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Tasca and Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Reach Semifinals In Pomona; Share One Ford Success As Force Wins Championship

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POMONA, November 15, 2010: Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team drove to Pomona confident after a strong test in Las Vegas. The red and black Motorcraft racing machine was tuned and ready to go for the four-day season finale event.

Tasca qualified in the 13th position for Sunday’s eliminations after posting a weekend’s best qualifying effort of 4.190 seconds at 290.38 miles per hour during Thursday’s opening session.

With the championship on the line for fellow Ford Mustang Funny Car driver John Force, Tasca was instrumental in Force earning his 15th career Funny Car Championship title.

In the opening round on Sunday, Tasca faced Matt Hagan, Force’s chief competitor for the 2010 title. Tasca, in the less preferred lane, posted his best time of the weekend with a 4.148 second pass at 303.57 miles per hour defeating Hagan’s 4.162 second round at 290.44 miles per hour.

“It was probably one of the biggest rounds that I’ve ever had in my career from the standpoint of a championship being on the line with a sister car,” said Tasca. “Knowing that we had to win, knowing we were coming out of the 13th spot, and knowing that we really didn’t have a good handle on the race car all weekend.

“There are five Ford Funny Cars that compete with some of the best resources on the planet, continued Tasca. “Our fans and our sponsors want to see a championship and to know that we were in a position to open the door for Force. John said that we fired the shot heard around the world. Truthfully, to John’s point, word for word, he gave us the motivation that we bring this thing [championship’] home. To be a part of that, that’s history and whenever you’re a part of history to whatever degree it is, it’s something that you’ll never forget. It was an amazing moment for me, my team, Ford Motor Company and all the fans that support Motorcraft and Quick Lane. This is something I’ll have to live a long time to forget what this day was like.”

During the second round, Tasca faced Tony Pedregon. Tasca took the lead away from Pedregon before the 330-foot marker and reached the finish line first. Tasca posted a 4.189 second pass at 301.60 miles per hour compared to Pedregon’s 4.268 second pass at 288.77 miles per hour.

In his eighth semifinal appearance of the season, Tasca faced Jeff Arend. In the pair’s first semifinal meeting, Arend was first out of the gate. While the two ran nearly identical elapsed times, Arend pulled out ahead of Tasca to earn a trip to the finals. Arend posted a 4.183 second pass at 299.20 miles per hour compared to Tasca’s 4.186-second run at 299.46 miles per hour. Arend’s margin of victory was 0.0196 seconds, approximately nine feet.

“We were off by just an eyelash in that run against Arend,” said Tasca. Thanks to Chris Cunningham, Marc Denner and all of my guys. We want to come in and win but we also want to reflect on the weekend as whole. I just couldn’t be happier with how our team performed. These close semifinal losses, which we’ve had some unbelievable heartbreakers in the semifinal, it is only a matter of time before some of those start going our way.

In his third NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season, Tasca finished fifth in series points. In the 2010 season Tasca won one race, made eight semifinal appearances and a scored a career best record of 29 round wins and 22 round losses.

“All in all, we’re ending the season fifth in points,” said Tasca. “It was an amazing season for my guys, particularly when you evaluate changing engine and clutch programs mid-season. It is going to be a great off season. We’ve got a race car right now there were a couple more races left on the schedule, who knows what could happen.”

Crew chiefs Chris Cunningham and Marc Denner have more than 20 years of racing experience between them. Tasca takes pride in his team and the accomplishments they have made in their young Funny Car career.

“I want to give all the credit to my team – Chris Cunningham, Marc Denner and the guys, they deserve all the accolades,” said Tasca. “They give me a great Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang Funny Car and they put me in a position to win. I certainly do the best I can behind the wheel of that hot rod. As a driver, I’ve never had more confidence in the car. We’ll take this positive energy into the off season. We’re a little disappointed we didn’t have a shot at winning the race, but we have a lot to be proud of for our third year.”

John Force defeated Jeff Arend to win the 46th Annual Auto Club Finals on Sunday in Pomona, California.

John Force won the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Funny Car Championship title.

NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Final Standings – Funny Car 1. John Force, 2621; 2. Matt Hagan, 2579; 3. Ashley Force Hood, 2449; 4. Jack Beckman, 2439; 5. Bob Tasca III, 2395; 6. Del Worsham, 2307; 7. Ron Capps, 2284; 8. Robert Hight, 2277; 9. Tony Pedregon, 2251; 10. Tim Wilkerson, 2242.