Tasca Racing extends Cunningham's contract

CREW CHIEF CHRIS CUNNINGHAM'S CONTRACT EXTENDED AT TASCA RACING CRANSTON, Rhode Island (May 8, 2008) -- Chris Cunningham, who took over full crew chief responsibilities for Bob Tasca III's Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby...

CREW CHIEF CHRIS CUNNINGHAM'S CONTRACT EXTENDED AT TASCA RACING

CRANSTON, Rhode Island (May 8, 2008) -- Chris Cunningham, who took over full crew chief responsibilities for Bob Tasca III's Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang nitro Funny Car in early April, has received a three-year contract extension from Tasca Racing.

"Chris has been a crucial component in building this race team, and I can't give him and the crew enough credit for what we've been able to achieve over the last six months," said Team Owner and Driver, Bob Tasca III. "He has a plan for this team and he is making sure that we continue to build and progress each time down the track. We're building this program for the long term and we're building it around Chris."

Immediately following the move from sharing the position of crew chief to taking over fulltime, Cunningham tuned Tasca's Shelby Mustang to its best qualifying position ever, earning the No. 3 spot in Las Vegas.

"You know it's nice to have him look at me with such confidence and it gives me a good feeling," said Cunningham. "I'm happy that he extended my contract for me; they're good people to work with. Bob has already showed his level of driving maturity, adapting to a nitro car rather quickly, and I've got to say that he's done a remarkable job in his own right in such a short period of time. I'm thrilled to be hanging around for a couple more years at least."

After last weekend's race in St. Louis, the Shelby Mustang team gained in the Full Throttle NHRA Pit Crew Championship points, moving up to sixth in a competition that rewards the top-performing crew each weekend.

"The progress in the team is incredible," said Cunningham. "Even the guys that we race against are just as amazed as we are as a team that we've come as far as we have in such a short time. I've got a great sense of gratitude towards my guys that put the car together. All I've got to do is look at the data and not really worry about whether the car is getting put together right, because I know it is.

"You know, we showed up at the Tasca shop right after Thanksgiving last year and the only thing that had been ordered were some blocks and cranks and some cylinder heads. You still look back and reflect on it and kind of wonder how it all came together, but it did. You always find a way."

The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series has the weekend off this week, but will travel to Bristol, Tenn. May 16-18 for the Eighth annual O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals.

-credit: tr/motorcraft

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Tasca III