Bristol, TN – May 17, 2009 – A cool Sunday afternoon proved troublesome for Bob Tasca III and his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang Team. Tasca exited Bristol in the first round after smoking the tires.
Despite a short day on Sunday, Tasca proved strong on Saturday afternoon during qualifying. Tasca piloted his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang Funny Car to the fastest run of the final qualifying session, 4.164 seconds at 277.49 miles per hour, which was good enough to seed him in the eighth position for Sunday.
After a rainy Saturday evening, Tasca and the team prepared the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang for the eliminations rounds where they would face Jim Head. This would be the third time Tasca faced Head and each have a win from the previous two meetings.
Tasca smoked the tires around the 100-foot maker and Head smoked his tires around the 300-foot marker. Head was able to recover and defeat Tasca.
“It is disappointing to lose in the first round. You never want to lose in the first round of eliminations and whoever smokes the tires first is at a disadvantage,” said Tasca. “Although our weekend didn’t end the way we wanted it to, there were some positive moments. We were the low ET of the second round on Saturday afternoon, which was really exciting because the track was 121 degrees.”
After watching the races during the first round eliminations, Tasca watched other drivers struggle down the track.
“I knew sitting in the car that it was going to be a tough first round,” said Tasca. “Sunday’s weather conditions were completely different than Friday and Saturday. The conditions surprised all the teams and I don’t think anyone thought the track would be that loose in the first round.”
Tasca, crew chief Chris Cunningham and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane set a plan early in the season to test at Thunder Valley on Monday following the race.
“We have a phenomenal Shelby Mustang in the heat, so we just need to get the car dialed-in to all conditions,” said Tasca. “Chris and the guys talked about testing and Bristol was the place we wanted to test. Chris and the team are determined to have a Mustang that can run with the best of them when the track is optimal and we’ve proven we can run when the track conditions are hot. We’ll dial it in and we’ll work on that during the Monday test session.”
Del Worsham defeated Tony Pedregon in the final round to win the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
Full Throttle Points Standings – Funny Car
1. Ron Capps, 616; 2. Del Worsham, 559; 3. Tony Pedregon, 528; 4. Ashley Force Hood, 505; 5. Jack Beckman, 479; 6. Matt Hagan, 448; 7. Tim Wilkerson, 426; 8. Bob Tasca III, 408; 9. John Force, 396; 10. Cruz Pedregon, 386.