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FEB 11, 2018 | MOTORCRAFT PRESS RELEASE

Ford Returned to NHRA Funny Car Action in the Season Opener

TascaPomona800

POMONA, Calif. - Bob Tasca III kicked-off the 2018 NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series in impressive fashion at Auto Club Raceway. Tasca rolled off the hauler and blasted down a pair of 3.98-second runs in his first two qualifying runs. Unable to make full passes on the final two sessions, Tasca would qualify 14th, drawing a first-round match-up against Jack Beckman, who qualified in third position.

In Round 1 of Eliminations, Tasca kept all eight cylinders lit for the entire run - a rare thing amongst nitro-fuel classes in the session - but came up short to the hard-charging Beckman. Overcoming tricky and warm track conditions, the Eric Lane-tuned Ford Mustang was only a handful of Funny Cars to make a run under power.

“The run changed quite a bit from the time we pulled out of the pits until we ran. A lot of teams were scrambling to make major changes. Major changes. I’m not talking minor changes, but major changes to get the car down the race track. You saw a lot of good cars smoke the tires early. The one thing in working with Eric (Lane, crew chief) is that we’re not going to give races away. We’re going to go make people earn them. We wanted to go down the track. We knew that there was a high probability that you could smoke the tires with the temperatures changing so much.

The bottom line with this team is that we have made five full passes down the track since we put this car together. We just need runs. Our early number was just too slow. Way too slow. Some of the changes we made for today were positive. The car ran 324 miles-per-hour being conservative on that first run because the track was hotter today. We’re going to head to Phoenix with a good direction. We’re going to make full pulls. The more full pulls we make the better we’re going to be. The guys performed flawlessly on this Motorcraft Mustang. I’m proud of them. Great effort.”

QUALIFYING RESULTS
Round 1: 3.984 seconds/321.04 mph
Round 2: 3.985 seconds/322.50 mph
Round 3: 4.786 seconds/166,93 mph
Round 4: 4.214 seconds/227.08 mph

Elimination Results
Round 1: Jack Beckman (3.90 sec./333.00 mph) defeated Bob Tasca (4.016 sec./324.12 mph).

Event Winner
Matt Hagan

NHRA Funny Car Points Standings
1. Matt Hagan                  
2. Robert Hight                        
2. Jack Beckman               
4. Ron Capps                    
5. Jonnie Lindberg              
6. J.R. Todd                     
6. Tim Wilkerson                
8. Cruz Pedregon                        
9. Courtney Force                     
10. Tommy Johnson            
10. Shawn Langdon                    
10. Del Worsham              
13. Bob Tasca III         

Next NHRA Event
The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues with the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park Feb. 23-25.

Next Sponsored Event
NHRA Mello Yello Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Motorsports Park, Feb 23-25

Bob Tasca III – NHRA Motorcraft Ford Mustang Funny Car 
TALK ABOUT YOUR ELIMINATION RACE AGAINST (JACK) BECKMAN: “The run changed quite a bit from the time we pulled out of the pits until we ran. A lot of teams were scrambling to make major changes. Major changes. I’m not talking minor changes, but major changes to get the car down the race track. You saw a lot of good cars smoke the tires early. The one thing in working with Eric (Lane, crew chief) is that we’re not going to give races away. We’re going to go make people earn them. We wanted to go down the track. We knew that there was a high probability that you could smoke the tires with the temperatures changing so much. The bottom line with this team is that we have made five full passes down the track since we put this car together. We just need runs. Our early number was just too slow. Way too slow. Some of the changes we made for today were positive. The car ran 324 miles-per-hour being conservative on that first run because the track was hotter today. We’re going to head to Phoenix with a good direction. We’re going to make full pulls. The more full pulls we make the better we’re going to be. The guys performed flawlessly on this Motorcraft Mustang. I’m proud of them. Great effort.”

WHEN YOU SAW ALL THE TROUBLE CARS WERE HAVING GETTING DOWN THE TRACK, DOES THAT START TO MESS WITH YOUR PSYCHE? “Absolutely. A big part of what we do is visualization. I’m visualizing (in the car) I have to pedal it. I’m getting ready to roll off, make sure the car is straight, and roll back in the throttle. That’s all that is going through my mind. And then you hit the throttle and the car takes off, I see Jack pull out in front of me, and I was expecting something to happen. We were there to keep him honest. He had the better lane. He had the better car this weekend. We wanted to make him earn it and put ourselves in position to be there to win the round. That’s what we did with the data we had. We’ll go back and do what the computer tells us to do and I’m very confident that we’ll be even better in a few weeks.”

HOW MUCH OF A THIN LINE WERE YOU GUYS IN TUNING THE FORD MUSTANG WHILE IN THE STAGING LANES? “Razor thin. A big change for us in the staging lanes is tenth of a pound of tire pressure or three grams on the clutch. Just miniscule changes. We’re talking very small adjustments, but those adjustments are the difference between going down the track and not making it. Clearly, we didn’t have the setup to go run and 3.85 (second) run this weekend. If we would have tried to go out and run a really low number, we may not have made it down the track. So, we wanted to go out in the first round and make a full pull and try to win. Eric’s not happy that we didn’t qualify better. Trust me, there’s nobody that I have more confidence in than him to go make this car go run 3.80s. The last thing we wanted to do is throw a run away and smoke the tires. We gave ourselves a solid chance to win that round and that’s exactly what we did.”