Topeka: Cruz Pedregon eliminations summary

TOPEKA, Kan., May 25, 2003 - Cruz Pedregon won one and lost one in what turned out to be a battle of Pedregon brothers in the top half of the NHRA's Summer Nationals pairings ladder Sunday at Heartland Park Topeka. Cruz Pedregon's Advance Auto...

TOPEKA, Kan., May 25, 2003 - Cruz Pedregon won one and lost one in what turned out to be a battle of Pedregon brothers in the top half of the NHRA's Summer Nationals pairings ladder Sunday at Heartland Park Topeka.

Cruz Pedregon's Advance Auto Parts Firebird dispatched older brother Frank in the quarterfinals before younger brother Tony prevailed in the semifinals in what was Cruz's best finish of the year.

"Getting to the semifinals is really a good thing," said Cruz while wearing a smile. "Getting to the semis means we were one of the last four cars in the race, and that's a good thing, too. We look at it as something we can build on. It was a morale booster for the team."

Co-crew chiefs Rob Flynn and Dave Fletcher found a combination the car liked during Saturday's qualifying and it ran consistently in the last two qualifying runs (4.876 and 4.874 seconds to put him No. 12 in the starting line-up) and the first two rounds of eliminations.

In the semis, Cruz left the starting line first but the Advance Auto Parts machine suffered traction problems and the younger Pedregon won, 4.857 at 317.94 to 5.533 at 197.10. Tony then went on to win the race, marking the second time in two races that Cruz has lost to the eventual race winner.

Cruz began the day by upsetting No. 5 qualifier Tommy Johnson Jr.

"I'd say this was a mini-victory for our team this weekend," Pedregon commented. "This will make it a lot easier going to Chicago this week for our next race."

That will be the Lucas Oil Route 66 Nationals, May 30-June 1, at Joliet, Ill.

The performance lifted Cruz into 11th place with 365 points, three behind brother Frank.

-cpr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon , Tommy Johnson Jr.