TASCA READY FOR FIRST VISIT TO DENVER AND WESTERN SWING Rookie driver looks to hold his spot in the top 10 MORRISON, Colo. (July 9, 2008) -- Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang team's season kicks...
TASCA READY FOR FIRST VISIT TO DENVER AND WESTERN SWING
Rookie driver looks to hold his spot in the top 10
MORRISON, Colo. (July 9, 2008) -- Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang team's season kicks into high gear this weekend as they head to Denver for the first of three races that make up the NHRA's Western Swing. The rookie driver will visit Denver, Seattle, and Sonoma over the next three weeks with the mission of moving his team solidly into the top 10 in points.
"I've never been to Denver or Seattle as a driver, and I've only been to Sonoma as a spectator with John Force back in the late 90s, so I'm looking forward to these tracks," said the 10th place driver. "These next three weekends are pressure-packed. As we approach the deadline to make it into the playoffs, it's really going to come down to, I think, how the cars perform on the West Coast Swing."
With every track on the schedule presenting its own challenges to teams, racing at Bandimere Speedway this weekend puts drivers at an elevation of 5,800 feet, which affects everything from a crew chief's tune-up to the aerodynamics of the car.
"There's a couple of changes that we're going to see racing in Denver this weekend," said Tasca. "I know there's a big change from a driver's standpoint being at that altitude, and from a tune-up standpoint, the cars require a lot more blower overdrive and a lot more compression. Also, the track is going to be extremely hot. It's going to be a crew chief's race to make the right decisions to put the power to the ground.
"This is the time of the year that it comes down to the crew chief's ability to make the right tuning calls for these tracks. Chris [Cunningham, crew chief] has got a lot of data and has had some great success in Denver over the years."
With six races remaining until the field is set to run for the championship, the rookie driver isn't letting the pressure of being in the top 10 distract him from the task at hand.
"I think for our program, we're catching our stride right at the right time," said Tasca. "At the end of the day, a lot of people have a bull's-eye on our back with us being in 10th place, but we've got a bull's-eye on a lot of other people's backs. We feel as though we can move up solidly into the top 10 through the West Coast Swing, and give ourselves a little bit of breathing room through the last few races before we get to Indy."