TOPEKA, Kansas (May 27, 2008) – This weekend’s NHRA race in Topeka marks the halfway point until The Countdown for the NHRA POWERade championship begins, and the first visit for rookie Bob Tasca III to the Heartland Park quarter-mile track.
“We’re excited about going to Topeka,” said Tasca. “We found an issue with the cam gear after the Bristol race which affected the car’s performance. While it was disappointing to go out that first round, we’re pleased with how the car ran before we had that problem Saturday and Sunday. We feel like we’ve got it fixed headed into this weekend.
“I’ve never even been to Topeka, not even as a spectator, so I’m looking to make it a memorable first visit,” said Tasca. “I think it will be an interesting race compared to the last couple that we’re coming off of, primarily, because of the heat. The conditions show that it’s going to be real hot out there, which is really a big equalizer for all of the teams. From a traction standpoint, it’s more a finesses than it is a power deal.”
Tasca and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang team sit 12th in championship points, just 21 points outside the top 10, heading into the ninth race of season.
“Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] has a lot of experience at Topeka, and we’re definitely focused on getting this thing through a couple of rounds on Sunday,” said Tasca. “We know that we’re right within striking distance of the top 10. Everyone on my team believes that a win is just around the corner for us and it’d be nice to get one in Topeka.”
Reaching the halfway point before The Countdown to the championship begins, Tasca is optimistic about where his team stands in the points.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled about the position we’ve put ourselves in,” said Tasca. “To come up on the halfway point to the championship run, it makes me go back just nine races ago in Pomona. It was literally sleepless nights, hoping we’d make the show. We’ve progressed to a point now where making the show is expected. And not just hoping to be No. 16 qualifier, but to be in the top half of the field going into Sunday.
“I feel pretty good to literally be only one run out of the top 10 from starting this team from scratch. I think we’re on everyone’s radar screen, but our biggest competition is ourselves, to just stay focused on our program. We’ve got a lot of excitement going into Topeka.”
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Tasca will attempt to make his eighth start of the season this weekend in Topeka.
– This weekend will be Tasca’s first visit to Heartland Park
– Tasca is 12th in the championship standings, 21 points out of the top 10. He also is eighth in the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge.
– 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.