HOUSTON, April 26, 2012–Bob Tasca Jr. rarely misses an NHRA Full Throttle Series race. It’s almost guaranteed that every time his son Bob Tasca III makes a lap in his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car, Bob Jr. will be standing behind him.
It makes sense. After all, when Bob III was little, it was his father who walked him through the aisles of the family Ford dealership in Rhode Island, pointing out the blue and red parts boxes and explaining the differences between them. The red were Motorcraft – the Ford Customer Service Division brand on Bob III’s Funny Car now.
But it’s one thing to watch a Funny Car and quite another to truly understand what it’s like to pull up to the NHRA’s Christmas Tree starting device (named for the colorful lights used in the timing system), go on green and power down a quartermile drag strip – and if you really want to “get” a drag racer, perhaps the quickest way is through a time slip of your own.
Bob III and the rest of the NHRA Full Throttle Series field compete at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas this weekend for the sixth of 23 events in the 2012 schedule. It’s a favorite for Bob III, who made his annual stop to NASA’s Johnson Space Center before the race.
After the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte two weeks ago, Bob Jr. strapped himself into the 2010 Super Cobra Jet prototype and thundered down zMAX Dragway under drag racing instructor Roy Hill’s tutelage, clocking a 8.96-second pass at 153 mph on his best lap. He ran quick enough to qualify for Super Stock, Super Comp and Top Sportsman licenses with his son Bob III and John Force as witnesses.
“It was awesome,” Bob III said. “It was a pretty great day for him. There are a lot of aspiring racers out there and to have a guy like Roy Hill in your camp, he’s a pretty good role model.”
It’s not uncommon for a family member of an NHRA Full Throttle Series drag racer to take racing classes of their own just to get a taste of the speed and maybe see for him or herself what all the fuss is about. It’s what NHRA calls “Nitro Generation.” In the Tasca family alone, Carl Tasca, Bob Jr.’s brother, races Cobra Jets and two of Bob III’s four sons – Bob IV and Austin – have junior dragsters painted to look like their father’s Funny Car.
But although he drove with determination and skill that made his son proud, Bob Jr. says we shouldn’t expect any father-son match-ups on the Full Throttle Series tour.
“I’m in no danger of getting a Top Fuel license,” Bob Jr. said with a laugh. “I’ll let (Bob) the Third take care of that.”
For live updates, follow the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang team on Twitter (MQL_Racing) and Facebook (click on the “Twitter” icon). Follow driver Bob Tasca III on Twitter at @Tasca3.