Bob Tasca III is back and is back full time in the NHRA driving funny cars. It is the first time that Tasca is racing full time since 2014 and will be running a Ford-powered funny car. Tasca is happy to be back on the track and in very competitive equipment. “It’s fantastic being back out there full time representing Ford Motor Company and all of the Ford fans,” Tasca said. “It was good to get a race under our belt and we have high expectations for this 2018 season,” He continued.
Tasca brings a major manufacturer with him with Ford and he admits it was not easy to bring the major manufacturer back to NHRA. “It was a lot of work,” Tasca remarked. “They don’t put money into racing,” he continued.
Tasca says that the support of NHRA fans that are Ford fans are one of the reasons that Ford came back to NHRA. Another reason is the growth of the sport through social media and the TV deal with FOX Sports. “There were a lot of questions with a number of things with the series since I raced full time in 2014,” Tasca said. “The sport has grown tremendously since I was racing full time. The TV deal with Fox has been tremendous generating big-time TV growth. The NHRA has also grown their social media platform with their video clips which kind of exploded,” Tasca remarked.
Being back full time, Tasca feels that progress was made at the first race of the season even though he did not win the race. “We had a brand new team, brand new car, and it was the first time we all have ever worked together. We had some strong runs throughout the course of the Pomona weekend and we are only getting stronger. I think we are going to Phoenix with a really good shot of getting a win.”
If Tasca wants to win in the Funny Car class in 2018, he will have to go through some tough competitors and some tough teams. Tasca admits that the Funny Car category in NHRA will be the most competitive class in NHRA and also will be the toughest field to get a win. “There will be big names who will miss the countdown this year because this could be the toughest class that the funny car field probably ever had. I know I have to beat four cars on Sunday and make sure that I get lane choice on Sunday morning. This is probably the best funny car field that I have seen in my entire career,” Tasca commented.
To stand out in the funny car field, you need a very good crew chief. Tasca was able to hire Eric Lane from Don Schumacher Racing. Lane was the assistant crew chief to Rahn Tobler on Ron Capps funny car team and won a championship in 2016. “It was not easy to get someone like Eric Lane,” Tasca admitted. “This is someone who worked with Jimmy Prock for many years at John Force Racing and then goes over to Don Schumacher Racing and wins a championship with Rahn Tobler. If there ever is a person that has earned the opportunity to be a crew chief, it’s Eric Lane. He has got all the funding he needs, and I am impressed with the team that he has built. Now, we just have to go and get the job done,” Tasca said.
Tasca raced part time the last 3 seasons and was not sure if he would be back full time in the NHRA. “I can’t tell you how many Ford fans in my darkest hours would send me an email or a tweet that said we know you will be back. Ford is going to put something together and maybe they knew something that I didn’t,” Tasca said. “There were many times where I did not know if I would be back to where I am now. I never lost hope. I always believed in the platform. I’m thrilled to be back and to be partnered with Ford. Ford is excited and committed to give us the best equipment to win with. You can’t buy with any kind of money the expertise without Ford wanting to come to the party. I’m confident that we can deliver a very exciting year for all of the Ford fans and Ford Motor Company,” Tasca continued.
The next race for the NHRA will be the Arizona Nationals this weekend. Coverage of the final eliminations will be on Sunday at 6:30 on FS1.