Bob Tasca III was the epitome of consistency in Funny Car, starting eliminations with back-to-back runs of 3.875 and finishing his day by going 3.911 at 325.61 in his 11,000-horsepower Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang to knock off John Force in the final round. It gives Tasca, who had lost in the final round at the past two races, his first win of the season and 10th in his career and gives the standout plenty of momentum in the second half of the season. He picked up wins against Jason Rupert, Blake Alexander, and then points leader Robert Hight to set up the marquee matchup with Force, and Tasca put on another show as he prepares his march for a run at a world title.
“The only reason we’re out here is to run for a championship,” Tasca said. “We’ve sacrificed a lot to get where we’re at this season and with this set-up, we’ve put the field on notice. We made the decision to get our car set up to run for a championship and the car showed the field today it is capable of that. It’s exciting for me as a driver and this thing was as straight as an arrow all day long and it was lights out in the final. I have the ultimate respect for John and what he’s done and to beat him in the finals, it’s pretty special.
For Force, he reached his 263rd career final round on the strength of round wins against defending world champ Ron Capps, J.R. Todd, and Alexis DeJoria. Hight maintained the points lead, which now stands at 144 points over Matt Hagan.
“John Force is superhuman,” added Tasca. “If people understood how mentally and physically challenging driving a Funny Car is they would have some idea of what he’s capable of. It’s an honor to be able to race the greatest racer in the history of drag racing. In fact, the technique I use to launch I learned from John Force—I’m not going to tell you what it is, but it’s true.”
The Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash. just outside of Seattle closes out the three-race Western Swing on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series next week, July 29-31.
RPM Funny Car Round By Round:
ROUND ONE -- Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.875, 330.07 def. Jason Rupert, Mustang, 4.091, 313.15; Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Supra, 3.905, 328.78 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.935, 162.53; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 4.021, 260.31 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Camry, 6.624, 104.91; John Force, Camaro, 3.892, 332.18 def. Ron Capps, Supra, 3.920, 330.96; Cruz Pedregon, Dodge Charger, 3.911, 328.70 def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.939, 330.23; Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.977, 325.06 def. Steven Densham, Mustang, 4.084, 300.06; J.R. Todd, Supra, 3.999, 324.75 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.774, no speed; Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.004, 317.87 def. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.343, 213.67;
QUARTERFINALS -- DeJoria, 3.905, 330.80 def. Pedregon, 4.747, 169.83; Tasca III, 3.875, 329.91 def. Alexander, 3.952, 325.30; Force, 3.932, 330.88 def. Todd, 3.958, 326.16; Hight, 3.943, 324.75 def. Campbell, 3.997, 318.54;
SEMIFINALS -- Force, 3.909, 328.38 def. DeJoria, 3.933, 325.06; Tasca III, 3.907, 326.87 def. Hight, 3.925, 326.56;
FINAL -- Tasca III, 3.911, 325.61 def. Force, 3.998, 326.48.
See a full recap of the weekends winners from David Kennedy at nhra.com:
See Sunday's photo gallery from NHRA.com staff:
Unofficial points standings following the completion of the Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals: