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Back Into The Championship Chase, Cruz Pedregon Wins Dodge//SRT NHRA Nationals In Las Vegas

Pedregon took advantage of a series of upsets to climb back into the hunt for a third NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship. He capped a stirring day at the Dodge//SRT NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas with a final-round victory over points leader Ron Capps.

“Coming into the race I think our championship chances were pretty dim, to be honest with you, because I just didn't feel like the breaks were coming our way,” Pedregon said. “We were just losing some close races, and I thought, ‘Man, well, if we could just finish in the top five, I felt that was good. But after winning today, yeah, hey, we're back in it.

"I was just kind of wondering where Capps and you shouldn't do that as a driver, and it spun the tires and I actually got on the throttle a couple times before coasting across because it was getting ready to do some crazy stuff there. I guess JC hit the button and shut the car off. and saved me and the car, I guess," Cruz Pedregon added.

Heading into Pomona, Pedregon is in third place for the Funny Car championship but understands that at point and a half, he is within shouting distance.

RPM Round By Round:

Round 1 - Pedregon faced Tony Jurado in round 1 and Jurado had ran his career best in qualifying earlier in the weekend. Pedregon had the advantage at the launch but drifted to the left almost causing a disqualification. After dropping out of the throttle he crossed the line first for the win with a run of 3.947 at 295.08 while Jurado struggled to stop his car and ended up in the trap.

Round 2 - Chris Morel surprised in round 1 and made it to the quarters to face Pedregon. Morel quickly was a cylinder short as Pedregon grabbed the advantage off of the line and goes down the groove with a clean, straight pass at 3.903 at 324.20 MPH.

Round 3 - With a record of 17-12, Pedregon would face off against Bob Tasca III in the semi's. While Tasca went up in smoke almost immediately, Pedregon kept it straight with a winning run of 3.924 at 325.92 MPH.

Round 4 - With a great day on the track and with Matt Hagan exiting the event early, Pedregon took aim on getting back into the championship chase. To keep that desire realistic heading into Pomona, he knew he needed to defeat Ron Capps in the final. In a race of attrition, Capps had problems first by blowing the engine at about 300 feet while Pedregon loses power about 400 feet later. At the stripe its a coasting match with Pedregon having the momentum pushing him to the win with a run of 4.257 at 225.03 MPH.

Phil Burgess of National Dragster shares his recap at


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