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Funny Car’s Bob Tasca Returns To Action, Takes No. 1 Spot Alongside Millican At NHRA Indy Race

Sept 29, 2019 , Madison,Illinois.USA;NHRA Funny Car Driver Bob Tasca during 2nd RD action at AAA Nationals at WWT Raceway. (SCA/Shawn Crose)

In his first race since February, Funny Car’s Bob Tasca III powered to the No. 1 qualifying spot on Saturday during the final session of the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals at Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Top Fuel’s Clay Millican also qualified No. 1 at the fourth race of the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Tasca missed the first race of the NHRA’s season restart last weekend while recovering from COVID-19, but was cleared by doctors to return to competition on Saturday. He followed by picking up his fifth career No. 1 qualifier with a run of 3.991-seconds at 319.07 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang, making the only three-second run in the class on Saturday. Tasca, who was outside the qualifying field heading into the final session, will race Alex Miladinovich the first round of eliminations as he seeks his first victory of 2020.

“That’s a welcome back to NHRA drag racing,” said Tasca, who has six career Funny Car wins. “Being the No. 17 qualifier going into that last session, I’ve just got so much confidence in (crew chief) Mike Neff and these guys. I’ve been in that position before and as a driver, you just don’t want to screw it up. Once it went by half track, that thing was singing.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., who qualified first a week ago, took the second spot after going 4.017 at 300.86 and Tim Wilkerson is third thanks to his 4.034 at 317.05. Last week’s winner, Matt Hagan, qualified 13th, while points leader Jack Beckman took sixth in qualifying with a run of 4.059 at 299.66.

Millican impressed in his 11,000-horsepower Parts Plus dragster, running 3.829 at 317.34 to pick up his first No. 1 qualifier of the year and 24th in his career. Millican will face Todd Paton to open eliminations and will be looking for his first final round and victory of the 2020 season. Leah Pruett qualified a spot behind with a strong 3.850 at 314.31 and Shawn Langdon, a former world champ in the class, took third in qualifying after going 3.855 at 314.46. Points leader Doug Kalitta, who has advanced to the final round at all three races in 2020, will start raceday from sixth following his 3.907 and 308.35, while last week’s winner, Billy Torrence, qualified 10th and will meet his son, Steve, the defending world champ, in the opening round.

In the season-opener for the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series Presented by J&A Service, Khalid AlBalooshi raced to the top spot with a run of 5.814 at 249.07 in his ProCharger-powered Bahrain 1 Racing Camaro. It is the seventh career No. 1 qualifier for Balooshi, and the former world champ will meet rookie Justin Jones in the opening round of eliminations. Jeffrey Barker qualified second with a 5.838 at 248.48 and veteran Clint Satterfield is third after going 5.848 at 242.36. Defending world champ Stevie “Fast” Jackson begins his title defense from the No. 12 spot with his run of 5.909 at 242.89.

Eliminations for the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals at Indianapolis begin at 9:45 a.m. ET on Sunday. Television coverage includes live action on the FOX national broadcast network starting at 12 p.m.


***

BROWNSBURG, Ind. — Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the Inaugural Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals at Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Raceway, the fourth of 17 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

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Top Fuel — 1. Clay Millican, 3.829 seconds, 317.34 mph vs. 16. Todd Paton, 4.718, 174.75; 2. Leah Pruett, 3.850, 314.31 vs. 15. Lex Joon, 4.668, 165.36; 3. Shawn Langdon, 3.855, 314.46 vs. 14. Justin Ashley, 4.204, 208.71; 4. Antron Brown, 3.856, 316.15 vs. 13. Pat Dakin, 4.084, 289.07; 5. Tony Schumacher, 3.878, 309.34 vs. 12. Terry McMillen, 4.017, 257.58; 6. Doug Kalitta, 3.907, 308.35 vs. 11. Doug Foley, 4.005, 266.95; 7. Steve Torrence, 3.908, 308.43 vs. 10. Billy Torrence, 3.954, 319.22; 8. T.J. Zizzo, 3.937, 253.75 vs. 9. Terry Totten, 3.945, 270.10.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Joe Morrison, 4.721, 203.52; 18. Cory McClenathan, 4.802, 203.80; 19. Luigi Novelli, 6.127, 95.16.

Funny Car — 1. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.991, 319.07 vs. 16. Alex Miladinovich, Toyota Camry, 4.460, 279.73; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.017, 300.86 vs. 15. Bob Bode, Mustang, 4.357, 222.03; 3. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.034, 317.05 vs. 14. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 4.336, 284.03; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.054, 312.86 vs. 13. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.275, 283.73; 5. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.059, 313.73 vs. 12. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.239, 295.14; 6. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.059, 299.66 vs. 11. Chad Green, Mustang, 4.233, 286.50; 7. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.094, 308.64 vs. 10. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.187, 298.47; 8. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.096, 299.80
vs. 9. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.152, 292.90.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Mike McIntire, 4.554, 197.83; 18. Blake Alexander, 4.600, 218.05.

Pro Modified — 1. Khalid alBalooshi, Chevy Camaro, 5.814, 249.07 vs. 16. Justin Jones, Chevy Corvette, 5.941, 245.72; 2. Jeffery Barker, Camaro, 5.838, 248.48 vs. 15. Mike 5.939, 242.67; 3. Clint Satterfield, Camaro, 5.848, 242.36 vs. 14. Steve Matusek, Ford Mustang, 5.930, 247.38; 4. Chad Green, Corvette, 5.851, 248.84 vs. 13. Todd Tutterow, Camaro, 5.922, 243.63; 5. Brandon Snider, Corvette, 5.853, 243.59 vs. 12. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.909, 242.89; 6. Jeff Jones, Corvette, 5.854, 247.38 vs. 11. Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.906, 246.93; 7. Jason Scruggs, Camaro, 5.859, 247.11 vs. 10. Bo Butner, Camaro, 5.904, 247.16; 8. Kris Thorne, Camaro, 5.868, 254.66 vs. 9. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.888, 249.03.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Brandon Pesz, 5.952, 237.96; 18. Rick Hord, 5.955, 245.90; 19. Chip King, 6.055, 227.84; 20. Doug Winters, 6.274, 198.99.

This story was originally published on July 18, 2020. Drag Illustrated

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