As a third-generation racer in the Tasca family, tradition is important to Bob Tasca III. But he also recognizes the opportunity to step outside the box and try new things. That’s one of the reasons why he’s looking forward to heading south to Bradenton Motorsports Park for the inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage on Feb. 8-10. Tasca is one of 13 Funny Car stars who will compete for the $250,000 Funny Car winner’s share of the $1.3M total prize money.
The PRO Superstar Shootout, also featuring $250,000-to-win Top Fuel and $125,000-to-win Pro Stock, will offer four qualifying sessions to the invite-only roster of drivers, with one session set for Thursday night and three sessions on Friday. Eliminations will kick off on Saturday. The eight qualified drivers in Top Fuel and Funny Car and the 16 qualified drivers in Pro Stock will use random chip draws to determine pairings in eliminations.
“We’re going to test on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and even leading up to Thursday, but it’s going to be great to be able to flip the switch on Thursday afternoon and go into race mode,” said Tasca, whose Ford Mustang will sport a special PPG livery at the race. “The energy of the whole event is going to be totally different. I love the format. I love the style. We’re going to try some things different with how we showcase the race through FloRacing. I can’t remember being this excited heading into the beginning of a season my whole career.”
While the opportunity to test for a few days in prime conditions before the PRO Superstar Shootout is one of the draws, Tasca points out he’s also focused on the competition aspect of the event. He knows he’s not the only one who will be gunning for that first-ever PRO Superstar Shootout title.
“It’s the biggest payday ever in the history of the sport, so you don’t think everyone’s going to be digging hard for this thing?” Tasca said. “I can assure you everyone on my team is going to be excited and focused. We want to try some new things [in testing], but if we have to fall back to what we ran last year, we will. We’re not going to be testing on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We’re going to be racing. We want to try to win this first-of-its-kind race.”
Tasca, who had success in Top Alcohol Funny Car before making the move up to a nitromethane-fueled Funny Car in 2009, has raced at dozens of tracks across the country. But like many of the drivers competing in the PRO Superstar Shootout, he’s never made a pass at the historic Bradenton Motorsports Park. He’s looking forward to changing that next month.
“I’ve heard nothing but incredible things about the racing surface,” Tasca said. “A lot of people who’ve been there say it’s as good a racing surface as any in the country.”
Away from racing, Tasca is the vice president of Tasca Automotive Group in Cranston, R.I. His role in the family’s collection of car dealerships keeps Tasca busy, but he makes time to stay involved in the Professional Racers Owners Organization (PRO). That includes working with fellow drivers and team owners to plan, promote, and find sponsorship support for the inaugural PRO Superstar Shootout.
“I’ve never seen the race teams work together this closely on anything, ever,” Tasca said. “It’s been a team effort from all involved to pull this thing off. I’m excited for the fans. The teams are excited to be there. I think it’s going to be pretty cool how FloRacing brings it online for everyone at home to watch, too.”
Tickets for the inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout presented by JHG are now on sale at https://bit.ly/scagpro. Fans can also watch the race in its entirety live through FloRacing at https://flosports.link/3t04gHk.