Everyone thinks that drivers go on vacation when they’re not racing, but that’s certainly not the case for us. Since the race in Phoenix, we have been really busy getting the Tasca Racing shop together in Charlotte. A couple of the guys came right back to Rhode Island from Phoenix to load up a lot of the equipment that we had at our race shop in R.I. I’ve spent a couple of days down in Concord, N.C., with Chris Cunningham, Marc Denner, and the guys working on where to place the equipment and a lot of the odds and ends that go into building a racing shop.
We also had the opportunity to bring our ’08 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet down to Charlotte to zMax Dragway, and it was pretty cool because it was opening day for the racetrack. The track has been closed all winter, and the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet that my uncle, Carl Tasca Sr., drove was the first car down the racetrack. That was pretty cool for him because he hasn’t been in a car like the Cobra Jet in a long time.
The interesting thing is we operate in a 60 mile-per-hour world. When you put somebody in a Mustang that goes 145 miles-per-hour in nine seconds, the car is so far ahead of you, that you’ll do things you don’t realize you’re doing. On one of the runs, my uncle left before the Tree came on, and he said that he didn’t even know it because it’s so fast. It was fun for me to spend some time with him and take him through some of the pointers that were passed onto me along the way. By the third or fourth time in the car, Uncle Carl was going up and down the racetrack. It was fun in a multitude of ways to see him have a great time in the car and to see the Ford Cobra Jet back on the track; it was great to just be a part of that.
The next couple of days are going to be kind of action packed for me. I’m heading out to Los Angeles on Monday to meet Jay Leno and to tour his garage. I’m bringing a helmet for him, which I think will be pretty neat to have him put into his garage, which I hear is just incredible. I’ve been on the Web site and seen some of the neat cars. I know Jay has always held Ford close to his heart, so it should be fun to go out there and spend a little time in his garage. I’ll be with my wife, Therase, and Chris Cunningham and his wife, Sheila. Chris is already out on the West Coast disassembling the blower dyno we purchased from Del Worsham that will be sent out to our new shop in Charlotte.
Tuesday night, we are going to see American Idol. It’s a show that my wife has watched regularly, and I get to watch it when I’m in town. It’s a great show and great fun. Hopefully, we’ll get the opportunity to meet Ryan Seacrest or Paula, Kara, Randy, or even Simon. I brought a Motorcraft shirt with me, so maybe on my next blog you’ll see Ryan in a Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing shirt.
After Idol, it’s back home to switch suitcases and head out to Gainesville. I’m taking my son Austin; this is the first time we will be traveling alone together. My wife is bringing the other two boys down on Friday because we are going to spend some time in Disney World after the race with the Pedregons. Tony Pedregon is my dear friend, and his wife and my wife are great friends. I’m looking forward to taking Austin down on Thursday; it will be fun for my 4 year old to spend a little time with his dad. When people win the Super Bowl they always say, “I’m going to Disney World,” hopefully we’ll win the race and we can say the same thing. Last year, Pedregon won in Gainesville, so I think the Disney trip brought him a little bit of luck. Hopefully, it brings me a little bit of luck this year.
For all the race fans going to Gainesville, be sure to stop by Nitro Alley and The Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Experience. I’m a fan of the car that is parked out in front of the display — the Tasca Cobra Jet. The display is such an important part of our program with Motorcraft and Quick Lane and Ford. The fans have unprecedented access to us, and the sponsors have unprecedented access to the fans. That’s the wonderful thing about NHRA racing. The midway display allows the fans to have a pretty cool interactive experience, whether it’s the pit crew contest on the Quick Lane side or the holeshot contest on the Motorcraft side. Then you have the Custom Accessories display where you can win a lot of prizes and have some fun there. We’re also going to have the Cobra Jet there, and this one is special to me because it’s the Tasca version. Our CJ was in the area, so Motorcraft and Ford asked us to have our Cobra Jet on display. It’s lettered up like the nostalgia one was lettered up back in the ’60s. I know there’s a lot of buzz going on. A Cobra Jet won at Pomona, not our car, and a lot of people want to get up close and see one of these things. We’re happy to have it out in front of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Experience display.
See you in Gainesville!