MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Sept. 28, 2008) – While making the 20th start of his professional Funny Car career, Bob Tasca III ended the day at Memphis Motorsports Park early as the rookie driver lost to fellow Ford driver, Ashley Force, in the first round of eliminations. While upset about the loss, the driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang and his team were more upset by the fact that their hot rod didn’t perform the way they had expected.
“I think we were just more surprised that our car ran a 4.21 than losing to be honest with you,” said Tasca of his 4.219 run to Force’s 4.128. “We wanted the car to run a 4.14 and we kind of threw the kitchen sink at it because we knew that Ashley would have a great run.”
Tasca and Force had equally good reaction times with Tasca posting a .085-second time to Force’s .089, but Tasca and his team will head back to the computers to analyze their data before heading to the race in Richmond in two weeks.
“That run is just something where Chris will go back and look at the data and see what went wrong, because that is not what we were trying to run,” said that Rookie-of-the-Year nominee. “We either had a malfunction in the clutch, or something had to go wrong because we weren’t trying to run a 4.20. I mean we knew that we were going to have to push the envelope because their team had been tough all weekend, but that is certainly not what we expected.”
Tasca earned a spot in Sunday’s race as the No. 16 qualifier after earning the final spot in the show in the final qualifying session on Saturday. And, by just qualifying for the Mid-South NHRA Nationals, Tasca and his team move back up into the 11th spot in the point standings.
“You know we went from one exhilaration of getting into the show on Saturday to losing in the first round,” said Tasca. “But you tip your hat to Ashley and her team; her car was the most consistent car all weekend.
“We’re leaving the bad here and taking the good data that we collected this weekend with us when we head to Richmond in a couple of weeks,” said Tasca. “We’ve still got a lot of rounds ahead of us with three races to go and we’re still hungry to get that first win.”
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
Elimination Round No. 1:
Tasca: 4.219 ET / 292.08 mph
A. Force: 4.128 ET / 298.47 mph (WON)
– Tasca Racing recently broke ground on their new racing shop in Concord, North Carolina, with an expected complete date of February 2009.
– Tasca is running a full season and competing 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.