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Triple Threat: Bob Tasca III Victorious in Vegas

When you’re rolling the dice in Las Vegas, every move requires a little strategy and a little luck, especially when playing the odds side-by-side with other high-rollers. On Sunday afternoon, and on a different kind of Las Vegas Strip, Bob Tasca III was all in and won big, taking home his first Wally of the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season at the Four-Wide Nationals held at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with an astounding triple holeshot victory. 

“We felt it building up,” the Funny Car driver and Vice President of Tasca Automotive Group said about the momentum of the weekend. “You have to rise to the occasion.”

Tasca was the only Funny Car to make it down with a three-second pass during the first round of qualifying, and he remained provisional number one on the sheet through the first two rounds. While he ultimately entered race day fourth on the ladder, his performance was by design. Two first-round exits during the Pomona and Phoenix stops pushed the team to be more conservative in their approach in order to make it down with full passes. After all, the Ford Mustang Dark Horse Funny Car is fast — fastest in the world, and fastest in Vegas, reaching a blistering top speed of 333.91 mph.

Four-wide racing is no easy feat in drag racing, with twice the trees, lanes, and competitors to keep track of. However, Tasca won his first quad decisively with a 3.92 at 333.08 mph. His second-round appearance had incrementals that closely mirrored his first-round package – by design, as Tasca remarked – and he runnered-up to Funny Car standout Austin Prock with a 3.922 at 333.91 mph. In four-wide heads-up drag racing, though, a runner-up finish still moves you on to the next round of eliminations, as a competitor has to make it to the stripe before two quadmates. One winner is decided in the finals, and Tasca faced a stacked quad with previous champions Matt Hagan and Ron Capps, as well as Prock. 

Tasca left the starting line first with a .034 reaction time, and his Ford Mustang Funny Car got to the finish line first, with a photo-finish margin of victory of .0096. It was a triple holeshot win, as Prock, Capps, and Hagan produced quicker ETs of 3.904, 3.902, and 3.894, respectively, to Tasca’s 3.915, but all three left later. The victory marks Tasca’s 16th in the Nitro Funny Car class and second four-wide win of his career.

Ford Motor Company has a decades-long relationship with Tasca and his family. The company is now a primary sponsor for the Tasca Racing Funny Car through Ford Performance and Motorcraft Quick Lane, the latter of which works with Tasca in efforts to attract and retain automotive technicians through the NHRA Yes (Youth and Education Services) programs and race-day hospitality programs for current Ford technicians.

“[Ford] is the only reason why we’re here. At the end of the day, we compete to win. I owe everything to the Ford Motor Company. It’s the ultimate honor — privilege — to be able to represent Ford nationally, globally, with their fans, dealers, and employees that believe in us. To be the last man standing with the trophy…it’s why we do it,” Tasca said.

“On behalf of the entire Motorcraft team, we want to congratulate Bob’s Four-Wide Nationals victory,” said Fletch Carter, Ford Customer Service Division, U.S. Sales Manager. “Ford and Motorcraft are proud to have Bob wear the Motorcraft Quick Lane red and white on-track, and for him to represent us as a teacher and ambassador off-track. The future looks fast for Tasca Racing, and we’re happy to be on-board.”

Next on the schedule is the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals set for April 26-28 in Charlotte, NC.

This story was originally published on April 16, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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