Bob Tasca III finished off a promising yet frustrating season of flirting with the world championship with his third Funny Car victory of the season at the Auto Club NHRA Finals.
Tasca, who led the points battle for eight races early in the season before his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford cooled in the summer with a series of first- and second-round losses before finding their footing with a runner-up in St, Louis.
Tasca’s red and white Mustang started from the No. 9 qualifying spot and took was amazingly consistent on raceday, taking down J.R. Todd, Jim Campbell, and John Force with a pair of 3.95s and a 3.94 to reach the final, his 21st in Funny Car.
With offseason bragging rights on the line, Tasca powered to another 3.95 to best Alexis DeJoria’s 3.97 for his ninth career Funny Car win.
"You know, it's a shame," he said of his lost season. "We really ran to clutch problems; we ran out of clutch discs that we liked, We had enough to finish this race and we just saved them. We didn't have enough to really compete through the playoffs., but we had enough to finish this race and we just put them in. And I just knew we were gonna have a good weekend because we just know how to set the car up.
"I've been chasing a Pomona Wally for a long time. I remember being out here as a kid with my dad at the Bob Glidden won, just walking down that left lane. I remember it like yesterday, and I've always wanted to win Pomona. It's a special race."
DeJoria’s Del Worsham and Nick Boninfante-tuned Bandero Tequila Toyota seemed primed for a win on the heels of her victory two events ago in Bristol and as the No. 1 qualifier at the last two events.
DeJoria qualified third and rode a trio of three-second runs to her 11th Funny Car final, beating Bobby Bode with a 3.93 and Tim Wilkerson with a 3.98 before squaring off with championship contender Matt Hagan. Hagan, who had beaten points leader Ron Capps in round two and still needed to win the event to claim his fourth championship, saw his dream disappear as DeJoria defeated him, 3.94 to 3.97.