POMONA, Calif., Feb. 10, 2008 – It may not have been a race win for Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Shelby Mustang team on Sunday, but qualifying for the race and advancing to the second round of the NHRA Winternationals was a victory for the entire team.

“It’s a huge win for us,” said Tasca of his first NHRA Nitro Funny Car weekend. “To qualify at the Winternationals and to win in the first round and go out there and make a strong pass in the second round is just awesome.”

Tasca faced Ashley Force in the second round of competition and put together a 4.955 second, 310.63 mph run, but reached the finish line just .082 of a second behind Force.

“Our second run was just a little bit too conservative for what we thought the race track would hold, but it was awesome to race against such a great competitor like Ashley Force.”

Tasca was the No. 14 qualifier for the race, which put him alongside fellow rookie, Melanie Troxel in the first round. The 2008 Rookie-of-the-Year contender earned his spot in the second round after posting a 5.235 second, 225.97 mph winning run against Troxel.

“That was exciting,” said Tasca after his first round win. “To qualify for Pomona and to win the first round is just amazing. We spun the tires up at the top end and I didn’t see her, so I pedaled it and it we made it through. This is just so incredible for our team and for Motorcraft and Quick Lane.”

Tasca’s rise into the nitro ranks after running in the Top Alcohol Funny Car class has been a quick one, having earned his license just over a week ago.

“To come here after only starting this program in November and to struggle the way that we did in Phoenix, is just such a credit to my team. There were a lot of question marks on our team and I’m sure a lot of people probably didn’t give us too much of a chance. I’m just real proud of the whole program and my two crew chiefs Mike [Kloeber] and Chris [Cunningham] and all the guys that work 15 hours a day to get this thing to go up and down that track. It’s quite an accomplishment for our team.”

“It takes the top 10 drivers to run for the championship, and that’s our goal’ said Tasca. “With these guys behind me, anything is possible.”

Tasca returns to the site where he earned his nitro license as the POWERade NHRA Series heads to Firebird International Raceway Feb. 22-24 for round two of the 2008 season.

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