ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 20, 2008) – While every qualifying trip down the quarter-mile is important, smoking the tires on his first pass in Englishtown didn’t worry Bob Tasca III.
“You know, I wasn’t really nervous going into our second run, because the first run of the day on Friday hasn’t really been a deciding factor on where you qualify,” said Tasca. “It helps set you up for Friday night, but the runs on Friday morning won’t qualify you for the race. It wasn’t that big of a deal; we learned some stuff from our first run for tomorrow when we’ll be back running in the heat.”
The driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang was on the outside looking in heading into the second run of the day, but his 4.856-second, 316.38 mph run was good enough to earn the rookie driver the No. 8 qualifying spot heading in Saturday.
“In this sport, you have to have a handle on your racecar and know where you’re at with the tune-up so you can come back from something like our first run,” said the rookie driver. “Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] said to me that we were going to run a 4.85 to get into the show, and we did. I give the guy so much credit because he really, really knows where he’s at with this tune-up right now. Tomorrow is going to be a real dogfight for those last four spots, and our car went out and ran a 4.85. So as a team owner and a driver, I’m just really impressed where he’s at with this car.”
The Rhode Island rookie will have two more qualifying trips down the track tomorrow, and will do it in front of a strong contingent of family and friends.
“I’m real excited about having a lot of the friends and family here with me this weekend,” said Tasca. “Every race there is pressure, but there isn’t anymore pressure on this race with them here. It’s special to have them around, because some of them have never seen me run or never have seen this type of car run. It’s just a lot of fun out there this weekend.”
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
Friday times: Currently in the No. 8 qualifying position
– Qualifying Run No. 1: 6.752 ET / 128.42 mph
– Qualifying Run No. 2: 4.856 ET / 316.38 mph
– Tasca won his first National Event in his Top Alcohol Funny Car in Englishtown in 2007.
– Tasca entered the weekend 10th in championship points
– This weekend, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories team will host a group of kids from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation from the Central New Jersey 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.