LAS VEGAS (April 11, 2008) – Awesome and exciting were what Bob Tasca III kept repeating after earning the provisional No. 2 position on the first day of qualifying for the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas.
“That’s awesome,” said Tasca after his second run down the quarter-mile track. “We’re really excited about that run there. I said to myself that I was going right back to Rhode Island because I wasn’t going to take my foot off this thing. It was so smooth. For my team [and] Chris Cunningham in his first weekend as crew chief, man [that] guy is awesome.”
The driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Shelby Mustang was third after his first trip down the track with a 5.00 ET run. After making small changes for the second run and seeking the top spot, Tasca ended up second as the result of a 4.864 ET run.
“You wouldn’t think it, but the difference between a 5.0 and a 4.86 is huge out there,” said Tasca. “As a driver, you know that thing is hauling when you’re on a run like that. It’s really exciting for our whole program with Motorcraft and Quick Lane and with Custom Accessories, who is on the car for the first time this weekend.”
With Vegas being the fifth race on the 24-race NHRA schedule, a start in Sunday’s race would be Tasca’s fourth race day start this season.
“To have a day like this really makes those tough days coming up the ladder worthwhile,” said the rookie driver. “For our car to run the way that it did today in Vegas, which is Carroll Shelby’s hometown, and with a lot of Ford people here is really just a treat.
“Certainly we had a crew chief change coming into this race, but I had all the confidence in the world in Chris [Cunningham] and the guys on the team. They gave me a racecar that just ran flawlessly today. On that last run it felt fantastic. It was smooth, it was straight, and the motor’s happy. It had great speed and we almost had the No. 1 spot for the day, but what’s even more important, is that we made two runs down the racetrack and improved throughout the day.”
TASCA ON THE TRACK:
“It’s a wide groove here in Vegas, and you’ve got a lot of wind out there. It’s a nice wide groove, but certainly as a driver you want to keep it right down the middle of the groove because that’s where you ultimately get your best time. It ran pretty much straight as an arrow and it’s just fantastic.”
TASCA ON CONDITIONS:
“We went down a hot track and we went down a cool track and certainly tomorrow and into Sunday, our first run will be more valuable to us than our second one, because of the temperature. The conditions are going to be hotter and it’s really going to be a tough day for the crew chiefs out here. But to have two runs to build off of for the weekend, it gives us a lot of confidence going into Sunday.
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Friday qualifying runs:
· Run No. 1: 5.008 ET, 304.60 mph
· Run No. 2: 4.864 ET, 316.82
– Tasca has made three starts this season, making it to the second round in Pomona, and first rounds in Gainesville and Houston. He missed the field in Phoenix by one qualifying position.
– Tasca is running a full season and competing for 2008 Rookie-of-the-Year honors
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, earning two professional wins at Englishtown and Virginia. Tasca is a third-generation Ford dealer from Rhode Island.