Cruz Pedregon (born September 19, 1963) is a 2-time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Champion from Torrance, California. He is the brother of Tony Pedregon also a two-time Funny Car Champion. He currently races for his own team, Cruz Pedregon Racing, Inc.
Pedregon began his career in 1980 behind wheel of a 1953 Kenworth truck. He raced go-karts in 1986 and was track champion at Ventura California Raceway. In 1987 he joined NHRA Competition racing an Alcohol Dragster. After 3 years in Alcohol Dragsters he decided to move to Alcohol Funny Cars. In 1991 Pedregon moved to Top Fuel Competition racing a partial schedule. In 1992 Pedregon won the Funny Car Championship. He would be the only driver besides fellow racer John Force to win it in the 1990s. In 1994 Pedregon was the only Funny Car driver to defeat John Force in a final round the entire season; qualified in the top half at 15 of the 18 national events. In 1995 Pedregon won at Indianapolis for the third time in four years also winning in 1992 and 1994. In 1996 Pedregon competed in a limited schedule winning one race and finishing 3rd in the final points standings. In 1997 Pedregon was the only Motorsports Driver to win the "Premio De Oro" an award for outstanding Hispanic Athletes. In 1998 Pedregon qualified first for a career best 12 races. In 1999 Pedregon formed his own team and raced a partial schedule in Funny Car. Pedregon won his first race as an owner driver at Englishtown in 2000.
Retirement and comeback
In 2001 Pedregon served as a color analyst for ESPN's NHRA coverage. After his year off Pedregon returned to racing qualifying for 18 races as an owner driver. In 2003 Pedregon finished the highest in the funny car standings since 1998. In 2004 he earned first No. 1 qualifying position since 1998 at Columbus. In 2005 Pedregon earned a pair of No. 1 qualifiers at Englishtown and Chicago He set the low E.T. at two events (Englishtown and Chicago ), and won $25,000 bonus for having closest margin of victory in Motel 6 Who Got the Light award. In 2006 Pedregon won his first race in 6 years. He qualified for 21 of 23 events and advanced to 3 final rounds. Pedregon had a better than .500 record winning 16 to 18 losses in 2007. He also went to 3 finals and qualified 1st in Houston.
In 2008 Pedregon earned his second career NHRA Full Throttle Series Championship Title (the other being in 1992), when his brother Tony Pedregon defeated the only other driver left in contention at the year’s final race He had an incredible charge in the playoffs, winning three of four final-round appearances, including the final three events of the season. He also won $100,000 NHRA Showdown in Indianapolis.
Pedregon resides in Brownsburg, Indiana. He is fluent in Spanish and frequently works with Hispanic media.