O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals

Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas
March 27-29, 2009


Baytown, Texas – March 29, 2009
– A first round loss brings an early end to the weekend for Bob Tasca III and Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang Team.

Ever changing track conditions in Houston made it a difficult weekend for Tasca and the team. In Saturday’s final sessions, Tasca took his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang on a 4.172 second run at 295.46 miles per hour en route to an 11th place qualifying position.

“We made two runs on Saturday. We were trying to balance the power to the racing surface,” said Tasca. “We struggled a little bit and with those conditions and we probably needed another run to really dial the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang in to where we wanted it to be.”

On Sunday morning, Tasca faced John Force in the first round eliminations. Tasca smoked the tires around the 330-foot mark and was defeated by the 14-time champion.

“To win against John Force, you’ve got to run really hard,” said Tasca. “We compared our run to teammate Tim Wilkerson’s run [in the first round] and there might have been a one degree difference and that one degree could have changed everything. We missed it by an eyelash.”

“It wasn’t our day, but I’m happy for my fellow Ford driver Ashley Force Hood and her win today. It’s great to see a Ford Mustang in the Winner’s Circle. Congratulations to Ashley and her entire team.”

Although Tasca and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team made an early exit from the Spring Nationals, it was an educational weekend.

“We’re taking the good with us from Houston and leaving the bad behind. We race and we want to win every time, but we know you can’t win them all. This weekend didn’t meet our expectations. I’m disappointed that we weren’t able to go through the rounds in Houston, but we’re very focused on the next race. We’re still riding the momentum from earlier in the season. I’m looking forward to racing in Las Vegas next weekend. We qualified second there last year, so we have high expectations to get back on track in Las Vegas.”

“We survived Houston,” said Tasca. “Each day I felt like I was racing on three different tracks. The track changed so much from Friday to Saturday and then from Saturday to Sunday. The conditions really played havoc on the crew chiefs and you saw it in the performance. There were some incredible runs and a lot of tire smoke from cars in either lane.”

Ashley Force Hood defeated Jack Beckman during Sunday’s final elimination. This was her second career Funny Car win.

Full Throttle Standings – Funny Car

1. Ron Capps, 294; 2. Del Worsham 265; 3. Ashley Force Hood, 261; 4. Bob Tasca III, 257; 5. Tony Pedregon, 232; 6. Jack Beckman, 231; 7. Matt Hagan, 210; 8. John Force, 200; 9t. Robert Hight, 196; 9t. Mike Neff, 196; 11. Tim Wilkerson, 189.

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