered because basically we got beat by a team that did a better job today. We got Greg's car better today but we didn't get mine figured out. It's one of those things - that's racing. We still won two rounds today and finished third in the standings. It could certainly be a lot worse. You have to look at the positive side. It was a good year for both of our cars and I've been fortunate to be able to finish second and third in my first two cracks at it."
Greg Anderson drove his Pontiac GTO to the two quickest laps of the day. The 2005 NHRA POWERade champion defeated Warren Johnson in round one with a 6.702 e.t. (quickest of the day), and ran 6.717 seconds in a losing effort to eventual race winner Jeg Coughlin in round two.
"We made a heck of a recovery today with my Summit Racing Pontiac GTO," said Anderson. "We didn't master the track through qualifying. We struggled a bit, but the guys worked really late last night and came to the conclusion that we had done a few things wrong. We made some changes and ran low elapsed time in the first and second round. I'm proud of them. That's what they've been able to do all year, they've been able to master it, they showed what they could do and I got hole shot. Other than that it was a good day and I'm proud of the guys.
"To come back the way we did this year, the two-car team, any one of these Pontiac GTOs could win a race. I'm going to tell the world tomorrow night what a terrific job this team did."