NORWALK, Ohio (June 24, 2008) – After a tough event in Englishtown, New Jersey last weekend with the loss of NHRA driver, Scott Kalitta, Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang Funny Car team head to Norwalk, Ohio this weekend with heavy hearts for the running of the 2nd running of the NHRA Nationals.
“This past weekend in Englishtown was really tough for everyone at the race track,” said Tasca. “It’s just unimaginable what happened to Scott. We’re going to carry him with us for a long, long time, and particularly into this weekend in Norwalk. He’s at the forefront of our minds. His friends and family are in our thoughts and prayers and obviously this weekend is still going to be very difficult weekend for all of the racers out there.”
Tasca, a contender for rookie-of-the-year honors this season, will make his first nitro Funny Car start this weekend at the Ohio quarter-mile.
“Norwalk is just a great facility, and I’m really excited to get back to that track,” said Tasca. “We’re a little bit frustrated over going out in the first round the last two races, but Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] and I had a long talk this morning and I have all the confidence in the world that we will turn things around this weekend in Norwalk.”
Despite the first round exit this past weekend, Tasca and his team were able to hold on to their spot at 10th in the point standings. Tasca is seven points ahead of 11th place, Del Worsham, and nine points in front of 12th-place driver, Gary Scelzi.
“We are still very confident with our program, and very fortunate that we’ve been able to hang onto our spot at 10th in the points coming out of two straight first round losses,” said Tasca. “But we’ve got to stay in the pack. We can’t let the guys that are ninth and eighth get too far in front of us, and we can’t let the drivers 11th on back to catch up any closer than they already are. We’re within striking distance of this playoff deal, which is going to really start to develop over the next 30 days.”
As the 12th race of the season, this weekend’s race in Norwalk marks the halfway point in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season.
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Tasca will attempt to make his 11th start of the season this weekend in Norwalk
– Tasca is 10th in the championship standings and seventh in the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge.
– This weekend, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories team will host a group of kids from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation from the Norwalk 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.