This Week in Ford Racing - Bob Tasca III
Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car team came within .017 seconds of winning the VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. The team earned a Full Throttle “Hard Working Crew” award for converting an explosion in the third round of qualifying into the runner-up finish. Tasca will now go to Houston, where he will visit Johnson Space Center with ESPN2 before the race.
This Week in Ford Racing: WHAT DOES A PERFORMANCE LIKE THIS DO FOR THE MOTORCRAFT/QUICK LANE FORD SHELBY MUSTANG FUNNY CAR TEAM?
Bob Tasca: “This race, only being the fourth race of the year, I made no secret that this was a must-win race for us. We needed to do well at this race and go some rounds to get back in the top 10. When you’re not in the top 10 and you’ve been struggling like we have, you’re looking for a turning point. You’re looking to build some momentum, and truthfully, we struggled through qualifying. This Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang’s got all the right parts, but at the end of the day you’ve got to turn the knobs, and there’s a lot that goes into running one of these race cars up and down that race track. Hats off to (Crew Chief) Chris Cunningham and (Co Crew Chief) Marc Denner and the guys. We had a big explosion Saturday night, threw the rods out, and there were a lot of hurt feelings in this camp Saturday night. That which doesn’t break you, makes you stronger. Chris and Marc got together and they found something wrong with the car. They felt pretty confident that it was going to fix it. From the outside looking in, I thought they were crazy. They are borderline geniuses to run one of these race cars and clearly changed our car completely. This is a different race car. It couldn’t happen at a better time. To go out and run three big runs, big speed, all day long and lose a heart-breaker in the finals to [Jack] Beckman. To lose by an eyelash is always tough, but we picked up 60 points, moved solidly into the top 10, but more importantly, we’ve got a race car that is starting to do what we ask it to do. You can struggle with one of these things and when you’re turning knobs and screws and changing things and it isn’t responding, you can really get lost pretty easily in one of these cars. We all leave Charlotte with a smile on our face (We’re) a little bit disappointed we didn’t win the race. That’s why we come out here. But that’ll wear off. We’ll get excited about how this hot rod ran and we’ll be ready for Houston.”
TWIFR: WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE WEEK AFTER A RACE, BACK IN THE SHOP? DO YOU KEEP IN TOUCH WITH THE TEAM TO PLAN FOR THE NEXT RACE?
BT: “I’m always talking to Marc and Chris. There isn’t a day that goes by that we’re not talking about something. But clearly, once the race car gets back to the shop, it’s in Chris and Marc’s hands and they call the shots on getting this thing serviced and turned around and repair all the things we’ve blown up here (in Charlotte) this weekend and get ourselves ready for Houston, which is right around the corner.”
We’ve got a race car that is starting to do what we ask it to do.
TWIFR: TELL ME ABOUT HOUSTON. WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT STAND OUT TO YOU ABOUT IT?
BT: “To me, what stands out is NASA. I’ve been fortunate to have met a lot of the folks at NASA. It’s just an incredible place. We talk to their engineers and it’s amazing some of the similarities between our two “sports.” The level of detail that they go through, and the redundancies in their program that they have for safety and checks-and-balances are very similar to the redundancies and checks-and-balances in our program. It’s been a great relationship that we’ve had with a lot of the folks over there. I’ve become very friendly with Mark Kelly and his family, the Commander of Space Shuttle Endeavour. I was hopeful that I was going to be at the launch, but they’ve moved it so it will conflict with the Houston race. I’ll have to catch up with Mark when he gets back from the Space Station. I wanted to win a trophy for him and see if we could get one up to space. Unfortunately we came up just an eyelash short here at the Charlotte 4-Wide. But what a great weekend for our team, for Motorcraft/Quick Lane, FordParts.com.
TWIFR: LET’S GIVE A ‘GOOD LUCK’ SHOUT-OUT TO MARK KELLY, DUE TO LAUNCH ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR:
BT: “Well, hey Mark, good luck. You know, I wanted to see you drive your hot rod. He was so kind to invite me and my family out to the launch and who knows, Mark? I hate to wish that he shuttle launch gets delayed, but if it gets delayed, maybe I’ll be able to come out there. But if I don’t, I know that shuttle’s in good hands. Mark’s an incredible guy and very talented, and I’m sure they’ll do great.”
-source: ford racing