RICHMOND, Virginia. (Oct. 11, 2008) – Qualifying came right down to the wire for Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang team at Virginia Motorsports Park as the rookie driver and his team needed to put together a solid run on their fourth and final pass of the weekend in order to make their 21st start of the season.
Tasca recovered after smoking the tires right at the line, and made a strong effort pedaling his nitro Funny Car to 1,000 feet. That pass put him in the No. 16 spot with one driver remaining with the ability to bump the rookie driver out of the field. That driver was Jerry Toliver, and his time bumped him up into the 16th spot in the field, leaving Tasca with his second DNQ of the season.
“Today we were just too aggressive,” said Tasca. “I know Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] was really trying and we’re kind of a little floored that the car on both runs, smoked the tires just about 10 feet from the starting line. We made some pretty significant adjustments that second run, but that’s racing.
“It’s amazing, you come to a race and run your career-best time and you don’t qualify,” said Tasca regarding his Friday night run. “We would have qualified with our time Friday night, but since we missed that pack by one one-thousandth of a second and one spot with the way qualifying goes, that time didn’t carry over into today.”
“It’s unfortunate, and it’s only the second time that it’s happened to us all year. It’s been a long time, since Phoenix that we haven’t qualified. We’re just going to look forward and not back and look forward to getting back to Vegas. We qualified in Vegas at that track earlier in the season, so I’m excited to get back out there. We’ve got two races to go, and Richmond is behind us.”
Tasca and his Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will have two weeks off before heading to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Oct. 31-Nov. 2 for the 8th annual NHRA Nationals.
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Qualifying Run No. 3: 12.755 ET / 63.77 mph
– Qualifying Run No. 4: 6.860 ET / 176.35 mph
– Qualifying Run No. 1: 7.833 ET / 72.22 mph
– Qualifying Run No. 2: 4.090 ET / 299.06 mph
– Tasca is one of five drivers in NHRA pro classes that are up for Rookie-of-the-Year honors for the 2008 season.
– The rookie driver entered this weekend sitting 11th in the championship standings
– Tasca Racing recently broke ground on their new racing shop in Concord, North Carolina, with an expected complete date of February 2009.
– 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.