HOUSTON (March 28, 2008) – It was the first time since the NHRA season-opener at Pomona that Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang team were able to make two qualifying runs on a Friday for an event weekend. With a little bit less pressure on day one than the two prior events, Tasca and his team put together two solid qualifying runs, giving them a good baseline to work with heading into Saturday.
“It was probably the best run we’ve made in the car,” said Tasca of his second run of the day. “This has really been a great day for us. We haven’t put together two back-to-back solid runs like that, I don’t think all year. The guys have certainly made progress; they’ve done a lot of work between races refining small changes.”
Tasca’s first qualifying effort for Sunday’s NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park was 5.05 ET and 264.49 mph. The second was a little bit quicker at 4.94 ET and 264.49 mph. Unfortunately, Tasca crossed the centerline on his second run and hit a cone on the track, resulting in his second time not counting for position.
“I actually hit the cone with the rear tire, which isn’t easy to do actually. I contested it because I knew that I didn’t hit it with the front of the car because I saw the cones go by me. I knew I was close, but the rear tire just clipped it. Fortunately it didn’t do any damage.”
While happy with two solids runs on the day, Tasca said that if his car hadn’t gotten loose at the top end on both runs, his Shelby Mustang probably would have been a little bit higher in the field.
“This last run we probably would have been close to the No. 3 qualifier if we hadn’t gotten loose,” said Tasca. “For me as a driver, these are the first conditions that I’ve felt loose at the top end of the track and close to the finish line. It makes the car very difficult to drive because the rear tires are spinning at 300 mph and it’s difficult to correct once the tires get loose. So, we’ll make some adjustments with the rear spoiler and with timing for tomorrow.”
“When we ran the first session, we ran a 5.05 ET and spun the tires at the top end. They didn’t try to fix the top end; they thought that maybe the racetrack would fix that, which it didn’t. We still spun at the top end. The changes that my crew chiefs made to make the car run quicker at the half-track resulted in going from 255 to running 260. To pick up five mph at the half-track, is just a great result for the crew chiefs. I think it really complemented the decisions that they made. Now we’ll spend a little more time focused on the top end because we don’t want to spin the tires at the top end and we seemed to have a decent handle at the half track and we’ll see what the next runs bring.”
News/Stats at a Glance:
– Tasca currently sits 12th for Sunday’s NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park.
– Tasca looks to make his third nitro Funny Car start this weekend
– Tasca is running a full season and competing 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, earning two professional wins at Englishtown and Virginia. Tasca is a third-generation Ford dealer from Rhode Island.