CYPRESS, Calif. (Sept. 12, 2005) — Frank Pedregon piloted his Dodge Stratus Funny Car, sponsored by Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp., to the final round of the 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals drag race over the Labor Day weekend.
Mr. Pedregon was edged-out by only .01-second at the finish line by Del Worsham at drag racing's biggest annual event, held each year at Indianapolis Raceway Park to cap the racing season.
Part of the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) POWERade Drag Racing Series, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals draws top competitors from around the world jockeying to win the “Wally” professional drag racing trophy named after NHRA founder Wally Parks.
Mr. Pedregon said his team “knew we would be strong going into this event. We have won Indy in the past and Toyo's sponsorship assured we would be a front-running team.” In addition to making it to the final round, his team “announced their intent” during Saturday night qualifying rounds by running a career best 4.73-second E.T. in the quarter mile at 326 mph. The run proved to be the fifth quickest overall of the 2005 season to date, according to Toyo.
Gregg Vandermark, senior marketing manager of motorsports and events for Toyo, said Mr. Pedregon's “exciting weekend represents a benchmark for Toyo Tires. This was the first time our company has sponsored a Funny Car in this elite sport, while this historic first outing resulted in a near win overall. We knew Pedregon had the package to make it to the finals.”