NHRA® Team Report
NHRA Heartland Nationals – Topeka
The Snap-on Toyota has been going through the rigors of testing prior to the race in Topeka this weekend. Something unique about these test runs is not having Cruz Pedregon, the team’s owner and driver, behind the wheel. With changes made after the Atlanta race, the team took advantage of having another licensed Funny Car driver in the Pedregon family to fill in during the runs. Cruz’s brother Tony, a long-time NHRA driver turned FOX Sports commentator, obliged the team by filling in for the runs and marked a career best 3.97.
“It was important to Aaron (Brooks – crew chief) to try out some of the changes we made before we loaded the car for Kansas, and it worked out well to have Tony available, approved and ready to drive the Snap-on Toyota for us while testing near the shop in Indy. I wouldn’t let just anyone drive my race car,” said Pedregon. “Every run this season we’ve been collecting data, and we’re going into Topeka ready to see the winning results we’ve been working towards.
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, “Having your driver 2,000 miles away when you need to test does present a challenge, but not one we couldn’t overcome. Just like with the car, we’ve had our challenges this year, but we’re confident the work we’ve done over the past weeks will pay off.”
Cruz has had four previous Topeka wins and set a track record at Heartland Park in 2012.
On the Side of Cruz’s Car – Topeka
Local Snap-on Franchisee Rick Nichols is this week’s Nitro Franchisee. Rick enjoys being his own boss and says he loves supplying customers with “the best tools and the best service.” He’s a pro stock fan, even doing some of his own Quick 8’s racing in Kansas City and Topeka. He likes Funny Car, too, and spent time getting Cruz’s autograph at the races before. This weekend, Rick will get to be in the pit with Cruz, and it will be HIS name of the side of the Snap-on Toyota.