IT’S HERE! NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS KICK OFF IN CAROLINA RACING COUNTRY

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 13, 2011 – It’s time to bring the big bat.

This week’s NHRA Full Throttle Series race at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte officially kicks off the 2011 Countdown to the Championship playoffs, when the top 10 drivers in each category will throw everything they have at making the perfect start to the end of the year.

Bob Tasca III will be there to win with his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang Funny Car and knows now is the time to go the distance – especially at the same track he runnered-up at earlier this year. It’s his team’s home track, too. Tasca Racing headquarters is just down the street, in the heart of the Carolina racing country.

“These races back-to-back-to-back will set teams up for the championships,” said Tasca of the Charlotte, N.C.-Dallas-Reading, Pa. string of races the Series sets off on this week. “The weather conditions in Charlotte are supposed to be similar to those we had there in the spring. We’ll draw from some of that data; give ourselves a chance to do well this weekend.”

That final-round appearance was the first of two Tasca has earned this year. His second was in Indianapolis just a week ago.

Weather forecasts predict lows in the lower 50s and highs in the lower 70s – perfect conditions for mild-weather set-ups.

“It looks off-the-charts good,” Tasca said. “It could be some of the best conditions we’ve seen all year on one of the premier racing surfaces in the country.”

Tasca went up two spots in the Countdown to One point Funny Car point standings at Indianapolis, behind the strength of his runner-up finish – but since the points are reset at equal intervals for the playoff season, the title could go to anyone locked in. Including any of the ‘One Ford’ teams. All five made it in, so there’s a 50-50 shot the 2011 championship will be one in a Ford.

Tasca hopes he’s the last man standing.

“Everyone dreams,” Tasca said. “We’re out here to win a championship. There’s no other reason why I’m racing. If I don’t believe that I can win a championship, I’d hang up my firesuit and head on back to the dealership.”

Adult tickets start at just $40 each, with children 12 and under $5. For tickets, visit http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/dragway/tickets/ or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267).

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