Tasca Advances to Semifinals at NHRA Season-opener at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona

POMONA, Calif., Feb. 17, 2013—If you don’t red light sometimes, you’re not trying, Bob Tasca said, and it was Tasca’s turn on Sunday at the 53rd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

After qualifying p13 with a 4.190-second pass at 305.08 mph, the early rounds fell Tasca’s way, with wins against Del Worsham in Round 1 and Cruz Pedregon in Round 2. By the time he met Ford teammate Courtney Force in the semifinals, though, Tasca’s luck had run out.

He fouled out at the starting line by just .086 of a second, then drove to what would have been a winning 4.142 at 311.34 as Force’s Mustang shook the tires.

“That was a heartbreaker,” Tasca said. “It was 100 percent me. I took a shot at the tree and went red, and that was the ballgame. But we made a full pull. We got a lot of good data to look at. As a driver, that’s the last thing you want to do, give it away, but at the end of the day, you have to get up for the fight, and if you don’t go red once and a while, you’re not trying.

“I hate to let the guys down. Motorcraft, Quick Lane, FordParts.com…their support is unbelievable. They worked so hard in the off-season. We’ll pick the pieces up and go to Phoenix. We got some big wins here (in Pomona). We’ll shake it off and look forward, not back.”

The NHRA Mello Yello Series heads to Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix next weekend for the second of 24 races in the 2013 season.

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 on Twitter at @Tasca3 and Facebook.

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