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Funny Car Wally From zMAX Dragway Lifted By Bob Tasca III After Betway Carolina Nationals Victory

From Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor

CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 24, 2023) – Bob Tasca, who started the playoffs in fourth and climbed to third with a semifinal last weekend in Reading, now sits in second place after defeating points leader Robert Hight in the Funny Car final round on a holeshot, 3.933 to 3.932. It’s Tasca’s 17th career win, 14 of which have come in this class.

Tasca raced his Todd Okuhara- and Aaron Brooks-tuned Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford past Alexis DeJoria, upset-minded Terry Haddock, and points-hungry Matt Hagan by just .006-second in the semifinals to reach his 29th career final round in the class. But the team had to thrash mightily just to make it to the line for the final.

"I wish the fans could have had a live feed to my pit," said Tasca. "The motor was half together and they they pulled a head stud torquing the head down, so we had to swap the motor. Every person on our team, crew chiefs included, thrashed to swap the engines. For me, that's the most gut-wrenching part of racing because there's nothing I can do.

"We've really come together as a team probably more so than any point in my career, and the race car really sees it. I'm just so impressed with the car they've given me. I've never had a car that could run when the conditions were throwdown and the harsh reality is in the sport, if you can't run with the best when the conditions are the best, you're just playing for second place. I can assure you there's nobody that pulls up alongside that Motorcraft car now, when the conditions are good, and says, 'We can pull it back and still beat them.' "

After a huge setback from a booming blower explosion on his first qualifying pass, Hight and the Jimmy Prock-led Cornwell Tools team rebounded to reach their second straight final. Hight took full advantage of points rival Ron Capps’ surprising first-round upset loss at the hands of Dave Richards to expand his points lead, racing his black-primered Chevy past Paul Lee and Funny Car rookie Alex Laughlin after taking a first-round bye as low qualifier in the 15-car field. It was Hight’s 101st career final.

The halfway point of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship will be at World Wide Technology Raceway for the NHRA Midwest Nationals Sept. 29 - Oct. 01.

See the latest from the NHRA:

Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals Sunday photo gallery from NHRA National Dragster staff:


Photo's: NHRA | Racing Pro Media (RPM)


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