TASCA EARNS SPOT IN SUNDAY’S NHRA WINTERNATIONALS; ROOKIE WILL FACE TROXEL IN FIRST ROUND

POMONA, Calif., Feb. 9, 2008 – After three days of qualifying and dealing with a tire shake issue, Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang team earned a spot in Sunday’s NHRA Winternationals. Tasca became the No. 14 qualifier with a 4.845 ET and 321.42 mph run in the third round of qualifying held on Saturday.

“That was awesome,” said Tasca after his third qualifying run. “Our team needed that. They worked so hard after having the tire shake issue the last two days, but we were able to give the car what it needed to get the ET that we wanted.”

With a spot already earned for the race, Tasca’s fourth-round 4.86 ET effort ended in the sand as a result of problems with his parachutes.

“The last time I went in the sand was in Englishtown and we won the race,” said Tasca. “I knew I was in trouble because I didn’t feel the chutes deploy. We had a failure with one of the levers and we had the body crack on the other parachute, so it never actually released the cable. The good news is that we’re in the show and we’ve put ourselves in a position to win.”

Tasca will face fellow nitro rookie Melanie Troxel in the first round of competition on Sunday.

“Melanie is new to funny car, but not to the sport. She’s run dragsters and she’s a great driver in this sport. We’re within three hundredths of a second in our qualifying positions and I feel pretty good about that. A lot of big names did not qualify for the race, so just to be here and be in the show for the first time is exciting for all of us.”

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