TASCA DOWN TO TWO RUNS IN BRAINERD

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 8, 2008) – Bob Tasca III posted the 15th-quickest qualifying time at Brainerd International Raceway on Friday, but under NHRA qualifying rules, only the top 12 driver times from Friday, carry over into tomorrow.

“We go out there and I know that Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] has a number in his head that he wants to run, and when the car doesn’t run that, you’ve got to come back and re-evaluate what caused it,” said Tasca. “You have to see if it was too much clutch, ignition, motor; there are a multitude of things that go into a tune-up, and you could see today because a lot of cars struggled at some point getting down the track.”

Tasca’s first run to 1,000 in Brainerd put the rookie driver in eighth position, but with issues the second time down the track, Tasca fell to 15th.

“We went nine or 10 races in a row making really good runs Friday night, and then we would struggle in the heat,” said Tasca. “Now, it’s kind of been a role reversal and we seem to run better in the heat, and not as well at night.

“I have faith that we’ll sort this thing out,” said the Rhode Island resident. “We really did accomplish what we wanted to in the first run, because we were in the back half of cars to go down the track that second run, and we were able to see what everyone else ran. The car drifted slightly out of the groove and I made a slight correction to try and get it back. But, we focus on tomorrow. We’ve got two runs with very good conditions and we’ll take that data and use it on Sunday.”

Tasca is one of 19 drivers entered into this weekend’s event, and will have two more qualifying attempts on Saturday to make the 16-car field for Sunday.

NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:

– FRIDAY:

Qualifying run No. 1: 4.771 ET / 190.51 mph

Qualifying run No. 2: 4.780 ET / 173.21 mph

– Tasca is attempting to make his 15th start of the season this weekend in Brainerd

The rookie driver entered the weekend in 11th in the championship standings, just 42 points outside the top 10.

– Tasca is running a full season and for 2008 Rookie-of-the-Year honors.

Tasca began putting together his nitro Funny Car team in November 2007, for debut at the 2008 Winternationals at Pomona in February.

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.

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