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Cruz Pedregon

Cruz Pedregon loves football. He loves his NHRA Funny Car operation -- his NHRA Funny Car operation -- far more.

But he can identify with O.W. Meadows, the character in Peter Gent's novel North Dallas Forty who ranted, "Winning's got to mean more than just money. I can make money selling real estate." Or, in Pedregon's case, by staying in the ESPN broadcast booth for a second year.

Meadows shouted at management, "Every time I try and call it a business you say it's a game and every time I say it should be a game you call it a business." Pedregon has experienced the same frustration and understands how to balance those two dynamics.

Like a veteran quarterback, the 38-year-old Camarillo, Calif., resident has re-established himself as a contender. He's owner and driver of the Advance Auto Parts team.

In a recent huddle with DRO, Pedregon diagrammed his offense for the 2002 season and talked about his 1992 goal-line stand against John Force. He shared what he learned while sitting on the bench -- everything from the intangibles to playing against the high-budget teams to being a cheerleader.

Copyright 2002, Drag Racing Online and Racing Net Source