Topeka: Cruz Pedregon final summary

CRUZ PEDREGON AND THE ADVANCE AUTO PARTS RACE TEAM HEAT UP IN TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (May 29, 2006) -- Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts Race Team qualified 13th in NHRA POWERade Nitro Funny Car action from the NHRA Summer Nationals at ...

CRUZ PEDREGON AND THE ADVANCE AUTO PARTS RACE TEAM HEAT UP IN TOPEKA

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 29, 2006) -- Cruz Pedregon and his Advance Auto Parts Race Team qualified 13th in NHRA POWERade Nitro Funny Car action from the NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka (Kan.) this past weekend, but suffered a tough first round loss after track conditions cooled off significantly from the previous days for the Sunday morning round.

"Sunday's first round was just a matter of track conditions changing from what they had been," Pedregon explained. "The track was faster than some of us had anticipated. The Advance Auto Parts car was set up for hot conditions, and during that first round, I had to get on and off of the throttle once before the car started to lose traction."

Pedregon's first-round run was much closer than the final results show due to his near-perfect reaction time - a .010 compared to Capps' .077: I had a good lead against Capps, then he pulled along side of me, but as we went down the track, we started to drop cylinders.

Fans watching the ESPN2 television coverage of Friday night qualifying got an inside look at what it's like to be strapped into an enclosed Funny Car cockpit when something goes wrong: "Friday night, we ended up burning a piston and blowing off an oil line, and that's where the fire came from. It made great TV coverage because of our Advance Auto Parts in-car camera footage - it gave the fans a real perspective of what it's like to be in a Funny Car when something like that happens. Thanks to the fire bottles, the flames went out right away, which is a definite improvement over the safety conditions years ago. Because of these incidents, we worked toward sealing the cockpit better. In the event it happens again, fire shouldn't get into the cockpit like that."

The Advance Auto Parts team is constantly working towards better and more consistent results each week, and have elected to test in Topeka on Monday: "We are staying in Topeka to test a new chassis design which is identical to Tony's car, and he's had a lot of success with it in recent races, so we are encouraged by that. It's another step the Advance Auto Parts team is taking to be more consistent each week."

In 2005, Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Race Team finished for the second consecutive year in the top 10 in points, was #1 qualifier twice and recorded a career best ET speed of 4.680 seconds at 330.80mph.

NEXT RACE: NHRA Nationals from Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., June 9-11, 2006

-pr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon