Bob Tasca III is one of the most fiercely competitive people in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing. He recently brought Jon Schaffer on board to join crew chief Eric Lane, replacing Mike Green just eight races into his tenure on the Ford Motorcraft Funny Car. Tasca is very happy with the results.
“Just from a philosophical perspective I always wanted to run a six-disc clutch,” said Tasca. “That’s something that Jon brought with him and so we were basically able to plug that right in. That was a pretty big change and I think you can see the car just goes down the track so much more often.”
The Funny Car is getting down the track 80 percent of the time since Tasca brought Schaffer on board, a tremendous improvement and a staggering level of consistency. That puts Tasca on the brink of his first win since returning to full-time competition at the beginning of the 2018 season. It’s been a difficult road for Tasca, who failed to make the NHRA Countdown to the Championship last year and holds himself, and his team, to a high standard.
“Nobody holds me to a higher standard than myself,” said Tasca. “I don’t need to be out here and I’m out here to win. That’s it. That’s my only goal. It’s been a long time since we had a Ford in the winner’s circle, and I think we’re close.”
He made the best run in the final qualifying session, a 4.003-second hit that earned him three bonus points and put a little spring in the step of the entire team. Tasca, for his part, is impressed with Lane’s resiliency through all of the changes he’s made.
“To be honest I have more respect for Eric now than I did when I hired him,” said Tasca. “We’ve made a lot of changes and he’s just responded to all of them very well. He’s always looking to learn from things that we’re doing. He and Jon have had chemistry and I’ve been really encouraged by the conversations that they’ve been having.”
Tasca qualified in the No. 3 position and will race Jim Campbell in the first round of action. That is his best qualifying effort of the 2019 season. He’s looking for his first victory since beating Matt Hagan in Dallas in 2012. You can catch all the elimination action live on NHRA.tv beginning at noon Eastern.