Pedregon hopes for big weekend
Sonoma, prerace: Former champion Tony Pedregon and his Q Power Funny Car team head to Infineon Raceway in the beautiful wine country in Sonoma, Calif. for the Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals for the 15th of 23 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events in 2006. Pedregon retained fourth place in the point standings after the last NHRA round in Seattle, only one point out of third place.
They donít refer to this race as being in the Wild West for nothing. In the heart of Northern Californiaís high-tech region and sponsored by Infineon Technologies, the facility annually plays host to some of the tourís most dramatic moments. A $70 million modernization project was completed four years ago that included a new 660-foot concrete launch pad and led to scores of new track records. Despite its midsummer position on the schedule, the event is blessed with pleasant weather that, combined with a quality racetrack, has yielded impressive performances.
"There's added incentive for the Q Team in Sonoma because we haven't won there, although we have been to the final round," Pedregon explained of this weekend's race. "Going back to California is really nice Ė it's close to San Francisco and just a beautiful area. Infineon is a great track. They've made some upgrades to the facility a year or two ago, which makes it even better to visit that area of the country because we know we've got something to work with. We just want to finish our western swing strong in Sonoma. Coming off of a semi-final finish in Seattle, we know we're prepared for some warm conditions, and we're looking forward to getting another opportunity to win."
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