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Wed, 28 Dec 2005, 10:07 PM

Pedregon and Kemanah Enter 20th Annual Chili Bowl
Courtesy of David Harris

Heady Group of Diverse Pros Fill This Year's Field

TULSA, Okla. -- Former NHRA Funny Car World Champion Cruz Pedregon and reigning All-Star Circuit of Champions titlist Chad Kemenah will compete in the 20th annual Chili Bowl Nationals at Tulsa Expo Raceway on Jan. 11-14, 2006.

Pedregon, a Chili Bowl new comer last year, will run alongside Kemenah, who will be making his first appearance. Both will be running Fontana-powered Cruz Pedregon Racing midgets with the backing of Advance Auto Parts, Q Racing and Snap On Tools.

More than 250 entries from a variety of professional racing series have flocked to this prestigious event. Among the luminaries competing are NASCAR's Tony Stewart, Jason Leffler and Kasey Kahne; along with sprint car legends Steve Kinser, Danny Lasoski and Sammy Swindell.

"Both Chad and I are going into this event to compete," said Pedregon, who drives the Advance Auto Parts Nitro Funny Car. "It's an all-star group of drivers including my brother Frankie and Top Fuel's Morgan Lucas - so we'll be carrying the NHRA banner. It's a great opportunity to race against the best drivers from all across the country.

"Chad, he's a race car driver, and since he can drive a winged sprint car, he can drive my Advance Auto Parts midget," Pedregon continued. "It (the midget) is a little different from his 800 horsepower winged sprint car because of its size and weight. But I think Chad's going to do a great job for us and I'm looking forward to seeing him perform."

Last year, Pedregon finished 10th in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points with a final-round appearance and No. 1 qualifier to his credit. Pedregon currently ranks third on NHRA's all-time list of round victories for active drivers and is slated to drive the No. 71p Advance Auto Parts entry. Kemenah scored eight victories, 21 top five and 26 top 10 finishes en route to his fourth-consecutive All Star Circuit of Champions sprint car championship and will be piloting the No. 71c Advance Auto Parts machine. The Findlay, Ohio resident also captured his first career World of Outlaws victory at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., this past July.

"It's a cool event," said Pedregon, of Santa Rosa Valley, Calif. "I encourage anyone that's in the area to come and check it out."

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