CONCORD, NC (Sept. 13, 2008) – After just missing out on Friday to earn a qualifying spot for Sunday’s inaugural NHRA Nationals in Charlotte, Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang team earned the No. 12 qualifying position on Saturday after running one of the quickest passes of the day.
“It was really an extraordinary run under hot conditions,” said Tasca of his 4.119-second pass on Saturday. “I think that had to be our quickest 1,000 time ever, in the heat of the day. It was a big run, and I think that our team has shown race after race that when the backs are against the wall and we need to come up big, we do on Friday on Saturday. And now, obviously we need to do it on Sunday.”
Tasca and his team, while not qualified for the Countdown, are focused on gathering as much data for next year, and possibly playing the spoiler part for the remainder of the 2008 season.
“We had an awesome run in the first session, and then second session, we really just wanted to see what the racetrack would hold,” said Tasca. “And it was nice to be in that position, because a lot of times you’re just trying to get down to get a run in, and when you know you’re in and you know you’re safe, it gives you an opportunity to throw something at the race track.”
Tasca will face Cruz Pedregon in the first round of eliminations on Sunday. It will be the fourth meeting between the two, with Pedregon carrying the record lead against the rookie driver.
“Racing Cruz tomorrow, they’ve got a great race team there and his car has run fantastic this season,” said Tasca. “But I think our number is about to be pulled. We’ve got great team chemistry, we’ve got a great racecar and Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] can get this car to go down the racetrack. And I think tomorrow, under hot conditions, it’s going to be the crew chief that makes the right call that’s going to get the win. And I give these guys so much credit, Chris and the guys on the team, because they really give me a race car that is capable of winning, and that’s all you can ask of them.”
Tasca will make his 18th career start in Sunday’s inaugural event at the new drag strip in Charlotte.
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Qualifying Run No. 3: 4.119 ET / 299.66 mph (Qualifying Run)
– Qualifying Run No. 4: 4.796 ET / 171.53 mph
– Qualifying Run No. 1: 4.243 ET / 290.57 mph
– Qualifying Run No. 2: 4.129 ET / 300.53 mph
– The rookie driver is 12th in the championship standings
– 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.