POMONA, Calif., Feb. 16, 2013—Bob Tasca and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team qualified p13 with a 4.190-second pass at 305.08 mph at the 53rd O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Tasca faces Del Worsham, a driver-turned-crew-chief who returned to the driver’s seat this year, in Round 1.
While all three days of qualifying featured 80-degree Southern California weather, Sunday’s temperatures are expected to be cooler.
“We’ve tested all winter on 80, 85-degree racetracks in Palm Beach (Fla.),” said Tasca, a Ford dealer who is starting his sixth year as a fulltime driver on the NHRA Funny Car circuit. “I’m not discouraged at all. The runs we smoked the tires on were very close to making it, so it’s just a matter of getting the timing curve to work on the clutch set-up we have. Tomorrow morning’s a whole new ballgame. A 70-degree day. The racetrack will be 85-degrees – something we’re very familiar with, based on what we’ve tested all winter.
“We wanted more on that last run. We really backed it down to make it go, and it didn’t go. This thing is hopped up. It’s tuned up to run big speeds and that’s our mentality this year, but clearly we’ve got some fine-tuning to do on a warmer race track. We’ll make the appropriate changes as we get more opportunity to run. I’m looking forward to running Del in the morning.”
Tasca arrived in Pomona fresh off of 48 hours of plowing snow out of his family’s dealership, Tasca Ford in Cranston, R.I. The area received 27 inches of snow in snowstorm Nemo, an epic storm that struck New England last week.
Two hours of qualifying air on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET today (Feb. 16, 2013), with eliminations from 8-11 p.m. ET on Sunday.
For live updates, follow the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang team on Twitter (MQL_Racing) and Facebook (click on the “Twitter” icon). Follow driver Bob Tasca on Twitter at @Tasca3 and Facebook.