READING, Pa. (Aug. 16, 2008) – Each time Bob Tasca III made a qualifying run down the track at Maple Grove Raceway this weekend, it was next to Del Worsham. And first round tomorrow morning, it will be the same story as the rookie driver will face Worsham in the first round of eliminations for the second week in a row.
“It’s been déjà vu all weekend,” said Tasca. “We’ve run Del Worsham every run this weekend the way things matched up, and then we raced him last week in the first round.”
Tasca earned the No. 8 qualifying position for Sunday’s NHRA Nationals with a 4.144-second run on Friday night. On Saturday, the rookie and his team used the first run of the day to do some testing with their Shelby Mustang, but went back to a race setup the second trip down the track, which resulted in a 4.189-second, 293.09 mph run.
“It was a great, great day for us,” said Tasca. “From a strategy standpoint, we opened the day up already qualified and with no risk of getting bumped, so we put a brand new supercharger on the car. Without the ability to test, when we have to opportunity to try some things out, we’ve got to take advantage. We smoked the tires, but we learned an awful lot testing that supercharger for later down the road. For our second run, we went back to our set-up that we knew we had to run on Sunday, and I think we were fourth-quick [fifth] of the session. But to do that in the heat of the afternoon, those are the type of conditions that we’ve got to run well in tomorrow.”
Tasca entered this weekend’s event 11th in the points, just 79 points behind 10-place driver, Mike Neff.
“We run Del first round tomorrow, but it doesn’t make a difference who we run, we’ve got to win to get into the top 10,” said Tasca. “I’ve been saying it all weekend and that’s the bottom line; nothing’s changed. We’ve got to do well here and we’ve got to do well in Indy. We have a great racecar, we had a great run Friday night and a great run this afternoon. It’s a huge confidence builder for the whole team, but aside from a confidence builder, it’s data. It’s race information on a track we’re going to race on tomorrow, and that’s valuable to us. You couldn’t ask for more than that.
“Del has got a great team over there, and they are very competitive,” said the Rookie-of-the-Year contender. “Certainly they weren’t happy about losing to us last week on a holeshot, so they’re going to come to the line ready, but we’re up for the fight and we’re looking forward to going rounds on Sunday.”
The meeting between Tasca and Worsham will be the third of the season, and the second in as many weeks. Tasca’s record against Worsham is 1-1, and Worsham sits right behind Tasca in the points in 12th place by 18 points.
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Qualifying Run No. 3: 4.679 ET / 179.40 mph
– Qualifying Run No. 4: 4.189 ET / 293.09 mph
– Qualifying Run No. 1: 4.758 ET / 173.78 mph
– Qualifying Run No. 2: 4.144 ET / 295.72 mph
– 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.