NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car past champion Cruz Pedregon will field three entries in the USAC Midget race at the half-mile dirt oval at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night. The USAC Midgets will share the bill with USAC and CRA Sprint Cars and the dirt spectacular will complement the Oct. 25-28 NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals weekend at The Strip at LVMS.

Pedregon has tapped three-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion Sammy Swindell to pilot one of his Toyota-powered, Advance Auto Parts-sponsored entries at LVMS' 11-year-old dirt track. Joining Swindell on Pedregon's team will be USAC Midget Series standouts Jerry Coon Jr. of Tucson, Ariz., and Darren Hagen of Riverside, Calif. Swindell is driving a Pedregon-owned Midget in preparation for the upcoming Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Okla. Coons is the defending USAC National Midget Car Series champion and Hagen won the prestigious Hut Hundred last year.

"I'd like the drag racing fans to come over and see our Midgets race at the dirt track Saturday night," said Pedregon. "It's one of the last dirt races of the year and of course we'd like to win it. We usually campaign two cars, but we built a third one for Sammy to get him ready for the (indoor) Chili Bowl (in January).

"Three cars gives us a better chance to win the race," joked Pedregon.

One might not expect a man who makes his living by racing in straight lines on pavement in excess of 320 mph to be interested in dirt racing. But Cruz and his brothers, Tony and Frank Jr., grew up near the legendary Ascot Park in Gardena, Calif. The Southern California dirt oval, which closed in 1990, was home to some of the most exciting Sprint Car, Midget and motorcycle racing in the United States. The mud-slinging action made a tremendous impression on Pedregon and he considers dirt racing to be his hobby. While others are content to pilot boats or putt the links, Pedregon's interest lies in watching his Toyota-powered Midgets broadslide on bullrings across the country.

Spectator gates will open at 5 p.m. with qualifying at 6:15 p.m. Tickets may be purchased by calling the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or online at www.LVMS.com.

Schedule
Noon - Pit parking and credential sales open.
5 p.m. - Spectator gates open.
5:30 p.m. - Practice.
6:15 - Group qualifying (8 cars per session, 4 laps per session); NHRA match race practice.
6:55 p.m. - National Anthem.

7 p.m.
Four 10-lap USAC Midget Series heat races.
Four USAC-CRA Sprint Car heat races.
NHRA match race (drivers TBA).
12-lap USAC Midget Series B-Feature.
15-lap USAC-CRA Sprint Car B-Feature.
25-lap USAC Midget Series A-Feature.
30-lap USAC-CRA Sprint Car A-Feature.

Schedule subject to change.