Bob Tasca III - Ford interview 2009-07-08

This Week in Ford Racing July 8, 2009 Bob Tasca III, driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang Funny Car and fresh off two semi-final round appearances, is eager start NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing's West Coast Swing this week in ...

This Week in Ford Racing
July 8, 2009

Bob Tasca III, driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang Funny Car and fresh off two semi-final round appearances, is eager start NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing's West Coast Swing this week in Denver. Tasca talks about the crucial changes needed in his race car to perform in the Mile High city. Tasca sits sixth in series points with six races remaining before the Countdown to 1.

EARLIER IN THE SEASON, YOU WERE LOOKING FORWARD TO THREE-IN-A-ROW RACING. NOW, THIS WEEK STARTS THE WEST COAST SWING. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THIS PART OF THE SEASON? "I'm really looking forward to attacking Denver, Seattle and Sonoma. We are not going in with a conservative attitude. We're going in with a very aggressive attitude like we've done at every race we've gone to this year. Last year we hoped to qualify; this year if we're not in the top half of the field, we're upset. We have a team, crew chiefs and a driver that can perform and we've proved that we can get the job done when the time calls. When you have those three things going, you're a dangerous team. I think going into the West Coast Swing, we're a dangerous team. I'm not so sure many people would raise their hand and say I want to run Tasca first round. That's the culture we've built, and that's the attitude that we have out there in the field. I'm looking forward to proving why we deserve to be in the Championship discussion."

IS DENVER TRICKY TO RACE BECAUSE BECAUSE OF THE ALTITUDE? "Yeah, the motors are totally different. If you took your engine from Denver and hit your gas in Englishtown you would be on fire before you passed the Christmas tree. It is a totally different tune-up."

DO YOU RUN THE RISK OF OVER-THINKING THE SET-UP? "The answer to that question is no, because once you get the motor right, you'll know. Between [Tim] Wilkerson and Chris Cunningham [crew chief], we have a lot of data. We qualified last year number six and we lost in the first round. We had a pretty good handle on it last year, and, truthfully, Denver was best race that we had a handle on during the West Coast Swing. We want to pick up where we left off. We qualified sixth and would have beaten a lot of guys in the first round but we raced the wrong guy. We want to pick up where we left off in Denver and try to improve upon our qualifying position and go some rounds and walk away with a win. In Seattle and Sonoma we need to look at our tune-up numbers and make the appropriate decisions. I think having Wilkerson, Chris and having two cars that we can compare data will help get our Mustangs dialed in. It's a race where Wilkerson won last year, so it's always nice to have a guy that won the race last year, his data to look at. Denver is a very important race for us; we want to start this West Coast Swing off on a real good note. I have all the confidence in the world that Chris and the guys are going to go in with a game plan to perform very well, to perform right out of the box very strong in Denver."

HOW DOES YOUR SEASON COMPARE WITH LAST YEAR? "The Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang and the driver we have right now are light years ahead of what we had last year. A lot of it has to do with the alliance with Wilkerson and a couple hundred runs in the Fuel Funny Car now. Those are all things that are playing to our advantage. We're a dangerous team. There are not too many guys out there that look forward to that Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang right now."

IN THE LAST TWO RACES, YOU'VE REACHED THE SEMI-FINALS. DO YOU BELIEVE IN MOMENTUM? "Do I believe in momentum? I believe in this: the more times as a team that we get to hit the gas, the better we are. When you think about that, we went two rounds in Topeka, two rounds in Chicago, three rounds in Englishtown, and four rounds in Norwalk, we have compiled maybe nine or 10 more hits at the gas then arguably a lot of other teams out there. I believe that you create your own momentum. I believe that the more times that you hit the gas as a team, the more we learn and the better we are, so, yes, I think momentum, to a certain extent, is true. The reason why it is true is because the more opportunities you get to run, the more you learn as a team. We had things happen to us in Norwalk. We had an ignition issue against [Mike] Neff, but we won the round and we fixed it. Now that could have happened first round in Denver and we could have lost the race, so I think you create your own momentum by going rounds. The more rounds you go, the more data you have. The more you learn, the better you are. I'm not superstitious. What side you get out of the bed in the morning, or what coffee you have in the morning doesn't play to me at all. The momentum I like is going rounds, because that's just giving us more confidence and more data as a team. I will say this: this sport is zero to hero, and hero to zero. I mean, luck plays as much as a role in what we do as much as how talented we are. However, you have to put yourself in a position to win. If you consistently do that and perform as a driver and a team, then you will have more wins than losses."

-credit: ford racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Tasca III