Tasca, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team Bring Renewed Energy to Las Vegas with Addition of Crew Chief

LAS VEGAS, March 28, 2012–The Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car team has clocked fantastic performances in qualifying this season. On race day, though, the team has been a little “off.” Maybe just a bit unbalanced. When you’re competing at 300 mph, unbalanced is no way to be – especially when perfection could be just one addition away.

Enter two-time NHRA Full Throttle Series championship crew chief Dickie Venables. Venables, a longtime friend of the driver and team owner of the team, Bob Tasca III, was welcomed as the third point in a triangle of knowledge that includes sitting crew chiefs Chris Cunningham and Marc Denner.

“A lot’s taken place since (the last NHRA Full Throttle Series race in) Gainesville,” Tasca said. “We’re very excited to have Dickie on the team with Chris and Marc. The car has qualified very strong. We’ve racked up solid qualifying times. Now it’s time to go rounds on Sunday.”

Venables spent time between the Gainesville and Las Vegas races in the Tasca Racing shop in Concord, N.C., also home of zMAX Dragway. He makes his debut with Tasca this weekend at the NHRA Full Throttle Series race at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“It’s been great to see Chris and Marc and Dickie interact,” Tasca said. “A lot of people don’t realize I’ve known Dickie for years, since 1997, when he was with John Force Racing (JFR). He was with my best friend Tony Pedregon for his two championship seasons, as a co-crew chief and then as crew chief.

“I think he’ll bring a new dynamic to our program. He’s a very aggressive guy. In drag racing, it’s good to bring people on board who take different approaches to tuning. Chris and Dickie will balance each other’s personalities out.”

Tasca expects to see Venables’ stamp most prominently after the NHRA event in Las Vegas. The team will test the Monday after that event and after the 4-Wide Nationals as well.

“With a new person comes new ideas,” Tasca said. “We’ll be trying things a little bit differently. That’s not our strategy going to Las Vegas, but in testing, that’s when the timing will be perfect to try new things. We’re fortunate to have those two test sessions coming up.

“The car is not off by much.  The bottom line is all the parts are there. Now it’s up to us to work as a team to take advantage of that.”

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