St. Louis T. Pedregon story (Funny Car)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 FUNNY CAR HOT STREAK COULD START FOR TONY PEDREGON AT GATEWAY MADISON, Ill. -- It's almost become chic these days for doubters to take a shot at the Castrol Funny Car team...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 FUNNY CAR HOT STREAK COULD START FOR TONY PEDREGON AT GATEWAY MADISON, Ill. -- It's almost become chic these days for doubters to take a shot at the Castrol Funny Car team of John Force and Tony Pedregon. Look at Force, they say. He has only won two national events in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang and is winless since late February after winning 13 of 19 races last year. And look at Pedregon, they say. He is seventh in the points in the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang after finishing second last season. Keep talking, Pedregon says. Chatter away, and then watch out. "We're far from down and out," Pedregon said. "They can say what they want, but you can go into our camp, and there's tons of energy. They're going to wake up the giant, wake up the monster, soon." That awakening could happen at the inaugural, $1,468,950 Sears Craftsman Nationals, June 26-29 at Gateway International Raceway. The race is the 11th event of the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. All the talk about a slump by the Castrol team is unfounded. Force leads the NHRA Winston point standings by 170 points -- more than one race – and is on course to win his seventh championship this decade. Pedregon, from Gardena, Calif., has one victory, equaling his win total for the 1996 season. He is just 64 points out of second place. Force and Pedregon are entering the part of the season where they thrive, as no team showed more consistency on hot, slippery racetracks in 1996. That experience could pay dividends again. "We're getting to that part of the swing, the toughest part of the season," Pedregon said. "These tracks can get tricky. It gets tough. I think we have the setups."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , John Force