CRUZ PEDREGON RETAINS CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION Topeka, Kan. (June 4, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon, the Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car driver, was expecting the same first round elimination results he experienced at the NHRA National event in St....
CRUZ PEDREGON RETAINS CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION
Topeka, Kan. (June 4, 2007) -- Cruz Pedregon, the Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car driver, was expecting the same first round elimination results he experienced at the NHRA National event in St. Louis, May 4-6.And just like in St. Louis, Pedregon faced off against the always tough and No. 1 qualifier, Robert Hight from Team Force in round one.
"We were prepared for a win here in Topeka," said Pedregon. "Robert (Hight) is always tough, but anything can happen in eliminations."
Just making it to Sunday's final round eliminations on the tricky, Heartland Park Topeka track proved challenging for some in the Funny Car ranks, Pedregon included.Not deterred by a rain-shortened Friday qualifying session, Pedregon came back on Saturday determined to make the field.In his final qualifying pass, Pedregon kept the 7,000 horsepower Funny Car glued to the track long enough to bump his way into the final 16 car field, posting a time of 4.946 at 303.71 mph- good enough to earn the No. 16 qualifying position.
In the first round of Sunday's final eliminations, paired up against Robert Hight, Pedregon rocketed off the starting line with a slight advantage (.087 to .093) and it was all even until half-track.At the 1,000- ft mark, Pedregon's Funny Car began mixing up the cylinders.Hight received the win light and went on to face Scott Kalitta in the second round of eliminations.
"We had a good run going," stated Pedregon. "We were in it until half-track when Robert (Hight) started to pull away.I felt it mixing up the cylinders and knew we weren't going to catch him so I shut it down.If your car is laboring and you're not in the lead, it's best to save your car for another day.Overall, I'm encouraged by the progress we made this weekend.We didn't loose ground in the Championship points battle, so that's positive.We are really looking forward to Chicago next weekend."
With 305 points, Pedregon remains tenth in the hunt for the Championship.