Tasca, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Team Take Tough Rd 1 Loss to Johnny Gray After Parts Failure, Explosion

READING, Pa., Oct. 7, 2012–When a drag racer is on one of the quickest runs of his or her career, the last thing he or she wants to do is let off the throttle. That was the case for Bob Tasca III at Maple Grove Raceway Sunday, when parts trouble led to a first-round loss for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car team.

The time on the scoreboard in Tasca’s lane, 4.249 seconds (247.75 mph) looked better than the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car did at the finish line. A parts failure caused an explosion and despite the smoke it caused, Tasca still didn’t want to give up.

“It’s a humbling sport,” said Tasca, who won two races ago in Dallas as a playoff spoiler after narrowly missing the NHRA Full Throttle Series Countdown to the Championship. “We were out there running hard and the car was on my quickest run of my career before the engine let go. We’re not quite sure if it was the piston or one of the piston rings or what, but we pushed a head gasket out, set it on fire and I stepped off the throttle. I actually rolled back in because I didn’t see him and I figured the fire wasn’t that bad, but unfortunately he came around me and I shut it off.”

Gray advanced to Round 2 with a 4.138 at 285.83 in a first round filled with smoking tires and pedalfests.

“We’re going to learn,” Tasca said. “We learned an awful lot this weekend, but the bottom line is when you get real aggressive with these cars and start pulling real hard on the engine, everything’s gotta be perfect. Unfortunately we had a piston let go. If it weren’t for that, the car would’ve gone out and run definitely one of the quickest runs of my career.”

“We’ve got two weeks to rebuild this Motorcraft/Quick Lane Funny Car, then head off to Las Vegas where we went to the finals back in March. We’ve got to do it again and pick up a win in one of these next two races.”

Two races remain on the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Series schedule, with the next stop at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in two weeks (Oct. 25-28, 2012).

For live updates, follow the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang team on Twitter (MQL_Racing) and Facebook (click on the “Twitter” icon). Follow driver Bob Tasca III on Twitter at @Tasca3 and Facebook.

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