TASCA AND MOTORCRAFT/QUICK LANE RACING EXIT NORWALK IN FIRST ROUND DEARBORN, MI - June 27, 2010 - Last year at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team had a rollercoaster of a weekend...
TASCA AND MOTORCRAFT/QUICK LANE RACING EXIT NORWALK IN FIRST ROUND
DEARBORN, MI - June 27, 2010 - Last year at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team had a rollercoaster of a weekend and ultimately finished as runner-up. Tasca and the team were looking for a smoother race this year. Unfortunately, they rode a different rollercoaster and their weekend ended in a first round loss.
In the opening qualifying session, a broken push rod in Tasca's race machine prevented him from making a pass. Crew chiefs Chris Cunningham and Marc Denner decided to shut the Mustang down in the staging lanes to prevent additional damage. Upon vehicle inspection in the pits, the team confirmed the broken push rod diagnosis.
"It was a disappointing weekend," said Tasca. "When you compare this weekend to our last several weekends, with two semi-final appearances and a win, obviously your expectation level is raised. We had a weird weekend here in Norwalk."
During the second qualifying session, while in the right lane, Tasca posted the seventh quickest time overall with a 4.110 second pass at 304.46 miles per hour. A piston broke during that pass, but Tasca was confident the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang would have made a stronger run.
In Saturday's early qualifying session, Tasca and the team smoked the tires and did not improve their position. Several Funny Cars made their final qualifying passes on Saturday before rain halted racing for the afternoon. Tasca was the next car staged to run when NHRA officials cancelled the final qualifying session of the day.
"We wished we would have had at least one of the two runs that we lost Friday and Saturday, just to get another shot at the track to get ready for Sunday," said Tasca.
Tasca would seed in the seventh position with only two runs down the drag strip for the weekend. In the first elimination round, Tasca would face fellow Ford driver Tim Wilkerson.
Tasca selected the left lane for the opening run against Wilkerson. Tasca smoked the tires and tried to recover but it was too late. Wilkerson's margin of victory was more than 100 feet. Tasca's Mustang reached the finish line in 4.844 seconds at 173.87 miles per hour compared to Wilkerson's 4.208 second pass at 297.61 miles per hour.
"We put a tune-up in the race car to run a 4.18 or 4.19," said Tasca. "That's what we were trying to do and that's what the Mustang was on its way to do. When you make a decision and the car does what you tell it to do, then it smokes the tires, to a certain extent, you've got to chalk it up to Nitro Funny Car racing. There is a certain element of unpredictability that happens in this sport and unfortunately we were on the wrong end of it this time."
Despite this first round loss, Tasca is satisfied with his performance during the June four-in-a-row races. Since Joliet, Tasca has seven round wins, three round losses, one win and one semi-final appearance. After 13 races this season, Tasca's 2010 record includes 17 round win and 12 round losses.
"This team has a lot of confidence; clearly we're disappointed to go out in the first round for the first time in a while and the first time ever with this BOSS 500 engine," said Tasca. "When you've been to multiple semi-finals and have a win in the last couple of races, you expect more and it just wasn't in the cards for us. This won't affect us at all as we look forward to the West Coast Swing. When you have a race car running like our race car is running, we'll just put this race behind us and move on down the road."
The series takes one week off and returns to action on July 9 at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Washington.