TULSA, Okla. -–
Pedregon will be wielding his own ride, sponsored by Advance Auto Parts and consulted with by West Coast open-wheel standout Cory Kruseman – the two-time and defending Chili Bowl winner.
“I love midget and sprint car racing,” said Pedregon, who started his racing career around the local ovals of Southern California. “I was a track champion in Ventura, Calif., back in the 1980 ’s – before I got into drag racing. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
“There’s a lot of driving talent in drag racing and I think out sport needs to be represented,” Pedregon added. “It’s definitely a challenge to drive a 380-horsepower race car that weighs only 900 pounds. You have to steer with the throttle, but it’s definitely something I’ve learned through throttling the Funny Car. I have been practicing out at Ventura Raceway, a quarter-mile dirt track, at Cory Kruseman’s Sprint Car Driving School. I’ve made several hundred laps in a sprint car since the NHRA season ended this past November.”
NHRA drivers Ron Capps and Gary Scelzi competed in the Chili Bowl last year. This year’s edition will be star-studded as well, with NASCAR Nextel Cup Series drivers Tony Stewart & Kasey Kahne, along with World of Outlaws legend Steve Kinser submitting entries.
“There will be a lot of great drivers in this event, so I’m trying to manage my expectations,” said Pedregon, who made four final-round appearances during this last NHRA season. “I’m also a big fan of Steve Kinser and he’s a great guy. He’s a Quaker State Racing teammate and we recently talked about running in the Chili Bowl. I’m really looking forward to this.”
According to Pedregon, this isn’t a one-time activity.
“I would like to run a few more dirt track races when time permits,” Pedregon said. “This will also be an opportunity to allow my step son Josh get started in racing.”
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