TASCA CONFIDENT HEADING INTO SATURDAY QUALIFYING; CURRENTLY SITS 12TH HOUSTON (March 28, 2008) -- It was the first time since the NHRA season-opener at Pomona that Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang team were able to make...
TASCA CONFIDENT HEADING INTO SATURDAY QUALIFYING; CURRENTLY SITS 12TH
HOUSTON (March 28, 2008) -- It was the first time since the NHRA season-opener at Pomona that Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang team were able to make two qualifying runs on Friday of an event weekend. With a little bit less pressure on day one at the NHRA Spring Nationals than the two prior events, Tasca put together two solid runs, giving his team a good baseline to work with heading into Saturday.
"It was probably the best run we've made in the car," said Tasca of his second run of the day. "This has really been a great day for us. We haven't put together two back-to-back solid runs like that, I don't think all year. The guys have certainly made progress; they've done a lot of work between races to refine and make small changes to the car."
Tasca's first qualifying effort at Houston Raceway Park was 5.05 ET and 264.49 mph, while the second was a little bit quicker at 4.94 ET and 264.49 mph. Unfortunately, Tasca crossed the centerline on his second run and hit a cone on the track, resulting in the time not counting for position.
"I actually hit the cone with the rear tire, which isn't easy to do actually," said Tasca. "I contested it because I knew that I didn't hit it with the front of the car because I saw the cones go by me. I knew I was close, but the rear tire just clipped it. Fortunately it didn't do any damage."
While happy with two solids runs on the day, Tasca was sure that if his car hadn't gotten loose at the top end on both runs, his Shelby Mustang would have been a little bit higher in the field.
"That last run would have probably put us close to the No. 3 qualifier if we hadn't gotten loose," said Tasca. "For me as a driver, these are the first conditions where I've felt loose at the top end of the track and close to the finish line. That makes the car very difficult to drive because the rear tires are spinning at 300 mph and it's difficult to correct once the tires get loose. We'll make some adjustments with the rear spoiler and with timing. We've got a lot of confidence heading into tomorrow."
Tasca on qualifying:
"When we ran the first session, we ran a 5.05 ET and spun the tires at the top end. The crew chiefs didn't try to fix the top end; they thought that maybe the racetrack would fix that, which it didn't. We still spun at the top end on the second run. The changes that my crew chiefs made to make the car run quicker at the half-track resulted in going from 255 mph to running 260 mph. To pick up five mph at the half-track is just a great result for the crew chiefs. I think it really complemented the decisions that they made. Now we'll spend a little more time focused on the top end because we don't want to spin the tires. We seem to have a decent handle at the half track and we'll see what the next runs bring."