MADISON, Ill. (April 29, 2008) – It has only been a few days since Bob Tasca III recorded his best Funny Car event of the season with a semi-final appearance in Atlanta, and the rookie driver is ready to do even better this weekend as the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series heads to Gateway International Raceway.
“Having a couple of days day to kind of look back on what we accomplished in Atlanta, it’s really remarkable,” said Tasca. “To come from nowhere and to be a contender this soon, is just really a credit to all the guys working on the team.”
Heading into the seventh race of the season, the driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Shelby Mustang sits 11th in the series’ championship points, one point outside of the top 10.
“We’re thrilled about where we’re at in the points, and I’m personally thrilled to get back out there this weekend because there’s nothing better for me than seat time,” said Tasca. “We’re going into St. Louis with a very, very strong racecar, it’s going to be a fun race. I tell ya, I’m having fun. The whole team is, you can see it in everyone’s step and bounce.”
The semi-final appearance in Atlanta was the first for Tasca in his nitro Funny Car career, and one he credits to his team and consistency.
“I think we have a tune-up that is as competitive as anyone out there. Not only competitive but also consistent. Consistency is what wins races. You’ve got to be able to run back-to-back-to-back and we’ve done that. We showed signs of it in Houston and Vegas, and Atlanta it really came together for us. I think if there’s one message that we take into St. Louis is to build on our consistency, to get the car from A to B and to get us some data that we can tune.”
While excited with the team’s performance last week, the rookie driver knows that they need to keep on their game and continue to improve with such an incredibly talented Funny Car field.
“We’re still a very new team,” said Tasca. “Not for one second do I think that we’ve arrived at any milestone. We are working towards making this car more consistent and more competitive than it is. That will be our focus for this entire season. Regardless if we go out and win or go out and lose, this has been a long-term perspective and this is a long-term program. It’s about consistency and giving ourselves a chance. I’m just thrilled that we’ve made such great progress, but we need to continue. As the old saying goes, it’s hero to zero. This sport is unforgiving and it’s got no mercy. You can win a race and then DNQ the next weekend, and that’s something that we know going into this weekend.”
This weekend’s event in Madison will be the first of three tracks in a row track where Tasca has never visited.
“It’s kind of neat for me as a driver,” said Tasca on the next three events. “St. Louis, Bristol and Topeka are three tracks that not only have I never driven on the track, I’ve never even been there. But from what I hear, all are real good race tracks. I know Chris is looking forward to St. Louis. I know the weather is going to be cool and when the weather is cool, these hot rods can really run.”
COMMENT FROM LAST WEEKEND’S RACE IN ATLANTA:
“How cool was that, to run Tony Pedregon and John Force last weekend. Two mentors of mine. That was a pretty neat weekend. For me to sit in the car, normally I don’t think about who is next to me, but how can you not when you’re next to world champion Tony Pedregon, and the legend, John Force. That was pretty cool.”
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Tasca will attempt to make his sixth start of the season this weekend at Gateway.
– Tasca is 11th in the championship standings, one point out of the top 10. He also is ninth in the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge.
– In the series’ most recent stop in Atlanta, Tasca earned a spot in his first semi-final of his nitro Funny Car career.
– Tasca is running a full season and for 2008 Rookie-of-the-Year honors.
ABOUT THE DRIVER:
Bob Tasca III is a 32-year-old rookie in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing nitro Funny Car class. Tasca competed the past three seasons in the Alcohol Funny Car class. Tasca is also a third-generation Ford dealer from Rhode Island. Tasca began putting together his nitro Funny Car team in November 2007, for debut at the 2008 Winternationals at Pomona in February.