Josh Hart seems like the type of racer who will try something different. 

That rang true Monday, May 29 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. 

As part of the grand prize Snap-on Tools Superspeedway contest event, Hart an NHRA Top Fuel championship contender squared off against Cruz Pedregon a two-time NHRA nitro Funny Car world champion in 1992 and 2008. 

Snap-on Tools hosted 24 VIP contest winners and their guests at the Indy 500 on May 28, and then at an all-day fully immersive day of drag racing that included instruction in the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School culminating with a side-by-side exhibition race between Hart’s R+L Carrier Top Fuel dragster and Pedregon’s Snap-on Tools Dodge Funny Car. 

“Cruz called and asked me if I would be interested in racing him in front of some of the Snap-on Tools Superspeedway contest winners and franchisees. I jumped at the chance,” Hart said in a press release. “I have never made a pass beside a nitro Funny Car, and it was an awesome experience. This was a cool event Snap-on Tools hosted giving these winners the chance to check out the Indy 500 and then get a full day of drag racing.” 

Hart made his first Top Fuel start in 2021 at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. He won that event and the second Charlotte, N.C., race that season. A year ago, he finished a career-best seventh in the points standings highlighted by runner-up finishes at Norwalk, Ohio, and St. Louis.  

Hart and Pedregon fired up their 12,000-horsepower speed demons while the Snap-on guests got an up close and personal experience. They each executed long and smoky burnouts before taking the Christmas Tree with Pedregon getting a slight competition advantage off the starting line to even out the elapsed times. 

Both Pedregon and Hart were clean off the line and as they blasted towards half-track Cruz’s Snap-on Dodge Funny Car dropped a cylinder and shut off on the exhibition with Hart making a clean pass to the finish line. 

“I have to tell you it was cool to race beside a Top Fuel dragster,” said Pedregon, who spent most of the day conversing with Snap-on contest winners. “This was a great event hosted by Snap-on and I am so proud to have been a major part of celebrating these customers and franchisees. These folks are the best in the business. I can’t wait for a rematch with Josh.” 

The Snap-on Superspeedway event was the final leg of the contest that afforded Snap-on customers and franchisees the chance to win prizes ranging from tools to Traxxas radio-controlled cars to the grand prize event. Twelve customer winners plus a guest and twelve franchisee winners and a guest were treated to an amazing two-day racing experience. 

On Monday, the winners enjoyed a full day of Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School instruction and racing. There was also an opportunity to take rides on a separate AutoCross course set up at the track. The Pedregon versus Hart side-by-side Funny Car versus Top Fuel dragster exhibition was the finale before the group enjoyed hospitality at the track. 

Hart and Pedregon return to action on the NHRA circuit when they compete at the New England Nationals in Epping, N.H., June 2-4 at New England Dragway. 

Through six races this season, Hart is seventh in the Top Fuel points standings and Pedregon is ninth.