LAS VEGAS, March 31, 2012–Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car team start the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from the No. 2 spot behind the strength of a 4.134-second pass at 307.86 mph they clocked on the final qualifying lap of the weekend.

Tasca takes on Jeff Arend in Round 1. Cooler conditions during eliminations tomorrow should have teams relying on data from previous races this season.

“You’ll see a smile on my face (tonight),” said Tasca, who earned three bonus points for qualifying first No. 3 on Friday, then No. 2 on Saturday. “I’ll tell you one thing. We went into the session third and I think at one point, we’d been bumped all the way down to seventh. We went out and ran a 4.13 with a 4 to Robert Hight’s 4.13 with a 2. Two one-thousandths of a second separated us from the No. 1 qualifying spot. But I’ll tell you one thing, I’m just so thrilled for my team and Motorcraft and Quick Lane. Bringing Dickie Venables on board. Working with Chris Cunningham and Marc Denner. At the end of the day, race cars don’t win championships. People do. When you get the right group of people together, anything can happen.

“That was a wild ride. We got 30 mph winds out here. It came past the grandstands and made a hard move to the center line. It was pulling. I had my hands turned all the way to the side to keep that thing in the groove, but man, that Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang felt good. We’ve given ourselves a great shot going into Sunday.”

Eliminations from the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will air from 7-10 p.m. ET Sunday (April 1, 2012).

For live updates, follow the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang team on Twitter (MQL_Racing) and Facebook (click on the “Twitter” icon). Follow driver Bob Tasca III on Twitter @Tasca3.

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