Charlotte: Bob Tasca III preview

MOTORCRAFT/QUICK LANE TEAM READY FOR FIRST RACE IN CHARLOTTE CHARLOTTE (Sept. 9, 2008) -- For Bob Tasca III, being a rookie this year in the nitro Funny Car class has had him competing at tracks where not only had he never raced at, but also at...

MOTORCRAFT/QUICK LANE TEAM READY FOR FIRST RACE IN CHARLOTTE

CHARLOTTE (Sept. 9, 2008) -- For Bob Tasca III, being a rookie this year in the nitro Funny Car class has had him competing at tracks where not only had he never raced at, but also at tracks that he'd never even been to as a spectator.

But this weekend in North Carolina, it will be a level playing field for all drivers as Tasca and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang team will compete to earn a spot in Sunday's inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals.

"I stopped by the new track a couple weeks back when we were closing on our race shop property not far from there, and it's just incredible; that's the only word that I can use to describe the facility," said Tasca. "My hat is off to Bruton Smith and his whole team. To give us a platform where we can showcase the Motorcraft and Quick Lane brands and our entire sport at the premier drag strip in the world is just incredible."

Having not yet made a run on the new track this season doesn't worry the rookie driver, and in fact, it is something he is optimistic about as he owns a successful win record at first-time events.

"My record in inaugural races has been pretty good," said Tasca. "I've got a 2-0 record from when I won in Richmond when it was the firs race there, and at Norwalk in the alcohol car when it was the inaugural race, so hopefully some of that good luck rolls into Charlotte. I can't wait to get there. The fans that are coming out to that facility for the first time will really be blown away when they see what our sport has to offer. There are a lot of passionate NASCAR fans there that haven't seen a drag race before, so I'm just looking forward to getting there and putting on a show for the fans in Charlotte."

The race this weekend marks the beginning of the final quarter of the 2008 NHRA season, and while not having his points reset like the 10 drivers competing for the championship, Tasca and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will internally reset their points to measure themselves against the top 10 contenders.

"Our goals for the rest of the year are simple, we will measure our success on how we close out this season compared to everyone else in the field," said Tasca. "We're not going into test mode, we're not rolling out the new chassis; we're going to finish this year out as if we were in the top 10 in the points, and see where we would have ended up.

"We're certainly well overdue for a win; we know we can win, we're sixth in the Full Throttle point standings, so that shows our consistency in qualifying. We've certainly struggled on Sundays, but I feel that Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] and the guys on the team have settled in. We've got a great tune-up on a hot track, and I feel confident that we have a real opportunity at a great, great racetrack in Charlotte this weekend to showcase what we can do and ultimately close the season out with momentum heading into 2009."

-credit: tasca/motorcraft

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Tasca III