JOLIET, Ill. (June 4, 2008) – After having one of his most consistent showings last weekend in Topeka, Bob Tasca III looks to continue his move up the NHRA POWERade championship points ladder this weekend in the Route 66 NHRA Nationals.
“With how we qualified and ran in Topeka, we were able to jump back up into the top 10 in points,” said Tasca. “We lost on a holeshot to Gary Scelzi in the second round, but overall for us, it was a great weekend. My team won the Full Throttle award for the first time this year and we earned our best qualifying position of the season.
“I think Chicago is going to be great for us,” said Tasca. “I’ve never felt as confident driving a car as I do now. Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] and the guys on the team continue to give me a car that consistently goes down the track, and the value of that for a rookie driver is immeasurable. I have more confidence now than at any point in the season as a rookie driver, and I think my team has more confidence now than they have ever this season. I don’t think we feel pressure, because of the preparation and the level of focus that we bring to every race, regardless of where we are in the points.”
The driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang sits 10th in the points, with Jack Beckman 11 points behind in 11th and Del Worsham, 26 points behind in 12th.
“Every race and every round is so valuable, but right now, I don’t feel the pressure,” said Tasca. “I’m not saying that I won’t feel the pressure come Indy, but right now we’re very focused on consistently improving and going rounds on Sunday. Certainly a win is something that would just be wonderful to have, but if we can continue to have the times that we had in Topeka, one of these days they’re going to pull our card and we’re going to bring the Wally home. But most important to us, is to go a couple rounds on Sunday and keep moving up that ladder in the top 10.”
This weekend in Joliet will be the first race that Motorcraft, Quick Lane and Custom Accessories will host a group of kids from the local JDRF chapter. The kids and their parents will spend a day at the races on Sunday, and for each round Tasca wins, Ford Customer Service Division will make a donation to the JDRF national chapter.
“I’m real excited to have it be the first activation weekend of our relationship with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation,” said Tasca. “I’ve always said that one of the best parts of my jobs is hanging out with the kids, being at the ropes in the pit signing autographs and taking pictures. So to be with kids that have to overcome a little bit more than most kids, there’s nothing that warms your heart more than when you can help children.”
This weekend’s race is the 10th race of the 24-race NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule. The race also marks the beginning of the last nine scheduled events before the top 10 drivers are decided on to run for the championship.
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Tasca will attempt to make his ninth start of the season this weekend in Chicago.
– Tasca is 10th in the championship standings and sixth in the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge.
– This weekend will be the first time that Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories will host a group of kids from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation from the Chicago area. For each round Tasca wins on Sunday, Ford Customer Service Division will make a donation to the national JDRF chapter.
– 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.