PHOENIX – It was three weeks ago that Bob Tasca III earned his NHRA Nitro Funny Car license at Firebird International Raceway, and since then, Tasca and his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Shelby Mustang team have qualified for their first nitro Funny Car race, won their first round, and now sit tied for fifth in the points.

Tasca returns to the site where his three-week journey started as round two of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series heads back to Firebird this weekend.

I’m excited to get back to Phoenix, particularly with the tune-up we have in the race car coming out of Pomona, “ said Tasca. “We learned a lot at our test in Phoenix and we have high expectations for the weekend.”

Pomona proved to be a pressure-packed week for the rookie team, but one that gave them a solid base of experience and data for this round at Phoenix and for the rest of the season.

“There’s no question that first event had everyone on overload,” said Tasca. “We went into the event a little uncertain on our tune-up, but now the team and my crew chiefs have a chance to make decisions off of those solid runs.

“The first weekend did take a little edge off, but like my crew chief said, here at Tasca Racing, we don’t just qualify for an event and everybody’s happy. This is an environment where we expect to win. We’re expected to win from our sponsors and that’s what this whole team is built on. Until we achieve those goals race in and race out, that’s what we’re going to be fighting for.”

From the very beginning of putting this team together, Tasca and his team have viewed each qualifying event day as one full of steps needed to take to make it into the show on Sunday.

“This season is all about establishing a foundation one step at a time,” said Tasca. “Not for one second do you take for granted a second-round appearance, but just to qualify for an NHRA event for even a seasoned driver is a challenge. We’re going to go into Phoenix very focused on qualifying and once we qualify, we can put ourselves in a position to win rounds.

“Nobody can guarantee a race win; nobody can guarantee a first-round win. You can’t even guarantee qualifying for these races. Going into Phoenix, we want to qualify solidly in the pack, and go out race day and give ourselves a chance to win this thing just like the other 15 drivers in the field will.”

News of Note:

– Tasca will make his second NHRA Nitro Funny Car start this weekend

– Firebird International Raceway is the track where Tasca earned his license on Jan. 31, 2008.

– Tasca’s best Nitro Funny Car run came in the second round at Pomona: 4.955 ET, 310.63 mph

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

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