GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2008) – For the second event in a row, rain wiped out the first day of qualifying, this time for Sunday’s NHRA Gatornationals. While not getting a chance to compete out on the track, Bob Tasca III did face some competition off the track as the rain delay allowed the driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang to spend time with fans and compete in the new Motorcraft/Quick Lane interactive display.
“We weren’t able to get out and have some fun on the track today, but we were able to have a lot of fun with the fans at the new display,” said Tasca. “In NHRA racing, being with the fans and interacting with them is just as important as doing well out on the racetrack. “
Tasca competed against fans and the clock in the Motorcraft Holeshot Challenge and the Quick Lane Crew Challenge, setting the quickest time in the crew challenge at one minute flat.
“To get out there and to do that pit crew contest and change oil filters and tires and air filters, and to get in the drag simulators, really gives the fans a lot to do and gives us a chance to connect with them. That’s what racing is all about. It’s about winning out on the track and winning with the fans, and I think we’ve got the formula right now to do both.”
This weekend is the first of 10 events where the 4,800 square foot interactive display will be available for fans out in the midway.
“There’s a lot of fun stuff in the display and the fans are gonna love it. I think that it will just build and build and build as the season goes on.”
While off the track was literally fun and games for Tasca, with rain Friday’s events cancelled, the team will only have two runs on Saturday to get into Sunday’s race.
“Obviously this just puts more pressure on all of the teams out there,” said Tasca. “Rain is the last thing a driver or a team wants to sit through for a day. Fortunately, we were able to make three runs testing at Valdosta earlier this week that we’ll use as a baseline tomorrow. Those runs are more important now than we first anticipated.”
News/Stats at a Glance:
– Tasca’s best Nitro Funny Car run came in the second round at Pomona: 4.955 ET, 310.63 mph
– Tasca is running a full season and competing for 2008 Rookie-of-the-Year honors