ENNIS, TX – September 26, 2010 – Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team saw Dallas as an opportunity to continue their upward climb on the championship points ladder. An untimely exit in the quarterfinals prevented Tasca from a win and gaining valuable points as the season draws near a close.
Weather played havoc on the drivers, crew chiefs and fans all weekend in Dallas. Three different days of weather made tuning the 8,000-horsepower Funny Cars very difficult. From a hot and humid Friday, to a rainy Saturday, then overcast and gradually improving temperatures on Sunday, crew chiefs and drivers were experimenting with every available tuning combination.
Tasca posted his best qualifying run of the weekend with a 4.126-second pass at 302.89 miles per hour during Saturday’s third and final qualifying session. Once the session was completed, Tasca locked himself in the fourth spot heading into Sunday’s eliminations.
In Sunday’s first round of competition, Tasca’s 4.136-second pass at 301.87 miles per hour defeated Tony Pedregon’s 4.234-second run at 286.62 miles per hour. Pedregon had the better reaction time but Tasca powered his red and black Shelby Mustang and passed Pedregon by the 60-foot mark to capture the win.
“We needed the first round win over Tony to keep pace with point leaders,” said Tasca. “We had a vibration during that run and determined there wasn’t anything wrong with the engine. Our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang did what we wanted it to do in the first round and we’re looking to build on that win.”
In the quarterfinals, Tasca had the better reaction time against Del Worsham, but Worsham was able to pull ahead of Tasca by the 60-foot mark to claim the win. Tasca posted a 4.179-second pass at 301.40 miles per hour compared to Worsham’s 4.085-second run at 309.49 miles per hour.
“Something went wrong in the second session,” said Tasca. “We weren’t trying to go 4.17, we were trying to go quicker than what we did. Our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang has really responded to a lot of the changes that we made all season and for some reason it didn’t respond that time. That is not something we want to see on race day.”
Crew chiefs Chris Cunningham and Marc Denner anticipated better race conditions in Dallas and tuned the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang to perform at its best. Unfortunately, the ever-changing weather conditions altered the team’s plan of attack.
“We’ve been anticipating sun all day today and it just hasn’t caught up to us,” said Cunningham. “We prepared the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang for sun on the first run. We made some adjustments and were successful in the first round. Then we prepared for sun again in the second round and it never came out. Crew chiefs make calls before we know what the weather is going to be. The changes I made to compensate for hot weather didn’t correlate with the cold weather track, so we didn’t run as well as we wanted to run. If we had sun before [the second round], we would have raced in the semifinals and possibly the finals.”
Tasca leaves Dallas in the fifth position with three races remaining in the 2010 Countdown to 1.
“We’ll maintain fifth position but we lost a little ground on first place. We’ll look towards Reading and have a good weekend there. To keep our championship hopes alive, we need to go to the semifinals and finals.”
Matt Hagan won the 25th Annual O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals in Ennis, TX.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series action resumes on October 8, for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals, in Reading, PA, the site of Tasca’s second career Funny Car win.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Points
1. John Force, 2339; 2. Matt Hagan, 2314; 3. Jack Beckman, 2294; 4. Ashley Force Hood, 2271; 5. Bob Tasca III, 2215; 6. Robert Hight, 2189; 7. Ron Capps, 2157; 8. Del Worsham, 2149; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 2147; Tony Pedregon, 2116.
Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing on the Web
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/MQL_Racing
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/MQLRacing
Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorcraftquicklaneracing
Sunday, Sept. 26, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise NHRA Race Day, at 6:30 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, Sept. 26, ESPN2 HD will televise three hours of eliminations coverage at 7 p.m. (ET).
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