BOB TASCA III’S QUEST FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE FINAL ROUND AT GAINESVILLE ENDS AT HANDS OF RACE WINNER MIKE NEFF
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – It took the quickest Funny Car run of the day at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals to end Bob Tasca III’s lucky streak at the storied Gainesville Raceway.
Tasca III drove the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang to a 4.199-second finish at 305.42 mph in Round 2 of eliminations Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to contain ‘One Ford’ teammate Mike Neff. Neff, a potent driver/crew chief combo who assumed the seat vacated by John Force Racing teammate Ashley Force this season, raced to a blazing 4.059 at 312.71 to advance.
Neff defeated Don Schumacher Racing’s Jack Beckman and Cruz Pedregon in the latter rounds to claim his second career win.
In the first round, Tasca III recorded a 4.331 at 253.75 to Tony Pedregon’s 8.339 at 93.68
“We had a big first-round win over Tony, which put us back in the Top 10 (in the Full Throttle Series point standings),” Tasca said. “Obviously that’s real important, to stay in the Top 10 for when the Countdown (to the Championship, the playoffs) comes.
“You got to tip your hat to Mike Neff. We went up, we were the last pair to run on that second session, we saw a lot of cars smoking the tires. Robert Hight, Johnny Gray, Matt Hagan. When you see those guys smoke the tires, we know the track just won’t be there. At least, we didn’t think it would be there. We calmed the tune-up down, our race car went A to B, we cut a good light.”
But the day belonged to Neff.
Tasca III won’t get much rest before the 12th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals April 1-3, 2011. Next week, he’ll head to Bristol Motor Speedway for the Jeff Byrd 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, where he and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will start their Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car on the starting line during pre-race ceremonies. Then it’s off to Las Vegas, where he will participate in an NHRA Fan Fest before the event.