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Cruz Pedregon to Pay Tribute with ‘Makers and Fixers’ Dodge Hellcat for 2024 NHRA Season, Beginning at Gatornationals

The recent update from Cruz Pedregon’s racing team reveals several exciting developments as they gear up for the upcoming NHRA season. With a new fresh paint scheme for the Snap-on® “Makers and Fixers” Dodge® SRT® Hellcat® and haulers, the team aims to pay tribute to the invaluable work of makers and fixers. This initiative encourages NHRA fans to engage with the Makers and Fixers community on social media and share their own stories.

The team has also changed its lineup with key additions, including Jason Bunker as Crew Chief, Johnny West as Assistant Crew Chief, Andrew Moore as Car Chief, Chris Balance as the Clutch Specialist, Aiden Campos as the Cylinder Head Specialist, Caleb Krueger on Super Chargers, Jonathan Whitley on Bottom End and John Rios on Tire & Body.

“I’m very enthusiastic about the team. We’re not changing a lot, just some smaller things on the engine. Making it breathe better, it has more power than we had last year, and it goes down the track nice and smooth. So, I’m looking forward to a good winning season,” said Pedregon. “I feel like the Snap-on car will be one of the surprises of the season, I really do. I feel like we’re flying under the radar right now, based on our preseason testing and my conversations with Jason (Bunker), he has a really good handle on this setup. We have a great group of guys we’ve assembled, headed by Jason Bunker, a younger up-and-coming crew chief who has a lot of enthusiasm. Then I’ve paired him with veteran Johnny West who has nearly 60 years of experience. So, I think it’s going to be a good 1-2 combination heading up the team. A lot of young guys, too, that are very excited to be on the team and part of the Snap-on Dodge crew.”

Furthermore, Pedregon shares his favorite memories of the Gainesville track, emphasizing its significance on the NHRA circuit and recounting personal anecdotes that highlight the unique challenges and experiences of racing in such a distinctive location.

“I was born and raised in Southern California, so I’ve never really been around alligators or knew much about them other than that there was once one on the racetrack. They spotted the gator and showed it to everyone. There were pictures of it, and that scared the heck out of me. We get out of the car at the finish line and I’m thinking man, I’ve got to start looking around here because I don’t want one of these gators sneaking up on me,” said Pedregon.

“I remember one time the throttle hung open on the car, this was back in ’08 one of our championship years, and I remember thinking I’m going to go for a ride and I’m going to wind up in water because there was a body of water at the finish line, way beyond the catch net area. I’m thinking to myself, if I survive this and I make it to the end then I’m going to be in this water, trying to swim out of there and dodging gators. So that scared the heck out of me because like I said, I’ve never really been around gators being from California, that was something that was not even in the equation,” he added.

Kenny Cholewinski has been selected as the Snap-on Nitro Franchisee for the Gatornationals. He is in his 29th year of operating a Snap-on Franchise, and he’s been coming to the Gatornationals the past 25 of those.

To see the latest Cruz news, like his Facebook page, on X and Instagram.

This story was originally published on March 5, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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