TOPEKA, Kan. (May 31, 2008) – Bob Tasca III entered the second day of qualifying at Heartland Park in Topeka in the No. 2 position, and was able to maintain that spot and make two more solid passes down the hot quarter-mile Kansas track.
“We had one of the, if not the, most consistent qualifying car of the weekend,” said Tasca. “I’m just thrilled with Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] and the guys that are just working so hard on this team. People don’t realize how many things they do in between rounds, because everything has to be perfect for our car to run how it ran here this weekend.”
The driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang’s previous best qualifying position was third, which he earned at Las Vegas earlier in the year.
“What can I say, we’re going into Sunday No. 2, and that’s the highest spot we’ve been,” said the rookie driver. “We made four solid runs down the track in the heat. I’m reacting really well off the line; I’m very comfortable in the car. As a driver, I can really feel myself making a lot of progress behind the wheel. And this is a tricky track. At the Top End of the track, the car wants to move around. There’s not a lot of rubber down out there and it causes the cars to want to drive to the centerline and get loose at the Top End.”
For the second time this season, Tasca will face Tony Pedregon in the first round of eliminations on Sunday. The round will mark the second time this season and in Tasca’s career that he will compete against his best friend in the first round of competition.
“To run Tony Pedregon tomorrow is just really exciting for me,” said Tasca. “The truth is that there is no easy draw out here. The team that we are going to run tomorrow is us, and at the end of the day, you race yourself every single time down the track. As long as you race the track that you’re on and you put your best tune-up in the car and the driver does his job, you just give yourself a chance. In this sport, with the margins of victory measured in the hundreds of thousandths, you do need a little luck to go your way. I think we’re due for a little and we’re excited for tomorrow.”
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Tasca earned his best qualifying position in Topeka with a second-place qualifying effort in his first visit to the track. His previous best qualifying position was No. 3, which he earned in Las Vegas earlier in the season.
– Tasca will face Tony Pedregon for the second time this season. The two met earlier in the year in Atlanta, with Tasca coming away with the round win.
· Qualifying Run No. 3: 5.002 ET / 298.34 mph
· Qualifying Run No. 4: 4.983 ET / 287.60 mph
· Qualifying Run No. 1: 5.000 ET / 280.89 mph
· Qualifying Run No. 2: 4.901 ET / 305.91 mph (Best run of the weekend)
– This weekend is Tasca’s first visit to Heartland Park
– Tasca will make his eighth start of the season on Sunday.
– 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.