CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 18, 2011 – If you’ve ever wondered how finicky an NHRA Full Throttle Series car can be, take a look at the data from the first round of the event at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. – a session that proved yet again how important weather conditions are in preparing a Funny Car.
Teams prepped for the overcast skies and cool temperatures they’d seen for the entire two days of qualifying – conditions that persisted through pre-race and the first pairs of Round 1.
Then came an oil down.
“To be out here and to have experienced it, it went from 60 degrees to over 70 degrees in literally about a 10 to 15-minute span,” Tasca said. “We were rolling up there to run a mid to low 4.0. We knew the conditions would be there. We saw the first three pairs run in front of us and they ran unbelievable times. You go up loaded and then there’s an oil down and there’s a 15, 20 min. wait, and it was like everything changed. The sun came out, the temperature came up. We ran back to the pits to try to really back our car down, but there’s only so much you can do without taking the bellhousing off, and we just didn’t have time for that.”
Tasca faced ‘One Ford’ teammate Tim Wilkerson in an unfortunate Round 1 pairing – a driver he had a 3-0 record against this year before this race.
“Unfortunately we went out there and smoked the tires,” said Tasca, who drove the FordParts.com Ford Mustang Funny Car to a tire-smoking 5.171-second finish at 152.42 mph. “Tim was able to get down there with a 4.12 (at 306.88). Clearly we were trying to run a lot faster than that. I guess you could say Mother Nature just took that away from us. But hats off to Tim.”
The teams and drivers of the NHRA Full Throttle Series have a few days to get to Texas Motorplex, where they will compete this weekend in Ennis, Texas – the second race of three in as many weeks.
“For the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/FordParts.com car, this is unfortunate, but we can withstand one first-round loss,” Tasca said. “This weekend we’ll pack it in. We had the FordParts.com car here, we were hoping to get a little bit of magic from that car. That paint scheme has been so good to us over the last couple of years. We’re going to look forward to Dallas. There are three in a row on this East Coast swing. We’ll hit Dallas this weekend, then we’ll go to Maple Grove, so it’s back-to-back-to-back. We’ve just got to really focus on going rounds and taking the trophy here in these next two races.”
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