Bob Tasca III/Motorcraft press release
TIME FOR 2012 FOR BOB TASCA III, MOTORCRAFT/QUICK LANE AND FORDPARTS.COM FUNNY CAR TEAM
POMONA, Calif., Nov. 13, 2011 – It’s not surprising that Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane and FordParts.com Ford Mustang Funny Car team immediately turned their collective focus to 2012 before the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Series Championship trophy had even been awarded at the Auto Club Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Already out of contention going in to the race, they were prepared to bring their best game against opponents challenging “One Ford” teammates Mike Neff and Robert Hight for the title.
But after a heartbreaking loss in Round 1 against Cruz Pedregon, despite turning in a solid 4.199 at 308.07 behind Tasca’s .008-second advantage on the starting line, they turned to the next thing on the calendar – a full schedule of testing and work in the shop that will prepare them for the NHRA Winternationals at the same track in February. It’s to be expected from the deeply driven driver and his crew.
“Unfortunately the day didn’t play out the way that we had hoped,” Tasca said. “You go out in the first round and it was a real close race against Cruz, and truthfully we would’ve beat a lot of other cars out there in the first round (seven out of the 16 drivers). But it’s the luck of the draw and we came up on the short end.”
Don Schumacher Racing’s Matt Hagan eventually won the 2011 title.
“The bottom line is 2012 just started for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane and FordParts.com Funny Car team,” Tasca said. “We’re going to dig in deep. This has been a learning season and that which doesn’t break you makes you stronger, and when you have a season like we did and truthfully, we just came up on the short side of about a dozen races this year. We you lose by less than 10 inches, you know you’re real close to finding that edge and picking up a lot of round wins and hopefully go on your way to winning a championship in 2012.
“That’s what makes NHRA Full Throttle Series Drag Racing exciting, is the close, competitive racing. It was also disappointing to see Mike Neff go out in that second round (to Johnny Gray), ending the chances of Ford winning the championship in Funny Car. But these four teams will work real hard in the off-season, and we’ll be ready for 2012.”
Crew Chief Chris Cunningham and Co-Crew Chief Marc Denner will go back to analyzing data, evaluating current set-ups and forming a plan for 2012.
“This year wasn’t exactly what we wanted,” Cunningham said. “We didn’t get the outcomes on Sunday that we wanted, but we had a real good year, and we’ll take what we learned through the year, analyze it over the winter and figure out our points and try to turn them into strengths.”
“We lost a lot of close races that could’ve went the other way, and we’re going to work all winter to try to get those extra 5-hundreths so we don’t have to worry about it anymore,” Denner said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff with the clutch and fuel system we’re going to change for next year and hopefully that’ll buy us the 5-hundreths that we need.”