Hyundai Invests in Latino Community During Hispanic Heritage Month

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Oct 152022
 

(l to r) Brandon Ramirez, director, corporate social responsibility, Hyundai Motor America, Sandra Pisano, PsyD, Director, Behavioral Health, AltaMed, Fanny Oliveira, Sr. director of Development, AltaMed Foundation, in Los Angeles, Calif. on October 14, 2022. (Photo/Hyundai)

At the close of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15–Oct. 15) Latino Traffic Report has learned that Hyundai  honored the Hispanic and Latinx communities with a multifaceted program that included philanthropic and community-based support and sponsorships including:

  • Hyundai Hope donations to empower future generations through education
  • Community support from Hyundai’s employee resource group (ERG), Amigos Unidos
  • Partnership with the Latin American Museum in Long Beach (MOLAA)
  • Participation in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) leadership conference
  • Hyundai’s Hispanic marketing agency, Lopez Negrete Communications, FIFA campaign

“Hispanic and Latino Americans have long played a pivotal role enriching our culture and economy and serve as a key driving force of the automotive industry,” said José Muñoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America. “America’s diversity has always been one of our greatest strengths as a nation and we are proud to support and spotlight the Hispanic community’s rich and diverse heritage, achievements and contributions that have made our country better and stronger.”

Members of Hyundai’s Employee Resource Group, Amigos Unidos, with Lourdes Ramos, PhD, president and CEO, MOLAA, Alison Heney, PhD, vice president of learning and public programs, MOLAA, in Long Beach, Calif., October 10, 2022. (Photo/Hyundai)

Philanthropic Commitments
Hyundai donated $25,000 to The East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU) College Success Program to increase the number of Hispanic and Latino first-generation students from underserved communities majoring in the fields of STEM and business.

Hyundai Hope contributed to the AltaMed Foundation to support programs and resources providing mental health services to underserved communities.

Amigos Unidos Community Work
Hyundai and its employee resource group (ERG), Amigos Unidos, hosted the Fifth Annual Hyundai Career Experience Virtual Program for first- and second-year college students to learn about automotive career opportunities.

For a second year in a row, Hyundai’s Amigos Unidos ERG members volunteered their time and provided financial assistance to community-based organization, Project Youth OCBF in Santa Ana to keep at-risk youth in school, healthy and drug-free through education, counseling, mentoring, and family strengthening.

Latin American Museum in Long Beach (MOLAA) Sponsorship
Hyundai donated $14,000 to the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) Youth Art and Hispanic Heritage Programs and is sponsoring the Día de los Muertos community celebration and exhibit. For more information, please visit 2022 MOLAA Day of the Dead Festival.

Thought Leadership
Hyundai Motor North America’s Gil Castillo, senior group manager, product strategy and regulatory compliance, participated in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Leadership Conference “Building a Climate Resilient Nation: Green American Communities and Business” in Washington, D.C to discuss Hyundai’s electrification and carbon neutrality goals.

Hispanic Agency of Record and FIFA Content
Hyundai’s multicultural marketing group together with its newly selected U.S. Hispanic agency, Lopez Negrete Communications, unleashed the passion for soccer, starting with families, with original, culturally curated content awarding four Hispanic winners to attend the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Selected winners will be sharing their experience and journey of a lifetime during the live, global event that scores high among U.S. Hispanics.

Not all automakers make reaching out to the Latino community a priority. Bravo to Hyundai for its efforts.

Albaisa Named Designer of the Year

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Sep 052022
 

Senior Vice President for Global Design for Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (NML)

Latino Traffic Report has learned that Nissan lead designer Alfonso Albaisa was recently recognized for his lifetime of work as Designer of the Year in Newsweek‘s inaugural World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors awards. From the Ariya to the Nissan Z and several new models in between, Albaisa has imprinted his vision on the brand in many ways since joining the company more than 30 years ago.

The Newsweek World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors awards highlight the best and brightest in the auto industry across six categories. Albaisa received the award amid the Nissan NEXT transformation, a four-year global initiative that kicked off in 2020, promising 12 new models including the all-new Nissan Ariya, Frontier, Pathfinder, Rogue, Nissan Z and others.

“Disruption is the job description, so I take great honor in this formal recognition of doing what my team and I were born to do day in and day out” said Albaisa, senior vice president for Global Design for Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “It’s also incredibly humbling to receive acknowledgement alongside my incredibly talented industry peers for 34 years of wonderful collaborations at Nissan.”

Since joining Nissan in 1988, Albaisa has worked on many models and all brands under the Nissan Motor Corporation umbrella including Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun. His recent notable vehicle designs for U.S. market vehicles include the Z Proto concept, Ariya, Frontier, Pathfinder, Rogue and Sentra for Nissan Brand and Infiniti QX60, QX55 for Infiniti. Albaisa’s designs were also recently recognized in the Newsweek Auto Awards “Best Car Lineup” for 2021.

In addition to overseeing vehicle design, Albaisa also provides direction for the company’s logos, display spaces, dealerships and even building architecture.

Albaisa received this award at the Newsweek offices in Manhattan on the eve of the 2022 New York International Auto Show.

Hyundai Manager Named Woman of the Year

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Jul 092022
 

 

Latino Traffic Report has learned that Kristin Gomez (above right), Hyundai senior group manager, regulatory compliance and eco-mobility, was named Woman of the Year by the National Hispanic Business Women Association (NHBWA) for her contribution to corporate responsibility. NHBWA annually recognizes three women for outstanding work in corporate responsibility, small business/entrepreneur and community service/nonprofit/education.

“NHBWA Woman of the Year is an incredible honor to recognize the impact that Kristin has not only in her environmental work but also in her passion and dedication to supporting her local community,” said Yuval Steiman, director, eco-compliance and research, Hyundai Motor North America. “From implementing eco-initiatives to advocating for youth programs, Kristin’s commitment to building a better tomorrow for future generations is an inspiration.”

Gomez is president of the associate board and a longtime volunteer at Project Youth Orange County Bar Foundation (OCBF), an Orange County-based nonprofit which helps at-risk youth in Santa Ana with education resources. She is an active member of Hyundai’s “Amigos Unidos” employee resource group, which is tasked with community engagement and raising cultural awareness at Hyundai.

Woman of the Year is awarded to women who are active in the community or with the NHBWA and have a history of business and entrepreneurial professional achievements.

Honda Issues First Ever Inclusion and Diversity Report

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May 282022
 

Latino Traffic Report has learned that as part of Honda’s efforts to promote equality in its workforce and society, the company today released its inaugural Inclusion & Diversity Report: “Living Our Values.” The report outlines Honda’s commitments to advancing inclusion and diversity and shares recent actions the company has taken, including key initiatives within its workforce and the communities where its associates live and work. The report, which will be released annually, marks the first time the company has publicly shared comprehensive data on the diversity of its operations in the United States, including its workforce, dealers, suppliers, and corporate giving, demonstrating Honda’s focus on transparency and accountability. 

“We initiated this report to emphasize our commitment and share our progress in the areas of inclusion and diversity. The report is an important tool in holding ourselves accountable for continuous improvement,” said Yvette Hunsicker, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusion and Diversity at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Honda was founded on a strong respect for people, and we are committed to living our values through actions that strengthen equality in our own workplace and in communities across America.”

The company claims that while it has always prioritized aligning its actions with its belief that inclusion and diversity make us stronger, the social awakening of 2020 led Honda to reexamine and renew its efforts in championing fairness, justice and equality. The company committed to several new actions to better reflect the demographic makeup of America within its operations and deepen its support of social justice. One of these actions was to be more transparent in sharing its commitments and beliefs, and the diversity of key stakeholder groups.

The report also outlines new actions Honda has taken over the past two years, including:

  • Improved processes for hiring and promotion by implementing diverse slates of candidates and diverse interview panels, and a more transparent job posting process
  • Revised the company’s social media policy to enable Honda to take action when anyone affiliated with the company posts racist or discriminatory content
  • Prepared Honda leaders throughout the company to hold meaningful discussions with associates about race, with organizational tools that included a leadership check-in conversation guide and manager resource guide to help facilitate candid conversations
  • Provided tools for associates to educate themselves on the topic of social justice
  • Introduced anti-racism and allyship training to leaders and associates to promote social justice and inclusion across Honda’s U.S. operations.

Honda has established specific partnerships with national Latino organizations like the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), The East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU) Education Foundation (TEF), and since 2003, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to help undergraduate Latino students achieve their dream of a college education. In 2021 42 percent of the participants in Honda’s Professional Automotive Career Training program were Latino but the report also reveals that Latinos made up only five percent of Honda’s workforce in 2021.

“We have more work to do, but this report shows that Honda is making progress and is deeply committed to creating the inclusion, diversity and equity that is rooted in our values and will make us stronger as a company,” said Hunsicker.

Hispanic Motor Press Announces 2022 HMPA Winners

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Mar 102022
 
Luxury Vehicle of the Year: Genesis GV70

Latino Traffic Report (LTR) has learned that the Hispanic Motor Press recently announced the winners of the 2022 Hispanic Motor Press Awards (HMPA). The twelfth annual program recognizes the best new vehicles for Hispanic car buyers based on styling, driving satisfaction, technology, safety, environmental impact, mechanical reliability, and value.

Compact Vehicle of the Year: Honda Civic


“With overall manufacturer advancements in power train technology, safety features, infotainment, connectivity, and cleaner mobility, it is more important than ever to guide Hispanic car buyers who represent 30 percent of the growth in new-vehicle sales,” says Ricardo Rodriguez-Long, founder and president of the Hispanic Motor Press. “The 2022 winners offer positive overall ownership experience and are considered significant automobiles in the market, as they meet the needs and desires of Hispanic consumers.”

Family Vehicle of the Year: Kia Carnival

The 2022 model year HMPA winners are:
Family Vehicle of the Year: Kia Carnival
Electric Vehicle (EV) of the Year: Hyundai IONIQ 5
Compact Vehicle of the Year: Honda Civic
Midsize Vehicle of the Year: Buick Enclave
Luxury Vehicle of the Year: Genesis GV70
Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) of the Year: Mitsubishi Outlander
Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) of the Year: Jeep Grand Wagoneer
Pick-Up Truck of the Year: Ford Maverick
Adventure Vehicle of the Year: Ford Bronco
Best Technology Vehicle of the Year: GMC Hummer

Pick-Up Truck of the Year: Ford Maverick


The 2022 HMPA jurors comprised of independent Hispanic automotive journalists, content creators and industry influencers, including LTR, was selected by the organization’s advisory board. The juror members evaluated over 100 new vehicles during 2021 and into 2022.
Auto manufacturers voluntarily submitted their entries, and the jury panel evaluated the vehicles on their features including overall design, comfort, safety, economy, handling, performance, functionality, infotainment integration, interior design, environmental requirements, driver satisfaction, and price.
The Hispanic Motor Press Awards is the premier independent Hispanic awards presented in the country for the Hispanic community to help, educate, and pre-select the best vehicle options in the market. It also offers scholarship programs for students in communications and journalism.
For more information, visit www.hispanicmotorpress.org. Follow Hispanic Motor Press on Twitter@HMotorPressOrg, Facebook@Hispanicmotorpress or Instagram@hispanicmotorpress

#hispanicmotorpress #hispanicmotorpressawards

Ramirez Advances at Hyundai

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Jan 302022
 

Latino Traffic Report (LTR) has learned that Hyundai Motor America (HMA) has promoted Brandon Ramirez to director of Corporate Social Responsibility and External Relations. In this role, Ramirez is responsible for the development and implementation of CSR programs and initiatives in the areas of sustainability, innovation and community engagement. Ramirez is also responsible for promoting Hyundai and Genesis leadership in technology democratization, eco-friendly mobility solutions and customer-centric experiences.

Brandon Ramirez

Ramirez is an old friend to LTR, which has followed his career advancement over the years. Previously, Ramirez was the senior group manager, product public relations at Hyundai Motor North America responsible for communicating the attributes of Hyundai’s entire product lineup to traditional and digital media throughout the country, including auto show strategy, new vehicle launches and ongoing content creation for Hyundai vehicles. Ramirez also spent 13 years leading product development, market launches and lifecycle management for Hyundai’s lineup of cars, CUVs and alternative-powered vehicles. He has extensive multicultural experience serving as the chair of Hyundai’s internal “Amigos Unidos” employee group, which is tasked with community engagement and raising culture awareness at Hyundai.

Congrats to Ramirez and kudos to Hyundai for its commitment to diversity.

Tundra and Wagoneer Get Top Honors at 2021 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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Dec 012021
 
2022 Toyota Tundra photo by Kevin McCauley

Latino Traffic Report (LTR) has learned that the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) has named the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra and the 2022 Grand Wagoneer as the 2022 Truck of Texas and 2022 SUV of Texas, respectively, following the Texas Truck Rodeo, held October 2021 and attended by LTR editor Valerie Menard, a TAWA voting member. Both models were first-time winners.

2022 Grand Wagoneer photo by Kevin McCauley

“At the Texas Truck Rodeo, we get to put dozens of vehicles through their paces both on- and off-road,” said TAWA president Kristin Shaw. “At the end of the day, our members were duly impressed by the updates and technological advancements included in both the 2022 Tundra and the reborn Grand Wagoneer; both were equally capable on the road course and dirt circuit.”

More than 40 Texas Auto Writers Association journalists traveled to Star Hill Ranch outside Austin on October 4-5, to evaluate more than 50 vehicles on an upgraded off-roading course designed for the event. Drivers had the opportunity to drive vehicles on-road as well.

Members voted on the coveted Truck of Texas and SUV of Texas awards as well as eleven sub-categories including Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas, Off-Road Pickup Truck of Texas, Luxury SUV of Texas, Mid-Size SUV of Texas and Compact SUV of Texas. Vehicles are measured on their interior, exterior, value, performance and personal appeal.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz photo by Valerie Menard

“With Texas as the number-one truck market, these awards have special significance,” said Menard. “I’ve been a member of this organization for more than 20 years and have been attending the annual truck rodeo for about as long. I look forward to it each year.”

While the Tundra and Wagoneer took the top prizes, other standouts for the day included the Hyundai Santa Cruz, which garnered the Compact SUV of Texas honor. Based on the Hyundai Tucson, the Santa Cruz will remind many of the Subaru Brat and while some may resist the urge to call it a pickup, the open bed does offer truck utility and includes a waterproof cooler inside the bed.

2022 Genesis GV70 photo by Kevin McCauley

Sporting a distinctive exterior look and exceptional interior luxury (including multi-zone massager in the front seats), the Genesis GV70 took home the Luxury SUV of Texas award. It has one of the lowest prices in its segment, starting at $52,000. The as-tested price was $64,045 but that pales in comparison to other competitors at the rodeo like the Maserati Levante Trofeo at $160,040 and even the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Series III at $109,580.

This year, the health and safety of all participants remained the top priority. Safety protocols that remained in place after being adopted in 2020 to address the pandemic included sanitizing vehicles between drives and hosting all meals and meetings outdoors. TAWA thanks our participating members, automakers, press fleets and sponsors for their support.

For a full list of award winners go to https://www.texasautowriters.org/truck-of-texas-2022.

Hyundai Honors Hispanic Heritage Month

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Oct 152021
 
The Hyundai Project Youth check presentation at Someone Cares Soup Kitchen on Oct. 10, 2021 in Costa Mesa, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging)

As Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15–Oct. 15) winds down, Latino Traffic Report has learned that Hyundai has launched a campaign to honor the Latino communty and celebrate their achievements and contributions. The multifaceted campaign includes philanthropic and community-based support as well as sponsorships highlighting Hispanic achievements and contributions to America.

“Hyundai is proud to support and spotlight the Hispanic community’s rich and diverse heritage and celebrate the achievements and invaluable contributions Latinos have made to America,” said Angela Zepeda, CMO, Hyundai Motor America. “Hispanic Americans are an integral part of our nation’s fabric and a key driving force of the automotive industry.”

CANELA.TV Sponsorship
CANELA.TV’s Journey to Success Series Presented by Hyundai highlights the real stories of today’s Hispanic heroes and explores a day in their lives. The 6-episode inspirational series features Kiki Melendez, La Marisoul and Edoardo Chavarin. The all-new series is currently available to stream at CANELA.TV Journey To Success Presented by Hyundai. Hyundai is also presenting CANELA.TV’s My Latin Roots section featuring classic films from Mexico’s Golden Age of Cinema. 

Kristin Gomez and Brandon Ramirez from Hyundai Motor America present Karen Ruan and Marisol Parand from the Project Youth OCBF with a donation to help at-risk youth in Fountain Valley, Calif., Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

Philanthropic Efforts
Hyundai will make a $25,000 Donation to The Hispanic Scholarship Fund, an organization founded in 1975 that empowers students and parents to successfully complete a higher education, while providing support services and scholarships to as many exceptional students as possible.

Hyundai’s support to empower future generations of leaders extends beyond Hispanic Heritage Month and is a year-long commitment. Hyundai and its employee resource group (ERG), Amigos Unidos, will be hosting the Fourth Annual Hyundai Career Experience Virtual Program for first- and second-year college students to learn about automotive career opportunities.

Latin American Museum in Long Beach (MOLAA)
Hyundai is also sponsoring the Latin American Museum in Long Beach (MOLAA) Día de los Muertos community event and exhibition celebrating this important holiday. This year MOLAA will present an onsite event on Sunday, Oct. 17 as well as online programming that is accessible to all. For more information, please visit Day of the Dead Festival at MOLAA.  

Hyundai’s Amigos Unidos ERG members have also been volunteering their time and providing financial assistance to community-based organizations. This includes the Project Youth OCBF in Santa Ana which helps keep at-risk youth in school, healthy and drug-free through education, counseling, mentoring, and family strengthening, and Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa, Calif. that provides a daily nutritional meal to all members of the community in need. 

LTR Joins 2022 Hispanic Motor Press Awards Jury

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Aug 112021
 

The Hispanic Motor Press Foundation (HMPF) announced today their new panel of judges for the 2022 Hispanic Motor Press Awards (HMPA) and Latino Traffic Report (LTR) made the list. The premier independent Latino vehicle awards presented in the United States recognize the best new vehicles for Hispanic buyers. Winners will be announced during this year’s LA Auto Show, the annual ten-day auto and lifestyle event featuring the most diverse range of vehicles and brands in North America that opens to the public on November 19, 2021.

Genesis GV80, 2021 Luxury Car of the Year.

“With Hispanic buyers accounting for 25 percent of the growth in new-vehicle sales, HMPA guides consumers in preselecting choices,” states Ricardo Rodriguez-Long, founder and president of the Hispanic Motor Press. “Los Angeles is the top Hispanic market in the U.S. and the LA Auto Show continues to be a top performing show.”

The HMPA jury panel is comprised of national Latino automotive journalists, bloggers, content creators, and industry influencers selected by the organization’s advisory board. Twenty-three automotive experts and Hispanic consumer engagers—handpicked every year—and one jury director, form the panel. 

“This is the only national automotive award selected exclusively by Latino automotive journalists who best understand the needs and concerns of Latino car buyers,” says Valerie Menard, CEO of LTR. “It’s an honor to have been selected to serve on this jury.”

The jurors evaluate the vehicles from their perspective as part of their professional work through September 2021. Finalists are selected for the top ten best new vehicles: Car, EV Car, Hybrid Car, Sports Car, Luxury Car, Car Technology, Sports Utility Vehicle, Pick-Up Truck, Adventure Car, and the ultimate award Family Car of the Year.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, 2021 Family Car of the Year.

Auto manufacturers voluntarily submit their entries, and the panel evaluates the vehicles on their features including overall design, comfort, safety, economy, handling, performance, functionality, infotainment integration, interior design, environmental requirements, driver satisfaction, and price.  The final top ten vehicle winners represent the most significant automobiles in the market, as they meet the needs and desires of Latino consumers. Winners will be announced during the LA Auto Show’s Automobility LA press days, November 17–18, 2021. The general public is invited to attend the LA Auto show from November 19–28, 2021 and view the winning vehicles in-person.

Rodriguez-Long will serve as jury moderator. The Hispanic Motor Press Awards 2022 jury panel from across the country includes:

1. Aaron Sanchez (ABC News) CA9. Ellie Byrd (El Heraldo News) TX17. Maria Ravani (Sobre Rodas Magazine) FL
2. Alejandro Maciel (LA Times Español) CA10. German Angel (Enfoque Social) – CA  18. Pepe Delfino (El Automovilista) – FL  
3. Angelica Willard (Willard Post) FL11. Gil Silva (Mitchell Books) – CA  19. Pepe Forte (Automania)- FL  
4. Armando Varela (La Opinion) CA  12. Hector Russo (Geek’s Room) – TX  20 Roger Rivero (Automotriz Channel) – OR  
5. Camilo Alfaro (Autoproyecto) CA  13. Jaime Gabaldoni (Univision Autos) – FL21. Sandra Munoz (Latinaology)- AZ  
6. Carlos Hernandez (LatinOCC) CA  14. Jeffrey Gomez (The Snob Magazine) – TX22. Valerie Menard (Latino Traffic Report) – TX
7. David Loji (The Detroit Bureau) MI  15. Jose Melendrez (La Alcancia) – NY 
8. Dawn Garcia (A Taste of Dawn/ATOD Magazine) – CA  16. Lizza Monet Morales (Xoxo, Lizza Inc.) – CA   

For information on previous Award Winners visit www.hispanicmotorpress.com.

#hispanicmotorpress

#hmpaawards

Pedregon Scores Thirty-Seventh Funny Car Victory

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Jun 302021
 
Cruz Pedregon celebrates his victory in the Pedregon Racing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals near Norwalk, Ohio.

Latino Traffic Report has learned that the first victory of the 2021 NHRA season for a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat was earned from the No.10 spot on the eliminations ladder by two-time National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car World Champion Cruz Pedregon who powered his Pedregon Racing Snap-On Tools machine to the national event win at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals near Norwalk, Ohio. It was the thirty-seventh career Funny Car win for Pedregon who’s last victory came in 2018 at Charlotte Four-wide Nationals. 

“We have been prepping for a winning season, putting in so many hours and there’s nothing quite as rewarding as coming out on top and holding up that trophy at the end of a race weekend,” said Pedregon. “What a great job John (Collins), Rip (Reynolds), and the team did to get us ready for this race. What a real triumph for us all, especially after the 2020 season. We really appreciate our sponsors and great fans for sticking with us and giving us the additional boost of confidence we needed. That support is what makes it all possible.”

Pedregon’s performance aboard his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat consistently improved with every run throughout the weekend at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. After earning a tenth place seeding for eliminations, he went on to collect round wins over Tim Wilkerson, Robert Hight and Alexis DeJoria to advance to his first final round appearance of the year to face category points leader, Bob Tasca III. Following a holeshot semifinal win over DeJoria and the second rain delay of the day, Pedregon came ready for his final faceoff and used a 0.053-second reaction time to give his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat another holeshot advantage off the start and power to a 3.958 sec/324.75 mph pass over Tasca’s (0.100 sec.) 3.913/332.02 effort to earn the coveted Wally trophy and the treasured ice cream scoop trophy that the Bader family offers the winners at their dragstrip.

“(Winning) is not why I drag race, but this’ll keep me drag racing,” shared Pedregon. “It’s a good team and I felt like I was kind of holding my team back a little, but I dug deep. You work your way into winning again and these guys taught me to get back into that winning. It feels good to be back at it. This win means that I’m as good as the car, and I know I have a good car, so I think I can be there for the car as well and win more races.”