TASCA 13TH QUICKEST AFTER FIRST DAY IN CHARLOTTE CONCORD, NC (Sept. 12, 2008) -- Bob Tasca III made his first trips down the new drag strip in Charlotte on Friday in his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang, and the Rookie-of-the-Year candidate...
TASCA 13TH QUICKEST AFTER FIRST DAY IN CHARLOTTE
CONCORD, NC (Sept. 12, 2008) -- Bob Tasca III made his first trips down the new drag strip in Charlotte on Friday in his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang, and the Rookie-of-the-Year candidate ended the day as the 13th-quickest driver of the 22 Funny Cars entered for Sunday's inaugural event.
"A lot of how we ran today had to do with looking at where we were two weeks ago in Indianapolis," said Tasca. "There, we smoked the tires the first three times down the track, and we were certainly on the other side of where we needed to be for wheel speed. Coming into Charlotte, Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] said to me, 'Let's just get ourselves a base line,' and that's what we did. We went A to B straight down the track that first run."
The result of Tasca's first qualifying pass put him in 17th, but with some cooler conditions and a solid base line to work off of, Tasca improved from a 4.243 to a 4.129 on his second trip to 1,000 feet.
"Our second time down the track, we were hoping for a 4.10," said the Rookie-of-the-Year candidate. "We weren't trying to run a 4.07 or a 4.12, we were hoping for that 4.10 which would have gotten us in and then we would have gone to work on Saturday. But it is what it is. We'll just have to take the information that we got, which was very good, and we'll work with it on Saturday."
Despite being the 13th quickest of the day, under NHRA qualifying rules, only the top 12 drivers from Friday have their times carried over into Saturday's qualifying.
"We've been in this situation multiple times," said Tasca on not being qualified after day one. "Sure, it's frustrating that six-thousandths of a second is what the margin is between 12th and 13th, and we're 13th, but truthfully, I think that in that first run on Saturday, I don't think that the bottom of the field is safe. There's going to be some movement in positions and we can bump up in there.
"There are big names that aren't in right now; Tony Pedregon, John Force, Jack Beckman; all top 10 cars not qualified going into Saturday," said Tasca. "You've got a great race track here, and when you have a great racetrack, you get good data. And I have all the confidence in the world that we'll get this thing into the show in the morning."
A start in Sunday's race would mark Tasca's 18th start of the season and of his nitro Funny Car career.