Bob Tasca III couldn't contain his enthusiasm. And regardless of what happened the night before with two blockbuster speed runs being disallowed in Top Fuel, Tasca knew his team had pulled off quite the feat as he drove to the provisional No. 1 qualifier during the first day of qualifying at the PRO Superstar Shootout. 

Joining Tasca atop their respective fields were Clay Millican (Top Fuel) and Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock).

In front of a good Thursday crowd at Bradenton Motorsports Park, Tasca knew he'd been on a run that pulled all the way through the speed trap like he'd never experienced before. He stopped the timers during the opening qualifying session with a 3.840 elapsed time, with a speed that is the fastest ever for a piston-driven run at 339.87 miles per hour. 

Last year at the Texas NHRA FallNationals in Dallas, Tex., Tasca ran a career-best 338.57 miles per hour. He ran 289.43 to the eighth mile. His run to the 660 this evening was 291.

"Robert [Hight] ran the exact same elapsed time to the tenth with the laid-back headers back in '17," Tasca said. "To be able to do it with the stand-up headers with a completely different ignition package, it just shows the dedication and hard work this team has put in. We did it last year. We believe we'll be the first ever to run 340 miles per hour. 

"This Mustang, man, I tell you, it's making a lot of power, but hey, they pulled it back. They told me they were going to pull it back. I said, 'How much are you going to pull it back?" 



"They said, "Just go and take the car down the race track. Don't worry about how much we pulled it back." 

The previous fastest run since the laid-back era ended came at Maple Grove Raceway in 2019 when Ron Capps ran a 339.28 speed coupled with a 3.837 elapsed time. Capps had a 285 speed to the eighth mile. 

CompetitionPlus.com reached out to Compulink Timing System founder Bob Brockmeyer for further analysis but was unable to reach him. Thursday's run might be a harbinger of things to come. 

"Tomorrow night, we're going to go for it and stand on this thing even more," Tasca declared. "Who knows what it can run, but .84 out here, throwing bombs out here with everyone else, getting qualified. Only eight cars qualify for this race, and we want to be one of them."

John Force Racing filled the next two slots as 17-time Funny Car champion John Force ran a 3.849, 332.59, and rookie Funny Car pilot
Austin Prock posted a 3.851, 331.77. Paul Lee with new crewchief Jonnie Lindberg thundered to a 3.877 for the fourth quickest run. Alexis DeJoria was fifth 3.893.

Daniel Wilkerson sits on the bubble with a 3.950, 323.50 pass.

For Millican, it was a sideshow moment that set the stage for a big show opportunity in Top Fuel qualifying. 

Millican, while racing a grudge match against Cleetus McFarland, ran a 3.68 to produce his best run of testing. That run provided the baseline for his Q-1 pass, which resulted in a 3.688, 336.49 to lead the show provisionally.

"I knew we made a good run," Millican said. "Made my career best speed. I let the car get away from me a little bit. It kind of danced coming up on the finish line down there, but probably didn't hurt the ET very much. I got out of the car super happy with going .68. Did not think that would stay number one, to be honest with you. 



"My first initial thing I said to my guy when he got down there to pick me up was, 'I think that'll keep us in the field." 

"I don't think that I'll finish number one, but it sure feels good leaving here tonight. Because in the words of Don Prudhomme, you're only good as your last time slip, and right now, our last time slip's the best."

Mike Salinas (3.688, 328.86) and Tony Schumacher (3.696, 330.96) rounded out the top three, while Brittany Force anchors the field with a 3.740, 315.78.

Glenn set the pace early as he drove his RAD Systems-sponsored Camaro to the provisional No. 1 qualifier with a 6.507 elapsed time at 210.97 miles per hour. The KB Titan driver edged out the quickest car in the Elite Motorsports camp, Jerry Tucker, who was second with a 6.515, 211.66 mile per hour run. Bo Butner was third with a 6.519 and 211.69.

"It was a really, really good run on that one," Glenn said. "We've put in a lot of work over the week, and we've been here three times over the winter time, getting new drivers trained and working on stuff, and the engine guys have been working really, really hard, especially with this new manifold change that we had. 

"I think the hard work paid off a little bit on that one. My car had the most runs on it, and I think it showed right there. We got a really good setup, and hopefully, it's only uphill from here."

Chris McGaha anchored the provisional eight-car field with a 6.557, 209.98.

Though most of the Pro Stock cars made short runs on Tuesday and Wednesday's test sessions, Glen said it was a strategy. 

"We're just saving the engine," Glenn said. "We can kind of figure out where we are from half-track numbers or thousand-foot numbers. It's mainly just to keep the wear and tear down on the engine. This is a pretty good piece that we got in this thing, so we want to keep it fresh."

Surprisingly, the 2023 NHRA national event winners on the outside-looking-in list include Greg Anderson, Camrie Caruso, Troy Coughlin Jr., and defending series champion Erica Enders. 


1. Clay Millican   3.688, 336.49
2. Mike Salinas    3.688, 328.86
3. Tony Schumacher 3.696, 330.96
4. Justin Ashley   3.717, 330.96
5. Leah Pruett     3.724, 326.87
6. Steve Torrence  3.729, 330.80
7. Antron Brown    3.740, 304.46
8. Brittany Force  3.740, 315.78
9. Josh Hart             3.767, 321.88
10. Shawn Langdon        4.347, 179.64
11. Doug Kalitta         6.179, 108.91
12. Billy Torrence -     Broke


1. Bob Tasca III    3.840, 339.87
2. John Force       3.849, 332.59
3. Austin Prock     3.851, 331.77
4. Paul Lee         3.877, 331.36
5. Alexis DeJoria   3.893, 330.80
6. J.R. Todd        3.912, 331.20
7. Chad Green       3.916, 317.49
8. Daniel Wilkerson 3.950, 323.50
Matt Hagan              4.114, 273.77
Ron Capps               4.396, 187.94
Blake Alexander         7.411, 95.21
Dave Richards           12.745, 78.33
Cruz Pedregon           BROKE

1. Dallas Glenn    6.507, 210.97
2. Jerry Tucker    6.515, 211.66
3. Bo Butner       6.519, 211.69
4. Aaron Stanfield 6.523, 211.49
5. Cristian Cuadra 6.533, 211.49
6. Jeggie Coughlin 6.552, 211.83
7. Matt Hartford   6.555, 209.85
8. Chris McGaha    6.557, 209.98

9. Greg Anderson   6.565, 210.01
10. Camrie Caruso  6.573, 209.82
11. David Cuadra   6.585, 209.62
12. Eric Latino    6.627, 209.17
13. Deric Kramer   6.690, 207.59
14. Fernando Cuadra Jr. 6.926, 209.39
15. Dave Connolly  8.787, 107.47
16. Troy Coughlin Jr. 13.347, 108.05
17. Erica Enders   30.294, 22.53