CARL TASCA UPHOLDS PROUDLY THE FAMILY NAME
When you are born into this family, there are certain requirements. Carl Tasca knew this from the first time he climbed behind the wheel of a Ford vehicle.
Decades later, the lesson resonates through him on the quarter-mile of the Lucas Oil Raceway.
Tasca, the son of automotive icon Bob Tasca Sr., races in the modern version of "race on Sunday, sell on Monday;" the mantra made famous by his innovative auto dealership owning father.
"I’ll tell you, living with my father was basically being in Disneyland every day," Tasca said of his father who passed away in 2010. "And the fact that I’m doing this now to honor his memory on the 50th Anniversary of Cobra Jet is very, very special to me and every member of my family, and all the Tasca employees back home."
Tasca, of Creston, RI., drove his 2016 Mustang to ninth on the NHRA U.S. Nationals Factory Stock Showdown qualifying grid with an 8.253, 164.25.
"There is no question that it worked back in the 60’s and 70’s, but I didn’t know it was going to keep going for these many years," Tasca said. "But I guess when you do something that’s really good, it lasts."
Make no mistake, Tasca was surrounded by enough talented drag racers who taught many valuable lessons he still retains today.
"I grew up around the best drag racers in the world," Tasca said emphatically. "Billy Lawton, who was better than Billy with a stick shift in the 60’s? Billy taught me how to shift. Of course, now I’m driving an automatic, everybody teases me for that, but this class is automatic. But I don’t do it professionally, I just do it just for fun and just to keep the name going on Cobra Jet.
"And the great thing about this car is it was made by The Ford Motor Company. This was not home made in some race shop. I bought this from The Ford Motor Company, and it’s special. He built one heck of a race car, let me tell ya."
In an era when some parents might have discouraged their children from the dangers of drag racing, Tasca said Bob was all for his second oldest of three sons running up and down the strip.
"He loved drag racing, he loved The Ford Motor Company," Tasca explained. "My father was known for loving his family, his friends, and The Ford Motor Company. That’s how he lived his life."
And to see his name in high regard touches Tasca.
"It means everything," Tasca said. "My father was a great guy; my mother’s a great lady, she’s still alive. We’re just one tight knit family. We live together, we work together, and it just means the world to me. And I get just a tremendous thrill out of competing with this car. And I love the stories about my dad. It’s amazing how much one man accomplished in one lifetime."