Englishtown, N.J. – Life has a funny way of getting us where we need to be.
Bob Tasca III was 12 years old when he attended his first professional drag race. It was an NHRA national event at – where else? His “hometown track,” Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, known to most as “Englishtown.”
As a kid, Tasca didn’t know much about his grandfather Bob Sr.’s influence on the sport. What he knew he didn’t really understand. How could he at that age? He went to the event like any other boy his age. He sat in the bleachers and stood in line for an autograph. He expected a fun outing at the track with his grandpa – but what he saw, felt and who he met changed the direction of his life.
Tasca returns to Englishtown this week, as he has so many times before. But instead of asking for autographs, he’ll give them. And his view this week is so much better than that first view he had as a kid. Tasca will be in the driver’s seat of his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car, and he’ll return as the defending event champion.
Tasca and the rest of the NHRA Full Throttle Series comes to New Jersey for the 42nd annual NHRA Supernationals June 2-5, 2011.
“For us, Englishtown is like coming home,” Tasca said. “It’s a track that is very close to my heart and my family’s hearts. My grandfather raced here for many years with his cars and with Bill Lawton as his driver. My first win in Top Alcohol Funny Car was there. I can’t wait to get to Englishtown.”
For Tasca, whose family and friends are always present and supportive but are especially so in New Jersey, coming “home” couldn’t come at a better time. He’s been on the run since the beginning of the season, going from race to race with special events packed in the days between.
Last week he flew to his Tasca Racing shop in Charlotte to film special videos for FordParts.com with his NASCAR Sprint Cup sponsor teammate Trevor Bayne and Len and Eddie Wood. Bayne won the Daytona 500 this year in the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion. Tasca also attended the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour in support of his friend Mark Kelly, the flight commander. Kelly’s wife U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) also was there to support her husband in a visit lauded as a major step in her recovery from the gunshot wound she received at a public event in Tucson, Ariz. in February.
Between sponsor appearances, the shuttle launch, his full-time work at the family dealership Tasca Ford and time with family, the first months of the 2011 season have gone as quickly as the career-best ET he ran in Atlanta (4.074 seconds).
“The season is certainly flying by,” Tasca said. “Before you know it, you’re on the West Coast Swing.”
The swing brings the Full Throttle Series tour to Denver to Sonoma, Calif. and Seattle back-to-back-to-back. It’s historic, and grueling. But the tempo will be no problem for Tasca, who with the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will work hard to improve each week no matter how well they do.
“We’re running very consistently,” Tasca said. “(Crew Chief Chris Cunningham) and I talked last week, and we both said we can’t run as good as we ran last year and not get a win for our team. It’s just a matter of keep stepping up to the plate. There’s no better place to get a win than to go back-to-back in Englishtown.”
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** Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing **
NEXT EVENT, NHRA Full Throttle Series
42nd annual NHRA SUPERNATIONALS
Englishtown, N.J. – June 2-5, 2011