ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 22, 2008) – On a day when winning is usually the only thing on the minds of teams and drivers in the NHRA, race day in Englishtown today was different.
It’s been just one day since the NHRA community experienced the tragic loss of Funny Car driver, Scott Kalitta, and the feelings of sadness and sorrow flooded the entire pit area at the track.
“It’s hard to be happy about racing when you’re sad,” said Tasca. “Not being out here as long as some of the other guys, I wasn’t fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with Scott. But, during the times that I did spend with him, he was always a gentleman. I’m just brokenhearted for him and his whole family. The unthinkable and the unspeakable happened. It’s just a very bad day in the NHRA world.”
Tasca, a resident of nearby Rhode Island, competed at his hometown track for the first time in his professional career on Sunday. Tasca lost to point’s leader, Tim Wilkerson, in the first round of the NHRA Supernationals, but was able to hold on to his 10th position in the championship.
“We had a tune-up in the car to run a high 4.90,” said Tasca. “It probably would have run that, but I shut it off when I saw Tim go through the lights. That’s why our time was down a little bit.
“We qualified eighth and had lane choice, but we ran against the No. 1 guy in the points. That’s just the way the draw was. He’s No. 1 for a reason. Tim Wilkerson has run really, really well this season and you’ve got to give his team a lot of credit. They made an amazing run in the heat yesterday, which probably gave them some great data for today. Now, we just pick up and move on down the road, but it’s been a tough, tough weekend.”
The Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang team will leave right from Englishtown and head to Norwalk, Ohio for the 2nd annual NHRA Nationals June 26-29. The race marks the halfway point of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season.
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Tasca was the No. 8 qualifier for the race
– Tasca faced point’s leader, Tim Wilkerson, in the first round of competition. It was the first meeting between the two Funny Car drivers.
– Tasca won his first National Event in his Top Alcohol Funny Car in Englishtown in 2007.
– Tasca is running a full season and for 2008 Rookie-of-the-Year honors.
– Tasca began putting together his nitro Funny Car team in November 2007, for debut at the 2008 Winternationals at Pomona in February.
ABOUT THE DRIVER:
Bob Tasca III is a 32-year-old rookie in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing nitro Funny Car class. Tasca competed the past three seasons in the Alcohol Funny Car class. Tasca is also a third-generation Ford dealer from Rhode Island.