Cruz Makes Record Run In Englishtown
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. – Cruz Pedregon raced to the quickest Funny Car run in history Friday to take the qualifying lead in a record-setting day of action at the Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.
Pedregon, the two-time Funny Car world champion, powered his Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry to a track record performance of 3.959 seconds at 310.48 mph to lead the field. Pedregon’s time, the quickest ever in the 10,000-horsepower category, will become an NHRA national record if he can certify the run by posting another time within one percent of the mark during the weekend. Pedregon has had a lot of success at Englishtown in his career, securing two wins and four career No. 1 qualifying positions.
“It would mean more than words could say,” said Pedregon about the possibility of setting the national record at this event. “Even if we don’t back it up, to have the quickest time slip for Funny Car is an honor. It’s something that my team and I have worked really hard for.”
Pedregon has struggled to start the season but has recently shown signs of reversing that trend. He reached the final last weekend in Topeka, running consistent 4.09 second passes in the first three rounds, but was stopped short of claiming his first win of the season by a mechanical failure near the end of the final against Courtney Force.
“We’re on a roll right now, and had it not been for a supercharger issue that we had in the [Topeka] final, the car should have run another 4.09 without even a problem,” Pedregon said. “We came out here, unloaded, 4.05 and then 3.95. We’re not doing anything different. I guess all those tire smokes, cylinder dropping, and all those runs, they teach you something. We’ve got to get it right eventually.”
Del Worsham’s DHL Toyota Camry had set both Englishtown Funny Car track records on the run before Pedregon’s with a 3.959 at 321.04. Worsham’s track record speed held up as he currently sits No. 2 in qualifying.
Kalitta paced the Top Fuel field with a 3.756 at 327.03 in his Mac Tools dragster, earning the spot on the last pass of the day in qualifying. Kalitta’s run was good enough to knock Steve Torrence to the current No. 2 qualifier.
“It’s always good qualifying up front,” said Kalitta, who heads the Top Fuel point standings and has one win this season. “It just kind of sets the stage for how things are going. I’m just real proud of my guys. They’re working their butts off on this thing, and they’re just really making it run well. That was definitely a good start for today with qualifying so far.”