Tony Pedregon

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Tony Pedregon
JohnForceRacing.jpg
Tony Pedregon's Funny Car at John Force Racing
NationalityAmerican
Born (1965-03-08) March 8, 1965 (age 54)
Torrance, California
Related toCruz Pedregon (brother)
Frank Pedregon (father)
Funny Car
Years active1993 - 2015 (driver) 2016 - present (commentator)
Wins43
Fastest laps4.659 seconds (quarter mile)
Best finish1st in 2003, 2007
Awards
1996Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award

Tony Pedregon (born March 8, 1965) is a 2-time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Champion from Torrance, California. He is also the youngest of the Pedregon brothers. His brother Cruz Pedregon is the 1992 and 2008 NHRA Mello Yello Series Funny Car Champion.

Racing Career[edit]

Early Days[edit]

In 1993 Pedregon qualified for his first NHRA event driving a Top Fuel Dragster.[1] In 1995 He ran a limited Funny Car Schedule for car owner Larry Minor.

John Force Racing Days[edit]

In 1996 Pedregon made his debut at John Force Racing driving a funny car. In his first season with the team he made seven final round appearances, winning his first career event at Atlanta and finishing 2nd overall in season points under car owner John Force. He was also named the inaugural winner of the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award. In 1997 Tony beat brother Cruz in the first ever funny car final between brothers. He was also the number one qualifier in three events and made it to five finals. In 1998 he won two events in two finals. In 1999 Pedregon was the No.1 qualifier at four events and posted the quickest time in history when he clocked a 4.779 second run at Gainesville Raceway. He was the runner-up in the Funny Car bonus race at Indianapolis . In 2000 Pedregon went to six Finals collecting two wins.[2]

In 2001 Pedregon won at Englishtown after qualifying 1st, a career first. He also won back to back races for the first time in his career. In 2002 he won six times in eight final rounds and finished 2nd in points for the 4th time in his career. He also won three consecutive races for the first time in his career. In 2003 Pedregon finally won the Championship becoming the first driver to win besides John Force since 1992 when brother Cruz won. He also won 8 events that season putting him 4th on the all-time career win list. Pedregon decided at the end of the season to go join brother Cruz and form Pedregon Racing.[3]

Pedregon Racing[edit]

Pedregon at Charlotte in 2011

In his first season as a team owner, finished No. 8 in the final Championship standings, his ninth consecutive season finishing in the top 10. Pedregon recorded his Career-best E.T. is the seventh quickest Funny Car pass in NHRA history and Recorded two of the 10 fastest Funny Car speeds in NHRA history (331.28, Chicago 1; 329.83, Atlanta). His career won-lost record in elimination rounds of 319-189 is 13th-best among all active pro drivers with 50 or more decisions. Was the No. 1 qualifier three times (Las Vegas 1, Atlanta, Chicago 1); Qualified for all 23 events, upping his national event qualifying streak to 87 consecutive races dating back to Bristol 2001, fifth best among all active pro driver. Tony Pedregon joins a short list of only five NHRA Professional drag racers to have ever been nominated for the ESPY Best Driver Award. Joining Pedregon are Tony Schumacher, John Force, Greg Anderson and Melanie Troxel. No drag racer has ever won the ESPY Best Driver Award.[4]

In 2005 Pedregon set career best for time when he and his brother (Cruz) each ran 4.680s at Chicago 2. He finished the season with two wins and a runner-up finish at the final five events. He qualified for all 23 events, increasing his streak of qualifying at national events to 110. He also earned three No. 1 qualifiers and had the low E.T. at three events. In 2006 Pedregon won three events and finished top five in the final points standings. In 2007 Pedregon won his second NHRA Funny Car title winning four events along the way. In 2008 Tony won four events and qualified first in two events and finished fifth in the final points. In 2009 Pedregon won three events and finished sixth in the final points.[5]

On Oct 29, 1998, Tony Pedregon, sponsored by Castrol Syntec and Action Performance Racing, unveiled a racing car that featured slain Tejano superstar Selena [6]

Broadcasting Career[edit]

On October 31, 2015, it was announced that Pedregon would join the Fox NHRA broadcast team in 2016 for their NHRA Mello Yello Series coverage.[7][8]

Personal life[edit]

Pedregon resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife Andrea. He has four children: two daughters Cecily and Arielle, and two sons Desidario and Benecio. He is also the son of Drag Racing Legend Flamin' Frank Pedregon.[9] He is of Mexican American descent.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tony Pedregon Biography". Tony Pedregon Racing. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  2. ^ "Tony Pedregon Biography". Tony Pedregon Racing. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Tony Pedregon Biography". Tony Pedregon Racing. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  4. ^ "selena-car-to-make-debut". Tony Pedregon Racing. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Tony Pedregon Biography". Tony Pedregon Racing. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  6. ^ "selena-car-to-make-debut". Tony Pedregon Racing. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  7. ^ "Tony Pedregon Joins NHRA Broadcast Team". National Speed Sport News. Turn 3 Media LLC. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Pedregon named expert analyst on NHRA on FOX in 2016". YouTube.com. NHRA. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Tony Pedregon Biography". Tony Pedregon Racing. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  10. ^ https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/tourism/nhras-success-fueled-by-blend-of-racial-groups-ethnicities/