Cruz starts weekend as No. 1 qualifier
Chicago, Friday: Cruz Pedregon and the Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car got back on track in a big way tonight capturing the provisional No. 1 qualifying slot at Route 66 Raceway.
Pedregon, who failed to qualify in the two most recent NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events, made a strong statement tonight laying down a career best 4.680-second elapsed time at 330.80 mph – tying brother Tony Pedregon for the second-quickest run in NHRA Nitro Funny Car history.
“I haven’t been this excited in a long time,” said a jubilant Pedregon, who will be aiming for his 32nd career No. 1 qualifier tomorrow. “It pinned me in the seat like I had never been pinned before. My body had never felt like that before and all I wanted to do was keep that thing in the center (groove).
“We did a lot of things to the car before the run tonight,” Pedregon added. “We worked on the car, the engine and the clutch because we knew the conditions were going to be good. We felt our first run was going to stay in the field, so we really wanted to go for it. We were either going to light the scoreboard up or go up in a whole lot of smoke – luckily it hung in there.”
Pedregon was also happy for his brother as well.
“Its incredible to share this with Tony,” Pedregon said. “We were able to run the same elapsed time, but I got him a little on speed. This is a real credit to the team.
“The biggest thing for us is we made a change in the crew chief department after Memphis,” continued Pedregon, on changing from Wes Cerny to Ron Douglas two races ago. “We felt we were in the middle of the pack and just running along. At this point I am in my career, I want to either be a hero or a zero. That attitude cost us at Indy and Reading, but it’s something we needed to do to compete with these guys.”
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