TASCA AND MOTORCRAFT/QUICK LANE FORD SHELBY MUSTANG TEAM FACE TRICKY GREMLINS, EXIT AFTER FIRST ROUND AT NHRA SEASON-OPENER
POMONA, Calif. - Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang team recorded their fastest speed of the weekend - 303.37 mph - during the first round of eliminations at the 51st annual NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, but it wasn't enough to hold back 'One Ford' teammate Robert Hight.
Tasca drove the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford to a 4.216-second finish to Hight's 4.121 at 305.84 for an early exit. Hight faced teammate John Force in Round 2.
"We'll pack our stuff up and go back to the drawing board," said Tasca, who qualified 13th with a 4.147 at 286.74 after three days of incredible shifts in weather. "It's not an outcome that is even close to what we hoped for."
For the first time in Tasca's NHRA Full Throttle Series professional drag racing Series career (2011 marks his fourth year), he and crew chiefs Chris Cunningham and Marc Denner will end the season with the same engine combination they used in pre-season testing. Hopes are high, but gremlins in Pomona, including fuel system and clutch issues, demanded extra attention.
"There were fuel system issues we've been fighting since testing," Cunningham said. "We caught those on Saturday evening. That was good. We're just trying to refine our clutch system, to work better on cool tracks. The weekend didn't go as planned. I wish we would've learned these things at testing, but sometimes those things don't work out."
Fortunately, the next stop for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team is Gainesville, Fla., where Tasca has reached the final round the past two years. He earned his first career Funny Car win there in 2009.
Tasca will look to the advice of Ford Racing icon and current Pro Stock Crew Chief Bob Glidden - "Never look back. Look forward."
"I thought it was good advice," Tasca said.