Pedregon Is Early Mile-High Qualifying Leader

Cruz Pedregon is the early Funny Car qualifying leader at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals. (NHRA Photo)
Cruz Pedregon is the early Funny Car qualifying leader at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals. (NHRA Photo)

MORRISON, Colo. – Looking for his first No. 1 qualifier since 2015, Cruz Pedregon raced to the provisional top spot in Funny Car on Friday during the 40th annual Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Bandimere Speedway.

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 14th of 24 races during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Pedregon, who has two Denver wins in his career, rocketed down the strip in 4.002 seconds at 317.42 mph in his Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger to start the NHRA’s three-race Western Swing on a strong note. If it holds, it would be Pedregon’s first No. 1 qualifier since 2015 and 62nd in his career. Ron Capps is second, while Bob Tasca III is a spot behind in third.

“We’ve had some ups and downs this year, but I think the needle is pointing up for us,” Pedregon said. “This Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger is starting to come around and I feel really good. This racetrack has been really good to me through the years. What’s really incredible is all the teams have figured out how to run well on the mountain, and that’s a credit to everyone.”

Defending Top Fuel world champion and current points leader Steve Torrence put up an impressive blast of 3.787 seconds at a track-record speed of 330.31 mph to go to No. 1 in his Capco Contractors dragster. Torrence is seeking his eighth win in the past nine races. Defending race winner Leah Pritchett is currently second and Antron Brown is third.

In Pro Stock, defending event winner Anderson raced to the top spot in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro with a run of 6.980 seconds at 196.30 mph. Deric Kramer is second at his home track and Erica Enders is a spot back in third.

Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Andrew Hines continued his hot streak after going a class-best 7.232 seconds at 186.20 mph on a new Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson FXDR the team debuted on Friday. Hector Arana is right behind in second and defending world champ Matt Smith is third.