ROLLERCOASTER WEEKEND FOR TASCA IN BRAINERD; ROOKIE STAYS 11TH
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 10, 2008) – A weekend of highs and lows is the best way to describe the race weekend rookie Bob Tasca III experienced at Brainerd International Raceway.
The driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang entered the weekend in 11th place, two points ahead of Del Worsham, and 42 behind 10th place Jack Beckman. After qualifying, the rookie unofficially dropped to 12th, two points behind Worsham. With earning his first career holeshot win against Worsham in the first round win, Tasca maintained his spot in 11th heading into the second round of eliminations.
“I think how my team performed when our back was against the wall in that first round, was tremendous,” said Tasca of his win against Worsham. “I mean, we were under pressure that first round, and it was a huge, huge win for our team and for our chances of getting into the championship run.”
For the second round of the day, Tasca was up against point’s leader, Tim Wilkerson, for the second time this season. The two previously met in Englishtown, with Wilkerson earning the win. It was a similar situation today with Wilkerson posting a 4.162 ET to Tasca’s 4.263.
“My perspective on this whole sport is pretty simple. Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] and I talk about what we want the car to run and what we think it’s going to take to win the round, and you can be one of three places,” said Tasca. “You can either under-power the track, overpower the track, or you can be perfect. And that second run, we were closer to perfect than under or over, but then you run somebody like Wilkerson, and he’s got his spot in the points locked down and has nothing to lose. With the test ban on, he can go out there and if he smokes the tires, he knew he was too aggressive. And if he makes a perfect run, like he did, he can learn some stuff from that.”
The loss against Wilkerson keeps Tasca in 11th, with 79 points separating him from 10th-place driver and fellow rookie, Mike Neff.
“At the end of the day, we’re still alive for this run to get into the top 10,” said Tasca. “This [79 points] is not an insurmountable points deficit. We’re certainly capable of winning; we’ve proved that in multiple rounds, we just haven’t gone on a run on Sunday. It felt real, real good to get into that second round today and run off that big win against Del. Reading is an important race, and we’ll go into there with the same attitude and confidence that this team is building on and try and get a couple more round wins before we get out of Indy.”
With two races to go before the final top 10 drivers are locked in, Tasca and his Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will move on to Reading, Penn. next weekend for the NHRA Nationals August 15-17.
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Elimination Round No. 1:
o Tasca: 4.257 ET / 288.70 mph (holeshot win)
o Worsham: 4.252 ET / 291.51 mph
– Elimination Round No. 2:
o Tasca: 4.263 ET / 290.94 mph
o Wilkerson: 4.162 ET / 293.73 mph
– Qualifying run No. 3: 4.300 ET / 283.01 mph
– Qualifying run No. 4: 4.242 ET / 285.77 mph
– Qualifying run No. 1: 4.771 ET / 190.51 mph
– Qualifying run No. 2: 4.780 ET / 173.21 mph
– Tasca is running a full season and for 2008 Rookie-of-the-Year honors.
– Tasca began putting together his nitro Funny Car team in November 2007, for debut at the 2008 Winternationals at Pomona in February.