Cruz looking for his rhythm
Sonoma, prerace: Cruz Pedregon, the 1992 Funny Car Champion and his Advance Auto Parts Funny Car team, roll into Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., for the Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals, the 15th of 23 powerhouse events of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. This event marks the sixth race in the string of six consecutive race weekends for the professional teams and the final race on the traditional Western Swing which includes races at Denver, Seattle, and Sonoma, Calif.
Pedregon, following the NHRA National event in Seattle is chasing down 14-time NHRA Funny Car Champ, John Force in the Countdown to the Championship points battle. Ahead of Force by a mere 16 points heading into Seattle, Pedregon now heads to Sonoma 44 points behind Force.
“We are ready for Sonoma,” Pedregon said. “We’ll be looking to win some rounds and get back in this thing. Our team really likes to have the four qualifying sessions. It helps us get our rhythm going heading into final eliminations. The more run data we can collect the better it is for us.”
Pedregon comes to Sonoma after a rain-soaked weekend in Seattle in which the 16-car NHRA Funny Car field was set after only one qualifying session. Because of the rain, NHRA invoked the Top 10 rule which allowed Pedregon, who was 8th in points, to bump up to the No. 15 qualifying spot after missing the field in his first qualifying attempt. He was matched up against Kenny Bernstein in the first round of eliminations, but in a close race, it was Bernstein at the stripe with a 4.818 at 317.05 mph to Pedregon’s 4.843 at 311.13 mph.
“California is my home state,” explained Pedregon. “I can’t think of a better place than Sonoma to go rounds on Sunday and put this Advance Auto Parts Funny Car in the winner’s circle.”
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