SONOMA, Calif. (July 27, 2008) – Bob Tasca III’s run to 1,000 feet during the first round of eliminations on Sunday at Infineon Raceway, was his best of the weekend. The rookie driver put together a 4.224-second, 293.66 mph run, but was just short of taking the win light as he experienced his first loss in three meetings to best friend, Tony Pedregon.
“Tony put up a pretty good run against us,” said Tasca. “It’s heartbreaking to go out in the first round again, but you have take the good from the bad and move on. I had a pretty good light against him, and we had a great tune-up in the car, but today just wasn’t our day.”
The loss keeps the Rhode Island resident 11th in the point standings, but with Jack Beckman’s first-round win, Tasca now sits 42 points outside of the top 10 with three races left before the final drivers are locked in to run for the championship.
“We’re only 42 points outside of the top 10, which can be made up in one race, and we still have three more races to go,” said the rookie. “Obviously we would have hoped to have done better out here. We’ve had some really, really, tough, tough, losses on Sunday. To a certain extent, all you can do is give yourself a chance, and then you need some things to go your way. That wasn’t the case for us again this weekend.”
Tasca and his team will have next week off as the series takes a break before heading to back-to-back races in Brainerd, MN and Reading, PA.
“We are very, very optimistic,” said the rookie driver. “We’ve got a great racecar, a great group of guys, and I’m getting as comfortable as I’ve ever been in the racecar. But I will say this – Brainerd is important. It is very, very important for our chances to get into this top 10. Again, it’s a track I’ve never been to, but Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] has had a lot of good fortune out there. Hopefully our luck turns around. Heck, if it weren’t for bad luck, we’d have none on Sunday.
“It’s heartbreaking to come off this Western Swing without going a round, but we got some good data on this Swing for next year. This is a long-term program for us and we’ve got a long-term strategy, and we’ll just continue to get stronger as a team.”
NEWS/STATS AT A GLANCE:
– Elimination Round No. 1
Tasca: 4.224 ET / 293.66 mph
T. Pedregon 4.186 ET / 299.46 mph
– Voting for the car design that will be featured on Tasca’s Funny Car at the U.S. Nationals continues through July 31 at www.jdrf.org/ford. Currently, the design contest has raised more that $43,000 for research for type 1 diabetes.
– 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.