BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 16, 2008) – The first qualifying run at Bristol Dragway didn’t go quite as planned for Bob Tasca III, as the driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang experienced tire issues for the first time since Las Vegas in early April.
Without being qualified in the field heading into the second run of the day, the rookie driver was able to bounce back and earn the No. 8 qualifying position heading into Saturday’s qualifying.
“The car has run so consistently, that the first run was a shock,” said Tasca. “It shook the tires; I felt like I was in Phoenix. I pedaled it one time, but it was way, way unhappy. It just goes to show you the handle that Chris Cunningham [crew chief] has on this racecar because we came back during that second run after underestimating the track earlier in the day.”
As a result of being 19 out of 21 drivers after the first round of qualifying, Tasca was in the first pair to go down the track during the second run, and was able to lay down a 4.823/318.02 mph run.
“Anytime you’re the first pair down the second run, it’s a major disadvantage because you don’t know what the track can really hold versus the drivers that go out later in the session,” said Tasca. “That thing got over there by the centerline. I saw it, I knew I was on it, but I knew I had control of the car because it stopped and we smoked down through there.
“John [Force, running in opposite lane] ran a little quicker, but we had him out of the gate. He was joking at the end of the track, he said, ‘Tasca, I was drafting behind you, that’s why you ran a 318 [mph].’ But that’s what makes this racing so much fun, the field is so tight. The low for the second session was a 4.78, so with being first pair down; I was thrilled with our run. I had a great light out there and we’ve got some momentum going into tomorrow.”
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Friday Results: Provisionally Eighth
– Qualifying Run No. 1: 9.508 ET / 92.72 mph
– Qualifying Run No. 2: 4.823 ET / 318.02 mph
– This weekend is Tasca’s first visit to Bristol’s Thunder Valley quarter-mile.
– Tasca came into Bristol 12th in the championship standings, 22 points out of the top 10.
– Tasca is running a full season and for 2008 Rookie-of-the-Year honors.
– 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.