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Tasca Exits In Second Round At Indy

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CLERMONT, September 7, 2010: Bob Tasca III and the Shelby Mustang team brought confidence with them to Indianapolis and looked to start the 2010 playoff season with a win. Unfortunately a second round loss prevented Tasca from bringing home an Indianapolis victory.

After suffering from bent push rods and smoking the tires during the first two qualifying sessions, Tasca used the optimal conditions of Saturday’s cool temperatures and drove his Shelby Mustang to a 4.086 second run at 306.33 miles per hour.

After the five qualifying sessions were complete, Tasca was locked into the eighth qualifying position. Tasca’s Indianapolis qualifying effort marks the 14th time of the 2010 season that he qualified in the top half of field.

Tasca faced Jim Head during Sunday’s first elimination round. Head had a quicker reaction time, but Tasca would pass Head and reach the finish line first. Tasca posted his second best time of the weekend with a 4.095 second run at 304.87 miles per hour compared to Head’s 4.233 second run at 267.80 miles per hour.

“We had a big win against Head in the first round,” said Tasca. “To compete and be a contender in the Countdown, you need to minimize first round losses and we did that today.”

In the second round, Tasca faced Indy top qualifier Matt Hagan. The pair had nearly identical reaction times but Hagan steadily pulled ahead of Tasca to win. Hagan posted a 4.119 second run at 291.13 miles per hour to Tasca’s 4.197 second run at 205.08 mile per hour.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t make it further at Indianapolis,” said Tasca. “We were trying to back up our 4.09 from the first round. The car made a real violent move toward the wall and I had my hands full trying to get the Shelby Mustang back to the center.”

Crew chiefs Chris Cunningham, Marc Denner and the team diagnosed the second round loss as a result of the blower being down on boost.

“If our Mustang runs what we want it to run and we lose, then you tip your hat to the guy next to you,” said Tasca. “But when we’re trying to run a 4.10, and our car runs 4.19, then something happened with the application of our set-up.”

Despite the second round loss, Tasca knows the team has time to move up the standings in the final five races. Tasca looks to pick up a few round wins at the next event in Charlotte.

“We’re comfortable racing at Charlotte and expect it to be a hot weather track,” said Tasca. “There’s still plenty of time left [in the Countdown], we’ll evaluate the runs and look forward. We’ll stay in the seventh spot going into Charlotte, so we’re still in a good position. There is a lot of racing to go and a lot of points up for grabs in the coming weeks.”

Ashley Force Hood won Monday’s MacTools US Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park. This was Force Hood’s first win of the 2010 season.

“Congratulations to Ashley and her team; it’s great to see a Ford win Indy,” said Tasca. “At the end of these six races, I hope I’m the Ford that wins the championship. This is all about Ford; it’s about winning – ‘Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday’ and in this case a Ford won on Monday and we’re selling on Tuesday.” Racing resumes on Friday, September 17, for the O’Reilly Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina, for the O’Reilly Nationals.