Cruz Pedregon has many accolades attached to his name from a career that spans decades. Now, he’s looking forward to embarking on a new adventure that will be a first in his seasoned career – the inaugural Scag Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
“I think it’s very exciting, and it’s going to be something very new for the track and to get the fans excited,” said Pedregon. “We all feel the winter is so long, and we miss racing, so having this opportunity to go to Florida and put on an event for all the fans is going to be a great opportunity.”
The event, which is the first of its kind for nitro-burning machines when it comes to the unique format and invited driver list, can be a major step up for professional teams.
“This event is going to benefit our program in many different ways. Obviously, the exposure online and through the event marketing is going to be great in helping get our sponsors more push, more eyeballs, and everything else we can get to help the ROI,” explained Pedregon. “It also helps us in a way as we will have a week to try things out on the race car heading into the race as far as tuneup, parts and the big element is obviously the money would be huge to bring home to kick off the season.”
Making his debut at Bradenton Motorsports Park, Pedregon is keen to make an impression.
“What I’m looking forward to the most is getting back in the car and staying sharp and getting to go to a new market in Bradenton and reach new fans that may have never attended an event with Nitro cars before,” he said. “This will be my first time racing at Bradenton. I’ve had the opportunity to race at thousands of tracks across the country, so I’ll get to add another new one to the list. It’s great; just looking forward to getting in front of a new audience.”
Furthermore, the chip draw format adds an element of suspense and strategy to the race and one that the driver of the Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat says will be interesting.
“Not knowing who you’re going to race gives that element of surprise – the butterflies of not knowing who you’re going to race, it might be the best car on property or the worst,” stated Pedregon. “The luck of the draw, as they would say, but it adds a new element to our type of racing, which is very exciting to see.”
With $250,000-to-win for the Funny Car driver that bests the field of eight after four qualifying rounds, Pedregon wants to add another line to his résumé.
“It would be great to be the first person to win this event,” he said. “There can only be one first winner, and to have that attached to my career would be pretty awesome.
“As a driver, the purse is a nice cherry on top and an incentive to really dig deep, hit the lights and hopefully turn on the win lights at the end of the track. As an owner, it would be great to pull off that money at the beginning of the year to help reinvest into the program to continue to build throughout the rest of the season.”
Lastly, Pedregon is looking forward to the live-streaming exposure on FloRacing, plus from the fans in attendance and beyond.
“I am very excited to be a part of this – excited to help spread our form of racing into different venues and different people who may have never experienced us before,” said Pedregon. “Looking forward to a great race to kick off the season!”
The Scag Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout, also featuring $250,000-to-win Top Fuel and $125,000-to-win Pro Stock, is set for Feb. 8-10 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida. Tickets are now on sale at https://bit.ly/scagpro. Fans can also watch the entire race live through FloRacing at https://flosports.link/3KQGS4I.