DRO: Was sponsorship
the key issue?
PEDREGON: It had
to be with the right sponsor and with certain
conditions, like being able to acquire Dickie.
What tipped the scale was the resources of the
company. Quaker State
a tradition of involving themselves with a team
on a long-term basis. They're excited about
getting back to NHRA. All the components were
DRO: You've expressed
your gratitude to John Force for his eight-year
investment in you, and you've said you have
a special friendship with Team Castrol crew
chief John Medlen that will not change. So,
always risk involved, but the risk is minimal.
I've gotten to know the people behind the brand,
and the people at Quaker State are buying into
the same vision I have. I'm loyal -- I was loyal
to John Force for eight years, and I told him
[about the possibility of a switch] long before
I made any decisions. I wake up every morning
and know I made the right decision. I am prepared
to devote time to this effort, and the fact
I can do it with my brother is icing on the
DRO: Are you losing
patience with the fact you're being second-guessed?
I appreciate the fans, but in the end, I have
to do what's best for Tony. I have a family,
and I have goals. If I could get people to understand
one thing, it is that John [Force] makes business
decisions that are best for John. I simply made
a business decision. It was inevitable, a natural
evolution. The next step was to become a team
owner. I'm going to control where I'm going.
It'll be great for the sport. It's also going
to open that seat for somebody else and give
him the opportunity like I had for eight years
to get into a car that's a winner.
DRO: Cruz has
said you guys can make a bigger impact on the
sport by banding together. Aside from winning
races, what does that mean for you? When will
you be satisfied that you're making an impact?
we can land Quaker State in the winners circle.
That's why we're working all these long hours.
The impact I want to make on this sport is to
build a dynasty. And who knows what's down the
road? Maybe we'll add a dragster.
DRO: That's pretty
PEDREGON: I have
always believed in my ability and the people
I'm involved with.
DRO: What are
your immediate goals?
PEDREGON: To go
to the first race and qualify. I always was
concerned about qualifying, even when I drove
for John, and that's not going to change. I
even thought that way when I was on the heels
of winning a championship. We want to get this
car up and running. We still have a lot of management
decisions to make. I have a lot more responsibility,
but I like that.