INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 27, 2008) – The U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis is a race that Bob Tasca III and his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang team circled on the calendar at the beginning of the season. And now that the biggest and most prestigious racing week of the season has arrived, the team is ready and focused, and will take to the track in style with a special Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) paint scheme this weekend.
Tasca’s Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang will be transformed into a JDRF-themed car for the weekend, which will be unveiled for the first time in Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday.
“I’ve always said the greatest thing about my job is spending time with kids, and to be part of a charity [JDRF] that raises [awareness and] money to help cure a terrible disease, is just really special,” said Tasca. “To see this project unfold with [being] such a creative idea to raise money, and to be a part of such an innovative way of leveraging a race program, it’s really something that is a dream come true.
“This car and the weekend is going to be a lot of fun,” said Tasca. “I know for the whole JDRF organization and Ford and all of the people involved with this contest, [and] in particular, the young kid that came up with the design, are really excited about having the winning child and their family at the unveiling and out at the races on Friday.”
While this weekend’s appearance at the U.S. Nationals will be the first for Tasca in his nitro Funny Car, he’s no stranger to the track as he has made it to back-to-back finals the past two seasons in his alcohol Funny Car.
“I’m excited to get to Indy,” said Tasca. “It’s a platform where I’ve excelled at. The last two years I’ve competed in the alcohol Funny Car, so it’s a track that I know well and one that I’ve had some good luck at and we’re really looking forward to flexing our muscles there this weekend.”
With the top 10 Funny Car drivers already locked in to run for the championship, Tasca isn’t letting that get him down, and the rookie driver and his team are focused on solid performances through the end of the year.
“This is Indy, and this is the U.S. Nationals and it’s the biggest race of the year for us,” said Tasca. “We won’t be in the top 10 and our points won’t reset after Indy, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m resetting our points after Indy as well and we’re going to compare ourselves to the rest of the field to see how we’re performing from Indy on out.
“For us, it’s business as usual,” said Tasca. “We’re not going into test mode, we’re not working on next year; we’re focused on closing out these last seven races strong, and it starts in Indy and it ends at Pomona. And somewhere in the middle there we’ll take our temperature to see how we’re competing with the rest of the field. But this is going to be an important race to set the tone as to how our season is going to end.”
In addition to sporting a JDRF-designed car this weekend, Motorcraft, Quick Lane, and Tasca will also host a group of 10 local JDRF kids at the track on Sunday, and for each round that Tasca wins on Monday, Tasca’s sponsors will donate $1,000 to the JDRF National Chapter.
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Tasca will race with a special Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) wrap on his Shelby Mustang this weekend. The design was chosen as the winner from over 300 designs that were submitted from kids with type 1 diabetes. The online contest for the car designs raised more than $84,000 for research for type 1 diabetes.
– The rookie driver is 12th in the championship standings
– 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.