HOUSTON (March 30, 2008) – Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang team hadn’t smoked the tires in any of the four qualifying runs for the NHRA Spring Nationals, but that is exactly what happened on Sunday to knock them out in the first round of eliminations at Houston Raceway Park.

“We didn’t do that all weekend; there’s no reason to do it first round,” said a frustrated Tasca. “I just don’t know. The crew chiefs will go through the data and look at it and we’ll test here on Monday. This is very disappointing because we had a very good running racecar all weekend.”

Tasca faced Tony Bartone in the first round of competition, and Bartone had issues of his own with a loss of traction on the track. Tasca pedaled his Shelby Mustang, but his 7.767 ET, 191.87 mph run wasn’t good enough to beat Bartone’s 6.327 ET, 261.88 mph pass.

“I was pedaling it and trying to get it to recover, but it just kept smoking the tires,” said Tasca. “Once it gets that upset that early, it’s had to recover it. That’s the frustrating part about this sport. It’s so competitive and so difficult and 1,000 things have to go right and only one needs to go wrong to end your day. If Bartone had ran a 4.84 ET, I probably wouldn’t feel so bad, but he had a six second run and unfortunately, we didn’t have enough to make it to the second round.”

­­Tasca and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang team will next compete in the NHRA Nationals April 10-13 in Las Vegas for the fifth race the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season.

News/Stats at a Glance:

– Tasca lost to Tony Bartone in the first round, his second first-round loss of this season.

– The NHRA Spring Nationals was Tasca’s third nitro Funny Car start of the season.

– Tasca is running a full season and competing for 2008 Rookie-of-the-Year honors

Next Events:

– April 10-13: NHRA Nationals: Las Vegas, Nev.

– April 24-27: Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals: Atlanta, Ga.

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, earning two professional wins at Englishtown and Virginia. He is also a third-generation Ford dealer from Rhode Island.

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