Bob Tasca III got back to the winner's circle at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in 2019, ending a long drought for Ford in the Nitro Funny Car class. That only accomplished one goal for Tasca, the driver of the Ford Motorcraft Mustang. He wants to win championships.
The early numbers look good for Tasca, who starts the 2020 season with a great team, tuned by Mike Neff after a series of upheavals in his first two seasons back racing full-time. This appears to be his permanent solution: Neff tuning his Funny Car while he purchases parts from Don Schumacher Racing. The returns from the last six races are promising.
Tasca's average elapsed time is a solid 3.916-seconds (.004-second quicker than the average) and, more impressively, comes with an 81.6 Success Rate. That means 81.6 percent of his runs have been quicker than 4 seconds; that's the highest rate in the Funny Car category, only touched by NHRA Arizona Nationals No. 1 qualifier Matt Hagan.
Tasca is competitive through every incremental but it doesn't appear Neff is pushing the Mustang particularly hard at any point of the run. His 60-foot average is .873, which is .002-second behind the class-leading average of Hagan and Tommy Johnson Jr. That's a terrifically small margin, and it's within the .004-second variance that separates every competitive car in the class.
Reaction time may be the only thing holding Tasca back in the early going of the 2020 campaign. He's averaging a .086-second light, which is a hundredth behind the class average over the past six races. That isn't enough to keep him from his goal of winning the 2020 world championship, but it's the only thing that looks like a shortcoming when pouring over the impressive resume of the Ford Motorcraft team.
Tasca faces blake Alexander's new-look team in the first round at the NHRA Arizona Nationals in a battle between two of the three Ford Mustangs on Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park property. The Rhode Island native is looking for his first round victory of the season in what would only validate what we know to be a very competent team.