Sonoma: Cruz Pedregon final summary

Cruz Pedregon Wraps Impressive West Coast Swing Advance Auto Parts Funny Car Drives to Second Round SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 1, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon wrapped up an impressive West Coast swing for the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Funny Car team...

Cruz Pedregon Wraps Impressive West Coast Swing
Advance Auto Parts Funny Car Drives to Second Round

SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 1, 2004) -- Cruz Pedregon wrapped up an impressive West Coast swing for the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Funny Car team with a second round appearance in today's Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway.

Pedregon, whose .051 (of a second) reaction time was tops of the first two rounds, was outdueled by Gary Scelzi in round two. Pedregon clicked off a 5.226-second elapsed time at 230.88 mph, a little shy of Scelzi's 4.902-second lap at 310.13 mph.

Despite the disappointment of the moment, Pedregon won seven rounds of competition during this three-race West Coast swing and talked about the weekend.

"From a driving standpoint, I feel I'm where I need to be," Pedregon said. "My job is to go out there and leave on people - I've been able to do that. The temperature kind of crept up on us out there. (Crew chief) Wes (Cerny) tried to address it -- trying to slow things down on the clutch -- but it wasn't quite enough.

"It's a little disappointing," Pedregon added. "But, overall, we've done a lot of good things recently. We kept our qualifying streak alive, even bettering it a little over last weekend with a fourth. We didn't get past the quarterfinals, but we were still on of the cars in the game later on in the rounds."

Pedregon defeated Tommy Johnson, Jr., in the first round of competition, maneuvering his Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car to a 4.854-second lap at 311.63 mph -- the third quickest pass of the round.

"Quarterfinals aren't too bad considering how tough our first round opponent was," Pedregon noted. "We just ran into a guy in Scelzi that made an excellent run. We were trying to make a little better run in that second round, but the track just wouldn't hold it. We're going to go back to the Indianapolis race shop and get ready for our next race in Brainerd (Minn.)."

ADVANCE AUTO PARTS RACING NOTEBOOK:

WEST COAST SUCCESS: Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Monte Carlo Nitro Funny Car team had an extremely successful West Coast swing. Pedregon recorded a final round appearances in both Denver and Seattle.

"All in all, this has been a great period of races for us," Pedregon said. "We've built a lot of momentum with this team -- considering our semifinal round performance at Gateway International Raceway as well. We can't hang our heads too much, and we'll get over this disappointment quickly. It's been a great effort by the guys. This is the type of momentum we can carry to Brainerd. We have a week off and the guys need some rest.

"We're looking at this as momentum for the rest of the year," Pedregon said. "I just told my wife Sharon -- and she's worked so hard and done such a great job with everything -- that this team has finally arrived. I feel like we underachieved a little earlier in the year. We weren't hitting our stride. I wasn't driving like I felt I should have. It was also a matter of becoming more comfortable with a new chassis and (crew chief) Wes (Cerny).

"I feel like were there now," Pedregon said. "We were methodical on how we got to this point. We can continue this because the entire team knows how to win. You're going to have days like today. Somebody has to win. We're keeping our heads up for Advance Auto Parts and all of our great sponsors. They are all pretty excited about what's going on here, and we're getting a lot of exposure and that's what this is all about."

-PedregonRacing.com-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Tommy Johnson , Cruz Pedregon