CRUZ PEDREGON FACES TOUGH COMPETITION AT READING MOHNTON, Pa. (August 21, 2007) -- For Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car team, the 23rd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa. held this...
CRUZ PEDREGON FACES TOUGH COMPETITION AT READING
MOHNTON, Pa. (August 21, 2007) -- For Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car team, the 23rd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa. held this past weekend was an opportunity to regain consistent performance for one last shot at the Countdown to the Championship. He entered Reading 13th in points with a chance at making the top eight drivers that would compete in the next phase of the Countdown- the Countdown to Four which begins Aug. 29 at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
"We are very pleased with the consistency and the repeatability of the car," said Pedregon, the 1992 NHRA Funny Car World Champion. "It responded well to Dickie's [Venables, crew chief for Tony Pedregon's Q Horsepower team] commands. We had a good car, actually better than what was shown at Reading. I'm optimistic about the next race and the remainder of the year."
Pedregon's Advance Auto Parts team made wholesale changes to the car -- all necessary to provide their team with a set-up identical to Pedregon's teammate and brother, Tony Pedregon's Q Horsepower Funny Car.
"One of our changes included a new fuel injector system," explained Pedregon. It had a much different feel, so we changed to a much stiffer injector return spring between qualifying sessions Q1 and Q2."
For Pedregon, the best window of opportunity to qualify the Advance Auto Parts Funny Car in the field came during Friday evening's cooler, second qualifying session.
"During the Q2 session, my foot must have inadvertently lifted just enough to deactivate the micro switch under the accelerator," explained Pedregon. This switch activates the clutch timing system and the timing profile--all the systems that are predicated on wide open throttle. The end result was a 4.908 E.T. and it should have been a low 4.80. The team did their job and Dickie made the right call. These are the kind of things that come with making changes from one system to another. The bottom line is we've modified it so it's better suited for me. Unfortunately, Q2 was our best window of opportunity to qualify and the 4.90 was our best run, but it turned out to be 18th best in the end."
Pedregon now heads to the U.S. Nationals with confidence. "The good news is this car is performing," said Pedregon. It is essentially the same car as Tony's and they are, as we speak, going to the semifinal round and have a good chance of coming away with a win."