Championship Drag Racing

NHRA Nationals
Las Vegas, NV
(April 6-9)

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Tony Pedregon
Pedregon Racing Toyota Camry

Pedregon heads to Bristol after disappointing weekend

Las Vegas, Sunday: Tony Pedregon and his Q Power Nitro Funny Car Team had all of the tools they needed for a successful weekend at the NHRA’s fifth stop of 2006 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after solid runs in the past few races. In Vegas, where gambling is king and where Pedregon has won twice (both races in 2003), he rolled the dice, but came up a bit short. But not for lack of speed or setup.

In a controversial decision, Pedregon ran a 4.79 Friday night but the pass was disallowed by the NHRA when his team did not stop and weigh the car at the inspection station due to the drama of an engine explosion at the finish line. This was Pedregon’s first DNQ in five years dating back to the Bristol race in 2001 (115 events).

"We blew the car up and the guys were rattled," Pedregon said. "Our mechanics also drive the pit vehicles in this sport and the guy that drives the van is in charge of the blowers so I'm sure he was wondering what the heck had happened. I asked for leniency but they said no. We made an unintentional mistake and I don't think the punishment fits the crime.

“There is good news that has come out of a weekend like this, though. Even if we did not qualify here in Las Vegas, we were able to take the information we accumulated on Friday and Saturday and know we’ll be in good shape heading into Bristol. We did run a 4.79. It was a technicality that kept us from progressing after that point, not lack of speed.”

Pedregon, who took the opportunity during Sunday’s second round of eliminations to work with the ESPN2 crew in the broadcast booth, continued, “Mark my words, we’ll be in the winner’s circle in the next few races. What is done is done here in Las Vegas.”

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