Cruz Pedregon Heads to Pacific Raceways New Surface to Challenge Advance Auto Parts Racing Team KENT, Wash. (July 21, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon, driver of the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car, heads into this weekend's NHRA national...
Cruz Pedregon Heads to Pacific Raceways
New Surface to Challenge Advance Auto Parts Racing Team
KENT, Wash. (July 21, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon, driver of the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car, heads into this weekend's NHRA national event at Pacific Raceways with a lot of momentum behind him.
Momentum from four-straight, top-five qualifying efforts, and momentum from Pedregon's most recent final-round appearance during the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, has this team brimming with self-assurance. In fact, Pedregon is excited about tackling a potentially challenging weekend of on-track activity.
"Whenever I hear of a new surface, it doesn't bother me a bit because conditions are the same for everyone," Pedregon stated. "(Crew chief) Wes Cerny is really good. He's good at looking at a track and reading it. He can tell what changes and what he has to do to the car to get it down the track. I'm excited.
"In the past there have been some bumps there (on Pacific Raceways surface), and it's been a one-lane race track - lane choice was so critical," Pedregon continued. "Hopefully with the new surface, the lanes will be pretty equal and we'll have a great race. There are a lot of great NHRA racing fans in the Northwest."
Pedregon reiterated how important this three-race West Coast swing is to the entire Advance Auto Parts Racing organization, especially since moving into the top 10 in points following last weekend's race.
"We're off to Seattle and Sonoma (Calif.), and I said before we came into this race, if you have a strong Western swing and get back into the thick of things, it could be a very interesting second half of the 2004 season," Pedregon said. "The other critical thing is to have some momentum heading into the U.S. Nationals which comes up Labor Day weekend. I feel like were really on our way, and (Denver) was good start to this three-race Western swing."
LADDER EFFECT: The last three races have seen a progression of success for Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Racing team. Pedregon advanced to the second round at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.; made a semifinal round appearance during the NHRA national event at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., and, last weekend, a final-round showing in the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. Pedregon could complete the ladder this weekend by recording his 23rd-career NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series victory at Pacific Raceways.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER: Cruz Pedregon has qualified in the top half of the field for five-straight NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national events, starting with his seventh-place qualifying effort at Heartland Park Topeka (Kan.) this past May.