Tasca And Motorcraft-Quicklane Mustang Primed For 2011 Funny Car Season
DEARBORN, February 24, 2011: At some point, every driver faces one in their career. A defining moment - a moment where the competitor becomes a champion and a quest becomes a championship. Bob Tasca, driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car faced what he feels was a defining moment at Pomona at the season finale last season.
Tasca faced a first-round match-up with Matt Hagan, the NHRA Full Throttle Series Funny Car points leader. John Force, another Ford driver, needed Hagan to be defeated in the early rounds to stake his claim to the championship title. In the spirit of One Ford, Tasca delivered and shortly thereafter Force hoisted a record 15th championship trophy.
“What a feeling,” said Tasca, who broke into a grin months after the actual run. “To win that race is one of the greatest moments I have had behind the wheel, even higher than winning races. You knew what was on the line and you knew that there was a championship in play and we fired off as Force calls it the ‘big shot heard around the world.’
“All the credit has to go to John, because at the end of the day, he still had to win two rounds. His team did a tremendous job the whole year and John just defies the test of time as a driver. He has unbelievable experience, he is just tremendous behind the wheel, and he won the championship, so hats off to their program. It was a defining moment for the One Ford concept coming together. It was also a defining moment for our team. When our backs were against the wall, the world was watching, and we had to step up and deliver that victory to deliver a Ford championship. The One Ford approach paid off in 2010 and if you are a betting man I think it is going to pay off in 2011 too.”
The question now becomes how Tasca will translate that moment into success throughout the 2011 season.
“I think it’s just picking up where we left off,” Tasca said. “This is the first time we ended a season with the tune-up that we’ll start a season with. Over the last three years we’ve gone through a lot of transitions with different set-ups and combinations and we made that One Ford announcement last year, and it was a huge momentum boost for our program. Just for Marc (Denner, Co-Crew Chief), Chris (Cunningham, Crew Chief) and the guys to roll into Pomona with basically the same set-up we left with, with some minor changes…we are running the all-new JFR (John Force Racing) Ford chassis. We did a lot of testing at Palm Beach (International Raceway) and had some of the quickest 330 times of my career, so we’re real happy with how that car’s reacting, and really, truthfully just can’t wait until Pomona.”
Tasca isn’t far from the top. He enters the 2011 season fresh off a fifth-place finish in the standings last year with three career wins under his belt.
“We have gone through so many evolutions of our program,” Tasca said. “Literally, we started from scratch (in 2008) where we did not own a race car and didn’t have any motors heading into the first year. Then we evolved the tune-up and last year we spent all off-season testing a combination, which we were excited about, but then we made the One Ford announcement where we put the BOSS 500 engine in our car, which I couldn’t be happier about.
“Therefore, this off-season we were able to test the motor that we are going to run the whole year. The off-season is the time to collect that critical data and to work on our big speed and big ET tune-ups and put that in our back pocket for the end of the season when the championship rolls around.”