Tasca Visits JDRF Headquarters in NYC after Englishtown; Hears Latest in Research for Treatments, Cure for T1D

NEW YORK, N.Y., June 4, 2013—Bob Tasca visited with the team behind the cutting-edge treatments and research toward a cure for T1D Monday at JDRF Headquarters in Manhattan.

Tasca has helped raise money for JDRF since his rookie NHRA Funny Car season in 2008, through sponsor Ford Customer Service Division and its brands Motorcraft and Quick Lane. This year alone, FCSD’s “Our Everyday Heroes” Race Car Design Contest for JDRF has raised more than $50,000 for JDRF, with a text-to-donate campaign and firesuit auction still to come.

Although the sixth-year professional driver has met several of the winners of the contest and their families through the years, he’d never met the employees that fuel JDRF’s efforts. He did so on Monday, where he was briefed on the latest research around T1D before a Q&A and autograph session with the organization’s NYC-based team.

“Through the years I’ve met some incredible people through our contest for JDRF,” said Tasca, who narrowly missed a semifinal berth at the NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown, N.J. the day before. “I consider it a privilege to come meet the people who are really behind the great initiatives going on toward new treatments for T1D. What I think is really great is that JDRF’s goal is to find a cure, not just treatments alone. They have that goal, to find the cure. I think that’s incredibly important. The work they do is really changing lives.”

Tasca met with JDRF Chief Operating Officer James Szmak before taking a tour of the office.

“When I was walking through the office, meeting employees, I thought about the winners we’ve had in our contest and what they’ve told me about dealing with T1D,” Tasca said. “The responsibilities they have, as young children, they’re just mind-blowing. And now I’ve gotten to meet the people helping them.”

Because Tasca does not have a personal connection to T1D, he took the T14ADay Challenge last fall – a text-based program that gives participants a feel for what it’s like to live with T1D. For one day, each participant receives more than 20 text messages to remind him or her what he or she would be doing – be it checking blood sugar levels or giving him or herself insulin – to manage T1D.

“That texting program really showed me what it’s like, and I hear 20 messages are actually fewer than we should be getting to really see what people with T1D go through,” Tasca said. “Since my only connection to T1D had always been through Ford, that experience was really important to me.”

Ford Motor Company has contributed $42 million dollars to JDRF – more than $3 million annually for the last 10 years.

This year’s “Our Everyday Heroes” winning paint scheme will be unveiled before the NHRA race in Chicago, where Tasca will compete with the design on his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car.

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 on Twitter at @Tasca3 and Facebook.

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Tasca Racing
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 and Ford team.

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