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Cruz Pedergon added to Amalie Oil Tx. Nationals

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NORWALK, Ohio (March 9, 2006) – Cruz Pedregon, a former NHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion, has announced the Advance Auto Parts team’s intentions to compete at the upcoming Amalie Oil Texas Nationals. Held March 24 – 26 at San Antonio Raceway, the event marks the return of the Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car class to the eMax Drag Racing Series after a 14-year layoff.


"We’re excited to be a part of the return of Nitro Funny Car drag racing to the IHRA after many years, and to do this in that region of Texas where our major sponsor, Advance Auto Parts, has such a large presence is a plus,” Cruz Pedregon said.


“The Southern Texas market is also really important to us on the Advance Auto Parts team because of our Hispanic fan base,” said Pedregon. “We’re really looking forward to seeing and meeting new fans, and to entertaining all of Advance Auto Parts’ Customers at San Antonio Raceway with the full-blown show we’re bringing into town…the rig, hospitality and our souvenir trailer."


During his rookie season in Funny Car in 1992, Pedregon won the NHRA world championship. With this accomplishment he became the only racer other than John Force to win the championship in the 90s. In 1997, Pedregon was also the first motorsports athlete to receive the “Premio De Oro,” the only national award for Hispanic athletes.


“As momentum for the Amalie Oil Texas Nationals builds, people are becoming increasingly interested in our Torco Nitro Funny Car class,” IHRA President Aaron Polburn said. “Cruz is a former world champion, has 27 career wins, has gone over 330 miles per hour. As a fan, how can’t you be excited to hear a veteran name like Cruz Pedregon?”


Born into a racing family, Pedregon’s father, Frank, raced Top Fuel dragsters in the 1960s. His brothers Tony and Frank also compete in the Nitro Funny Car ranks. In 1980, Cruz won his first official drag race at the age of 15, driving a 1953 Kenworth truck.


"The San Antonio area is really important to our family in general,” stated Pedregon. “My mom’s family is based out of the San Antonio region, so I am really excited to be able to race in front of them in their hometown. I am also glad to be going back to that area of the country because that is where my father started his racing career, at a place called Alamo Dragway. He didn’t move to Southern California until he had raced in the San Antonio area.”


San Antonio Raceway is located off Interstate 10 (Exit 597), west of Seguin, TX, 15 minutes from the I-410 beltway. For tickets and information, call 210-698-2310 or check out the race preview at www.ihra.com or www.sanantonioraceway.com.


For media credentials, to schedule interviews, or to obtain high-resolution images, please contact Travis Reynolds, (419) 660-4225, treynolds@ihra.com or Mike Perry, (419) 660-4213, mperry@ihra.com.


About IHRA


Headquartered in Norwalk, Ohio, the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), a division of Live Nation, promotes professional, semi-professional and local level racing opportunities for drivers at all levels. The eMax Drag Racing Series is an 11-event North American professional drag racing circuit. In 2006, the series will be comprised of eight events in major cities throughout the United States and three in Canada. The Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Championship consists of competition at national events and 35 events in six regional divisions, while IHRA’s Summit SuperSeries is conducted nearly every weekend at over 90 IHRA-sanctioned tracks. Providing a safe environment to develop future stars, IHRA offers the PM-1 Junior Dragster Racing Series for youths ages 8-17. Stand-alone events include Live Nation’s entertainment-filled “Thunder Jam” shows and the street legal racing and lifestyle event series Kumho Street Warriorz presented by Hooters. More information can be found at www.ihra.com.



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