Fresh off a week of testing in the Valley of the Sun, Cruz Pedregon is speeding into the 2019 season with hot 60-foot times, new team members, a new Dodge partnership complete with newly updated paint schemes for the Snap-on Funny Car bodies and haulers, and a new role in taking over tuning duties for the team.
“This new partnership with Dodge is a sentimental move for me,” Cruz said. “We’ve appreciated working with Toyota over the years, but when my dad started driving in the 1960s his engine was a Dodge 392 Hemi – the same engine that’s in this car now. My personal car is a Dodge Chrysler 300, so I’ve been a fan of Dodge power for a long time.”
The team has four Dodge Charger bodies, an additional chassis and a blazing new silver, black, and Snap-on red paint scheme for the Funny Car and haulers. The team asked fans to name two of the new bodies and chose “El Demonio” (The Demon) and “Los Chingasos” (loosely interpreted as The Fighter).
Glenn Huszar, who has been with the team since 2017, has been named crew chief. Nick Casertano will be assistant crew chief, and the team has added three new crew members. “The drivers and the tuners get all the glory, but the crew is vital,” Cruz says. “This is a new era for our race team, and I’m excited for the season to start. We spent testing week getting the car as close to 100 percent as we can and putting our guys in positions where they can be really successful. We took the time for the newer team members get a better feel for the fast pace it takes to make things work as needed on race weekends. Our team goals are to get down the track at least three times in the top five and getting the car to where it can win rounds again.”
Cruz had a win in the 2018 season and finished with the reaction time lead in the Nitro Funny Car field. He says the team will take the best of what they did last year and use that setup information to make it a strong season this year.
On The Side of Cruz’s Car
Check out Cruz’s car this week, and you’ll see the name of area Snap-on Nitro Franchisee Doug Bruttomesso. Doug was a carpenter before following his brother’s lead to become a Snap-on franchisee. He says he enjoys interacting with customers along his route, many of them in aviation and heavy equipment shops. When he’s not working he’s likely playing ice hockey, but he’ll be here at the track with us this weekend, meeting Cruz for the first time and having his picture taken with his name on the side of the new Snap-on Dodge Funny Car.