TASCA TO FACE CRUZ PEDREGON IN FIRST ROUND IN CHICAGO JOLIET, Ill. (June 7, 2008) -- After a long day of rain and tornado watches, NHRA racers were able to sneak in two full rounds of qualifying on Saturday at Route 66 Racway, with Bob Tasca...
TASCA TO FACE CRUZ PEDREGON IN FIRST ROUND IN CHICAGO
JOLIET, Ill. (June 7, 2008) -- After a long day of rain and tornado watches, NHRA racers were able to sneak in two full rounds of qualifying on Saturday at Route 66 Racway, with Bob Tasca III earning the No. 12 qualifying position for Sunday's race. The driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang will face Cruz Pedregon in the first round of eliminations.
"We go up against Cruz Pedregon, which for me is kind of neat because it is the first time I'll run him in eliminations," said Tasca. "His car was the first Funny Car I ever drove. I made some licensing runs last year in Las Vegas in that car. They've got a great group over that and it's going to be a tough first round."
After earning his spot in Sunday's race with a solid run on Friday night, Tasca and the team used both of Saturday's runs as testing sessions.
"We had three great runs out here in qualifying," said Tasca. "On that last run, again, we were just trying out some things. We tried a few different things; it didn't work. It shook the tires real, real hard and it hasn't done that in a long time. But we learned from it. We learned a pretty significant directional issue with some things that we were trying.
"Going into Sunday, we're going to go back to the runs that we made in heat, the 4.82 and 4.85 that we made. Those are the runs that are going to get you the trophy on Sunday. But we're ready. The team's ready, the car's ready and I'm ready to roll into Sunday."
Following Tasca's second run of the day, Tony Pedregon's car caught on fire and made hard contact with the right side barrier. Pedregon, Tasca's closest friend, was able to walk away uninjured from his second fiery crash of the season.
"That's the reality of this sport and nothing else really means anything when you see one of your best friends, or any driver out here get into a situation like that," said Tasca. "It puts everything into perspective. At the end of the day, we're here to race and to put on a show for the fans, but we also have to go home too. We all have families and it's just tough to see."
Tasca's start in Sunday's Route 66 NHRA Nationals will be the ninth for the rookie driver this season.