Cruz Pedregon Wins Funny Car in Charlotte

  It’s been a while since Cruz Pedregon had an outing like he had in Charlotte, where his Weld Racing wheel equipped ride was the dominant car from Friday evening on. After qualifying No. 1 and pacing the field in three of the four qualifying sessions, Pedregon continued to lead the way on Sunday, culminating in 4.17 to 4.21 defeat of Beckman in the final round. It was Pedregon’s 27th win of his career. “I’ve had some great cars in my career when I drove for guys like Larry Minor and Joe Gibbs, but I don’t think I’ve been in a better car than I had this weekend,” said an emotional Pedregon, who was celebrating his birthday on Sunday. “I can’t say enough about the team.  Crew Chief Danny DeGennaro, who’s a young guy in his 30s, and I were both kind of on the sidelines this off-season. We worked real hard to get to this point. It took us awhile to get going, and there were times when I thought, ‘What the heck are we doing this for?’ but we stayed at it. “Our philosophy is to look at these races like we’re in the Countdown. I’ve been a champion twice before, and I need to act like a champion. Even though some people were surprised by us, we’re not coming into races thinking we’re underdogs”, said Cruz.