Charlotte II: Tasca III - Ford interview 2010-09-15

This Week in Ford Racing Bob Tasca III, driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang, heads to zMAX Dragway in Concord, NC, for the second race in NHRA's Countdown to 1. Tasca Racing is headquartered in Concord, just a few miles from...

This Week in Ford Racing

Bob Tasca III, driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang, heads to zMAX Dragway in Concord, NC, for the second race in NHRA's Countdown to 1. Tasca Racing is headquartered in Concord, just a few miles from the track. Tasca talks about racing at the team's home track and remaining competitive in the Countdown with five races left. Tasca is seventh in series points with five races remaining in the 2010 season.

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT RACING IN CHARLOTTE THIS WEEKEND. WITH YOUR RACE SHOP IN CHARLOTTE IT'S KIND OF A HOME AWAY FROM HOME FOR YOU. "For my team it's their home track because there a lot of friends and family from the team in the area and they all come out to the race. We've made it past first round both times at zMAX and we want to perform well at Charlotte. We want to perform well at every race but clearly for a lot of reasons, being the home track for our race shop and the second race in the Countdown. We are all excited about the race this weekend; how can you not be excited? There are 10 Funny Cars that could win the championship. Fans get to watch 16 Funny Cars roll into any race at any time and win a race. It's a very competitive class. It's a very exciting class, both as a fan and a driver. Charlotte for us, it's the premier facility, it's in our backyard and it's the second race in the Countdown. It's a very important race for this race team to perform well and to do well at."

THE LAST TIME YOU WERE IN CHARLOTTE YOU MADE THE FORD BOSS 500 ENGINE ANNOUNCEMENT AND ONLY HAD MADE A FEW CHANGES OVER DURING THAT RACE. WHAT'S IT GOING TO BE LIKE GOING BACK WITH THE FULL TRANSITION OVER TO THE BOSS PLATFORM? "The entire team has the piece of mind that we have the powertrain in our Shelby Mustang that has won 14 plus championships and counting. Going back to Charlotte and going back to any race track, we really believe in this Ford set-up. That being said however, we're going back to a very different Charlotte. During the spring race the weather was cooler and ETs were quicker. This Charlotte will be a very different Charlotte, mid to high 80s race track, very hot conditions. We'll need to look back at our data. We clearly have enough data to prepare for these conditions but it will be a different Charlotte race surface versus the Charlotte we left. Our confidence level is a whole world ahead of where we were in March with just making the transition over to the Ford BOSS 500 engine. We have our sights set on winning the race this weekend."

YOU TOUCHED A BIT ON THE HEAT IN CHARLOTTE THIS WEEKEND. YOU'RE KNOWN FOR YOUR DOMINANT HOT TRACK TUNE-UP. DOES THAT GIVE YOU A BIT MORE CONFIDENCE GOING INTO THIS RACE? "We ran with the best of them out in Indy so we're getting more and more confident on a cool race track to be able to run the big numbers and I think we're as close as we've ever been to be able to run into a cool condition and run in the number one spot. However, we have more data on hot race tracks. I think every race team out there has more data on hot race tracks because we race in the bulk of the season in warmer weather. We've been able to position ourselves to be competitive with conditions are warm. We won't be a one track race team where it can only be hot for us to do well, but we have more data on a hot weather race track. Going into Charlotte with conditions being a little warmer, and conditions will be warmer in Dallas, it plays to our favor a little bit. When the conditions get cool I think you'll find that we won't be far off, if not the car to beat. It's exciting to be in this transition. I wish I had another year under my belt with data. I think the only thing that we're lacking with this tune-up is time, and that just comes with time. We'll continue to look forward. We'll continue to work very hard on our set-up and Charlotte is clearly a race that we can win."

THERE ARE FIVE RACES LEFT IN THE COUNTDOWN. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO AS A TEAM IN ORDER TO BE COMPETITIVE IN THIS COUNTDOWN. "To have a chance to win the championship you have to win two out of the five races. In order to maximize your chances to win the 2010 Championship, I think you have to win two out of the five final races. To win, we're focused on minimizing our first round losses and maximizing our time in the semifinals and finals. If we reach the semifinals, finals and win races, we will be in the thick of the championship hunt going into Las Vegas and Pomona. We need a final round or win in the next three races."

YOU HAVE TWO RACES BACK-TO-BACK. YOU HAVE THIS RACE IN CHARLOTTE AND THEN YOU GO ONTO DALLAS. "I like back-to-back races. Four in a row can be pretty difficult. As a driver you get into a routine and your team gets into a routine and your racing. That's what we love to do is race. I like the back- to-back. The championship picture will be very clear leaving Dallas. I think there will be four cars leaving Dallas that you'll start to put money on to win the championship. It's my goal to be one of those four cars. No one is going to win the championship in the next two races, however the cars that run the best in the next two races will put themselves in the position to win the championship."

-source: ford racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Tasca III