Tony Pedregon Solid in NHRA Opener Q Racing Monte Carlo Drives to the Second Round POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2005) -- Tony Pedregon and his Q Racing Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car started the chase for his second NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series...
Tony Pedregon Solid in NHRA Opener
Q Racing Monte Carlo Drives to the Second Round
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2005) -- Tony Pedregon and his Q Racing Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car started the chase for his second NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series championship today. He made it to the second round of eliminations at the 45th annual Carquest NHRA Winternationals at Pomona Raceway.
The 2003 NHRA POWERade Funny Car World Champion began the race as a leading contender after qualifying number one on Saturday. In the second round, Pedregon clicked off a 4.785-second elapsed time at 321.04 mph, barely losing to Whit Bazemore, who posted a slightly quicker 4.780-second lap at 321.19 mph.
The California resident overcame yesterday's parachute failure, which dove his Q Racing Monte Carlo into the sand at the top end of the track, by recording a 4.734-second elapsed time at 323.12 mph in his opening round victory over Terry Haddock.
"It was a good weekend and we are very encouraged because our goal was to shoot for the top five (in points) and we're there already. We are headed in the right direction because we're already off to a better start than last year," said Pedregon. "Our focus now is to work our way up to number one and that is where we'll keep our attention."
Pedregon was very proud of his team. They worked hard through the night to put the Q Racing Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car in a competitive position for Sunday's final rounds.
"The challenge was to get the car repaired," Pedregon said. "The chassis was bad and we had to get a back up body. Even so, we recovered, won in the first round and lost in the second. It was a very close race however. Our team proved to be very resilient, making a great effort to bring the car back from yesterday's incident.
"We are very encouraged because our key focus this year is to make the car more consistent. We have run well in three straight qualifying and two elimination rounds. The car went down the track every time, even though it fell out a little, we still run in the 4.70s, which is very impressive, "concluded Pedregon.
Q RACING NOTEBOOK:
A Trip Down Memory Lane...
Q Racing Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car driver Tony Pedregon had a full day of activities. After powering his Q Racing Nitro Funny Car to the second round of today's NHRA Winternationals at Pomona Raceway, he slipped behind the wheel of his father 'Flaming Frank' Pedregon's Fiat Coupe and performed a burnout in front of the grandstands. He talked about the drive and the car he only had memories of more than 30 years ago.
"It's a little uncanny because I have a lot more leg room in my Funny Car," Pedregon said. "But it really took me back in time and it was important to get it here -- especially in front of the Southern California crowd. It was important to let everyone see it run as well.
"I drove by and saw all of the fans yelling, 'Get on the throttle!'" Pedregon continued. "We're going to do that eventually. But for that run I wanted to be on the conservative side because I knew what the car is capable of. I think it was fun and I think the NHRA public enjoyed it as well."