Tony Pedregon

Updated: March 8, 2004, 1:56 AM ET
By Bill Stephens | ESPN.com

Tony Pedregon Class
Funny Car
Team
Quaker State
Car
Funny Car
STATS 2003 CAREER
Rank 1 1*
Wins 8 27
Final rounds 8 48
No. 1 qualifiers 8 25
Round record 47-15 299-166
*Indicates career best points finish
2003 recap
The good: Despite some troubling inconsistency in the season's second half and the controversy surrounding his impending departure from John Force Racing, Pedregon held on for his first career championship.

Season highlight: His dramatic defeat of Whit Bazemore in the final round of the fall Las Vegas race to clinch the title.

The bad: He lost in the first round four times in five races from Denver through Indy. That could have cost him the championship.

Season lowlight: The Western Swing. Didn't win a round in Denver, Seattle or Sonoma.

2004 outlook
What needs to be done: Pedregon will be dealing with culture shock in 2004. Now teamed up with his brother, Cruz, there will be more pressure on him, both as a co-team owner and having to perform for his new sponsor, Quaker State Motor Oil. After a somewhat pampered existence at John Force Racing, life will be more complicated and he'll have to deal with new demands while defending his championship.

Prediction: With Dickie Venables tuning, Pedregon will have the underpinnings of a winning team. But Force will be reenergized to take back the title and his split with Pedregon wasn't completely amicable. Few new Funny Car teams have ever climbed straight to the head of the class and Pedregon may see 2004 as strictly a year to adjust to his new surroundings.

Your take
Can Tony Pedregon win another Funny Car title despite moving to a new operation? Here are your thoughts on Pedregon and his prospects for the 2004 season.

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