Image via WikipediaNorthern Ohio has a reputation for having one of the country’s best amusement parks. Bob Tasca III and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane racing team experienced a roller coaster weekend full of twists and turns at Summit Motorsports Park.
The weekend opened as Tasca drove the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby to the top of the timing sheets with a 4.343 second run at 266.48 miles per hour. After a quick turnaround, Tasca was back for the second round posting a 4.263 second run at 272.89 miles per hour, which seeded him eighth.
After two additional sessions on Saturday, Tasca kept his best time from Friday afternoon. He would start in the eighth position for Sunday’s elimination rounds.
“I felt I did as much learning this weekend about driving the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby, maybe of any race that I’ve been in so far,” said Tasca. “I learned everything from how the hot rod was moving around, spinning the tires, keeping it under control and not over-correcting. You’ve got to try and get everything that you can out of the race car but at the same time, try not to make a mistake by over steering and causing it to smoke the tires.”
Once the rain cleared on Sunday, Tasca faced some tough competition en route to his second appearance in the final round this season. In the first round, Tasca defeated Matt Hagan. During the second round, he defeated No. 1 qualifier Mike Neff. Tasca would face Ashley Force Hood in the semi-final round and would defeat the new points leader for the first time in six meetings.
“I drove the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang a lot today because we had problems almost every round,” said Tasca. “In the first round, we had an issue with the supercharger. In the second round against Neff, we had an issue with a wiring harness that actually damaged the ignition. We had to find and repair the ignition between rounds. In the semifinals against Ashley, we had reverser cable fail and I knew it when it happened. I kept my composure because the Shelby Mustang needed to be staged and remain straight. Wilkerson came over and gave me the okay, and then [crew chief Chris] Cunningham took the throttle stop off so when he says it’s okay, it’s okay. I hit the gas, hit .079 on the tree and beat Ashley Force Hood for the first time.”
For the second time this season, Tasca and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team reached the finals. He was defeated Atlanta winner Jack Beckman.
“We want to win, that’s why we come. Unfortunately for us, Jack guessed the tree. You can’t cut a .001 light,” said Tasca. “I heard him and it actually messed me up because I didn’t see the light go on. I had a decent light but I was still confused. I hit the gas; I looked for the win light and didn’t see it on. Then we drove right into tire smoke. People might watch it on TV and ask, ‘Why did you drive the race car when Jack was almost at the finish line?’ I took it as an opportunity to learn how to pedal the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang. That was probably one of the best pedal jobs I’ve ever done in a race car. I did it knowing that Jack had won the race, but knowing that I had an opportunity to learn a little bit and tune my driving skills. I did what I wanted to do. Jack made a great run, it was his race to win.”
With a weekend off for the July 4th holiday, Tasca eyes the points and next three races on the schedule.
“We’re closing in on the leaders. The drivers in fourth, fifth and sixth are within two rounds of each other. Those are good numbers to have in our pocket as we head into west coast swing. We have a very different attitude and confidence level this year and I am looking forward to the west coast swing.”