TASCA EARNS NO. 15 QUALIFYING SPOT, WILL FACE BARTONE IN FIRST ROUND

HOUSTON (March 29, 2008) – It was another successful day of qualifying for Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang team, as they earned the No. 15 qualifying position for Sunday’s NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park. Tasca will make his third Funny Car start of the season and will face Tony Bartone in the first round of eliminations.

“Man, I’ve got to thank my crew chiefs and my entire team for these runs today,” said Tasca, as he exited his Shelby Mustang. “They gave me a great car to get down the track with four times this weekend. We’re really making some progress and all of the hard work that the team is putting in is really starting to show. For Motorcraft and Quick Lane and Shelby, this is just great.”

Both qualifying runs on Saturday came under very hot conditions, which was completely different from Friday’s runs under the clouds. After getting out of the groove towards the top end on the first run, Tasca posted a 5.126 ET; 282.72 mph run to begin the day. While firmly in the field as one of the last Funny Cars to run in the second session, Tasca put together a 4.986 ET; 307.93 mph run to end the day on Saturday.

“We’ve faced a lot of different conditions this weekend, and as a driver, I needed to experience yesterday’s conditions to be able to drive the car today,” said Tasca. “In both runs today in the heat, it was very difficult to drive the car. But, I was able to keep the car in the groove for the most part when it was trying to move left and right.

“We’re a dangerous team right now,” said the Shelby Mustang driver. “Whenever you get a racecar that can consistently go down the racetrack, it’s exciting. It’s exciting for the whole team because we’ve been working so hard. We’ve tested and practiced and we’ve blown up engines and struggled throughout this startup. We showed signs of light in Pomona and bounced back in Gainesville after not qualifying in Phoenix, so to come out here and make four solid runs in these conditions, I’m really, really excited for my whole team and for tomorrow.”

Tasca on qualifying and Sunday’s race:

“It’s a boost of confidence going into tomorrow morning,” said Tasca on his four qualifying trips down the track. “I’m very fortunate that I’ve got a great group of guys on this team that know this racecar and can put us in a position to win, and that’s all that you can really ask for. On Sunday, whether you’re No. 16, No. 13 or No. 1, it doesn’t matter because anything can happen and you can win from any position. It’s whoever makes the right call and whichever driver reacts the best that will win.”

News/Stats at a Glance:

– Tasca will start as the No. 15 qualifier and face Tony Bartone in the first round.

– Sunday will be Tasca’s third nitro Funny Car start of the season.

– 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. He is also a third-generation Ford dealer from Rhode Island.

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