Bob Tasca III will drive a Ford Motorsports-themed Dark Horse Funny Car in 2024, but the reality is that the NHRA frontrunner will be anything but a dark horse.

When a driver wins three races in four final rounds and qualifies No. 1 seven times in a season, their ability to sneak up on anyone quickly disappears.

"That's for sure," Tasca admitted. "You love to be in that position versus coming from the unknown where we were last year. We're not cocky; we have a lot of work to do, and heck, anything can happen out there, as you saw this past season. But we've got a great team; we got a great car. I got a lot of seat time in these things, and we are going into another extremely competitive, unbelievably competitive class in Funny Car.

"I don't think there's any class out there that's more competitive anyways, and we're going to kick it off at the PRO event. Really looking forward to that, I think it's going to be a great way to start the season, get the blood flowing, a lot of money on the line, lot on the line, coming right out of the box. And then we'll do some testing in Gainesville and bring that momentum right into the NHRA's first event."

Branding name aside, Tasca is excited about the fresh look his team is bringing this year with the same thunder and lightning.

"I never thought I'd drive a Ford car that wasn't Motorcraft," Tasca said. "That was really their brand in drag racing, and now I will have Motorcraft; it'll be for six races, but they want to lean into this Ford Performance design. And I can tell you, I want to win with every wrap that's on my car, which I actually did last year. I won with every single wrap. BG, Ford, Motorcraft, and PPG all got wins, and I'd love nothing more than to do that again this year and certainly give Ford Performance their first win in NHRA under this new Dark Horse brand."



Oh, how 365 days can change a situation. Tasca smiles when he remembers those who counted his team out before the season started.

"I had lost my whole team, going in with a lot of unknowns; some people pretty much said that I was dumb to bring Todd [Okuhara] and Aaron [Brooks] together, polar opposites; you just created a train wreck," Tasca explained. "I'd love to name some names, but I won't. And the bottom line is that we worked really, really hard in the off-season last year, and we gave it everything we had. I'll go out on a limb here. I'm certain we surprised more than a few. Now, a year later, I have my whole team back, more motivated than ever, with a tremendous baseline. Let's be honest: we had one of the best cars out there all year, half a round away from the championship, and we get to do it again.

"I can promise you this. I would much rather be in the position I'm in right now than the one I was in a year ago. And it's exciting to be able to have that kind of momentum going into such an epic season for Ford."

Tasca was born into a world of Blue Oval pride and is in the lineage of the man responsible for the most iconic phrase tying drag racing to the manufacturer. His grandfather Bob Tasca Sr coined the famous "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday" adage.

BT3, as he's often referred to in the industry, believes his destiny is to leave Ford and the family name even better than it is today.

"From the first day I got into racing, my goal was to leave the Ford and Tasca history in drag racing a little richer than I found it," Tasca said. "And very proud of what we've done and really excited about what we can continue to do. So, it's a dream come true."