TASCA GRABS NO. 8 SPOT ON FIRST DAY OF QUALIFYING AT ROUTE 66 JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2008) -- It was a day of continuously changing weather conditions at Route 66 Raceway, but after the rain, wind, and heat, Bob Tasca III grabbed the...
TASCA GRABS NO. 8 SPOT ON FIRST DAY OF QUALIFYING AT ROUTE 66
JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2008) -- It was a day of continuously changing weather conditions at Route 66 Raceway, but after the rain, wind, and heat, Bob Tasca III grabbed the provisional No. 8 qualifying spot for Sunday's NHRA Nationals.
"It's just Chris Cunningham playing with the race car now," said Tasca of his two qualifying runs on Friday. "It's like we're having fun with this tune-up where before, we were trying to build on momentum. Now we're just trying to learn different things."
The driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang's first pass of the day came under extremely windy conditions, and resulted in a 4.856-second, 315.93 mph run. His second time down the quarter-mile, under cooler conditions, put the rookie eighth overall with a 4.820-second, 320.05 mph result.
"The 4.85 that we ran in the heat was the second best out here, which is the conditions that we're going to see the rest of the weekend," said Tasca. "We've only had a couple of real good shots at a track that was that good with the conditions we had. The air here is good and the track is tremendous.
"I can feel myself developing more and more as a driver with one of these things," said Tasca on running in the wind. "As the car moves around, I feel myself reacting quicker and better. It was probably 30-plus mile an hour winds, and I kept asking Chris, 'Will they cancel this?' Because I've never run in conditions as bad as that. But truthfully, you go so fast, and the car is moving around when there's no wind out, so I don't think you notice a lot of differences out on the run. When the chutes came out is really when I noticed it. The parachutes hit harder; it grabs the car and wants to move the car left to right. It's just learning as a driver how to react in those conditions. That was pretty cool though. In the first run, I did more driving after the finish line than I did before the finish line.
"We tried something different on that second run, and it ate itself up a little bit," said the rookie driver. "Really, it was a seven-cylinder pass, so to run 4.82, 320 miles an hour on seven cylinders, is pretty stout. It's just getting the fuel curve right and the engine happy in these conditions, and we learned so much on the last run. But now we move on to Saturday and we're going to be faced with a hot track, and we've got a lot of data under those circumstances."
Tasca will have two more qualifying runs on Saturday before the 16-car field is set for Sunday's 11th annual Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals.