Changes pay off in win for Pedregon

Associated Press

Tony Pedregon raced to his third funny car victory of the season Sunday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.

Pedregon, who replaced longtime crew chief Dickie Venables with Tony Shortall last week, powered his Chevy Impala to a 4.149-second run at 295.59 mph to hold off Ron Capps in the final. Capps' Dodge Charger lost traction after the start and finished in 6.613 at 99.35.

"I didn't anticipate this happening on such short notice, but I had all the information in front of me, and it was just a matter of putting the right people in the right places," Pedregon said after the 43rd victory of his career. "There was a little bit of uncertainty, the fear of losing and wanting to win. I started to put things in perspective and I thought there is no need to panic."

With his second straight win in Brainerd, Pedregon extended his series lead to 28 points over Capps. Only two races remain in the NHRA regular season before the six-race playoffs -- the Countdown to 1 -- begin Sept. 18 at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte, N.C.

Morgan Lucas, Greg Anderson and Hector Arana also won their categories at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

Lucas won in top fuel, Anderson in pro stock, and Arana in pro stock motorcycle.

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