DEARBORN, Mich., June 17, 2014 – Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car Owner/Driver Bob Tasca III will feel like he’s home this weekend when the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series rolls into Epping, N.H., for the New England Nationals.
After struggling to show positive on-track results for most of this season, the Rhode Island native can’t think of a better place to start putting some notches in the win column.
“There are thousands of people (at the Epping race) who know me, know my family and want to see our team do well,” said Tasca. “Not that any race has more pressure than another, but we want to have a good weekend at Epping.”
Despite recent results indicating the contrary, Tasca says the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team is poised to post some quick times and elimination round victories.
“We’ve worked so hard and lost so much sleep recently and have nothing to show for it,” he said. “The guys on this team who look at the data and work on this race car know positively how close we are to really turning this corner.”
Tasca says there’s a fine line in nitro Funny Car racing between maintaining traction for the full 1,000 feet and doing so competitively. He managed to do the former on Friday in Bristol (4.192 seconds/299.86 mph and 4.143/306.81) but the latter eluded him on Saturday (5.992/112.93 and 5.349/137.33) and Sunday (4.890/169.55).
“We’re not going out there to run slow,” Tasca explained. “We’re going out there to win races. Clearly that puts you on the edge of smoking the tires on the track. When you’re up against Tim Wilkerson or John Force or these other cars that are capable of putting up big numbers, you don’t want to run 4.200 and get beat by four car lengths. You want to go out there and press but press responsibly. We’ve been too aggressive of late.
“I really thought we would hit our stride last weekend,” he continued. “Leaving Englishtown, as disappointed as we were, I really felt we were going in the right direction. Unfortunately we didn’t get the results we wanted in Bristol.”
Tasca is so convinced his Motorcraft/Quick Lane team is going in the right direction that he says his crew isn’t making wholesale changes between races. “We’re just picking away at it to get the balance we need with this car,” he said. “We’ve got to find that balance and I’m very confident that we’re very close to finding that balance. And there’s no weekend better than this weekend to do that.”
Tasca and his family were part of a large group of people who were instrumental in bringing the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series to New England last year. The venue is important to him since it was the first place he drove a car (a 1992 Mustang) on a drag strip.
“It’s a special place,” said Tasca. “The fans in New England were great last year and we had a big turnout. So many people worked so hard to get a race in New England. To see it pay off was really awesome. I know they’ve had a great ticket presale for this year’s race and I know there will be a huge crowd there this weekend.”
The action in Epping gets underway on Friday, June 20, at 5 p.m. ET at New England Dragway. Qualifying can be seen June 21 on ESPN2 from 7-8 p.m. ET. Eliminations will air June 22 on ESPN from 1-4 p.m.
For live updates, follow the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford 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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Now headquartered near Charlotte in Concord, N.C., Tasca Racing was founded by Legendary Ford dealer Bob Tasca, Sr., in Rhode Island in 1962, after he realized the incredible potential of “Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday” during drag racing’s infancy. At 16 years old, Bob Sr. started his first job at a Ford dealership. He opened his own Ford dealership at 27. Seventy years later, Tasca Ford still exists, run by the second and third generations of the Tasca family. Bob Tasca III, grandson of Bob Sr., has led the racing branch of the family since 2008 as driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car. When he’s not involved with his race team, Bob III works at the family dealership. The Tasca family is proud to say more than 50 years after Tasca Racing was founded, the phrase “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” is alive and well within the Tasca team.