KENT, Wash. (July 18, 2008) – Bob Tasca III posted the 14th quickest time in Funny Car qualifying today at Pacific Raceways near Seattle, but with only the top 12 times on Friday carrying over into Saturday, the rookie driver is down to two remaining qualifying runs on Saturday to earn a spot in Sunday’s NHRA Nationals.
“We’re testing some different things with the bell housing and with the clutch system to try and improve our 60-foot time,” said Tasca of his two runs on Friday. “Our time in that part of our run is something that we’ve struggled with all season. We’ve been one of the faster cars from 60 foot on, but we know that in order to make significant strides on the track and in the points, we need to be quick for the entire run.”
With 17 Funny Cars entered into Sunday’ race, Tasca needs to only qualify better than one other car to make his 13th start of the season on Sunday.
“The margin of time between the No. 1 position and us at No. 14, is just over seven-hundredths of a second, and the middle of the pack, it’s half of that,” said that rookie driver. “We’re unfortunately at the bottom of the pack, but we’re with some good company. John Force, Tim Wilkerson, Ron Capps, and Jack Beckman aren’t inside the top 12 either, so with those names being on the outside looking in, it shows you just how competitive this field is.
“From where we were at the beginning of the year, to where we are now, we can have the types of runs that we had today, and not lose any sleep tonight, because we have a handle on the racecar,” said Tasca. “It’s about making changes and learning. If you don’t try new things out, you’ll just keep doing the same thing over and over again. If we were No. 1 in the points, we’d just keep on doing what we’re doing, but being No. 11, it’s about improving and learning. We got that part of our weekend out of the way and Saturday we’re going to zero in on our race-day tune-up.”
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Qualifying run No. 1: 9.223 ET / 71.66 mph
– Qualifying run No. 2: 4.130 ET / 302.08 mph
– Tasca will attempt to make his 13th start of the season this weekend in Denver
– This will be Tasca’s first race in Seattle.
– 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.