SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada
April 2-5, 2009
PARACHUTE MALFUNCTION ENDS LAS VEGAS RACE FOR TASCA AND THE MOTORCRAFT/QUICK LANE SHELBY MUSTANG TEAM
Las Vegas, Nevada – April 5, 2009 – Tasca’s day ended just 300 feet into Sunday’s first round eliminations when the left parachute malfunctioned on the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang Funny Car.
On Sunday morning, Tasca rolled to the line and faced defending series champion Cruz Pedregon. At the 300-foot marker, Tasca felt his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang struggle to accelerate.
“I knew something didn’t feel right because the run started good and then the Mustang was struggling,” said Tasca. “I didn’t know the parachute was out, but I knew something was wrong.”
Tasca continued to explain the parachute problem, “The parachute malfunctioned because the pin wasn’t secure. We holeshotted Cruz during that run and we were going to beat him. This has never happened to me in my two years of Top Alcohol and the year and a half of Funny Car competition. It just wasn’t in the cards for us here in Vegas.”
As a pre-run routine, Tasca walks around his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang, “I always look at the parachutes before I get in and everything was fine. On the burnout there was a little vibration, but nothing that I would even think twice about. There must have been enough of a vibration or shake that pulled the cable back,” said a disappointed Tasca. “The Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang was on a great run. The g-forces started to come into play and didn’t have enough to keep the parachute in the pack.”
“What makes it worse is that crew chief Chris Cunningham and I went back, looked at the data and realized that we probably would have won that round,” explained Tasca. “That’s what makes this loss that much more painful. We’ll conquer Atlanta. We’ve got to look forward and not behind us. We’re still in the running to be in the top 10. We win as a team and lose as a team, but that’s a tough way to lose. We really beat ourselves this weekend.”
Ron Capps defeated Rookie of the Year candidate Matt Hagan during Sunday’s final elimination. This was the third win for Capps this season; Capps remains the Funny Car point leader. Tasca drops to sixth in Funny Car standings.
Full Throttle Standings – Funny Car
1. Ron Capps, 408; 2. Matt Hagan, 302. 3t. Del Worsham, 296; 3t. Ashley Force Hood, 296; 5. Tony Pedregon, 290; 6. Bob Tasca III, 289; 7. Jack Beckman, 282; 8. Robert Hight, 273; 9. John Force, 253; 10. Mike Neff, 252.
# # # #