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Bob Tasca III Wins Second Wally Of The Season In Norwalk; Dedicates Win To John Force


(Photo Credit: Peyton Lohr/Racing Refresh)

By Logan Morris


The pomp and circumstance were evident entering the final day of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. The intensity was noticeably ramped up, and spirits in the grandstands were high after a positive update on the legendary John Force, who continues to recover from injuries sustained in his crash at the Virginia Nationals.


Bob Tasca III defeated three-time Funny Car champion Ron Capps in the final round of the day to win the Wally thanks to a 3.908 run at 330.47 mph using skills he learned from John Force. Tasca admitted that every win is special but this one meant more.


(Photo Credit: Peyton Lohr/Racing Refresh)


“You don't realize how hard it is to win. Definitely, it's harder than anyone gives it credit for. There are a thousand things out of your control that have to go your way too, and if one goes wrong, you lose. So all of these wins are hard and special but this weekend, you know, for me, to be able to stand in front of that camera and talk to Force and his family, which I know they'll be watching, meant everything to me.” 


Points leader Austin Prock was defeated in the Semi-Finals by Tasca in what was an emotional weekend for the John Force Racing driver, who served as the team’s only entry in Norwalk.  


(Photo Credit: Peyton Lohr/Racing Refresh)


In Top Fuel, Antron Brown got his 60th career win by eclipsing points leader Doug Kalitta, who had shown his prowess all weekend by coming into Sunday as the No. 1 qualifier. Brown’s run of 3.736 seconds at 334.65 mph dashed Kalitta’s Wally hopes. I had a chance to ask the three-time world champion if he ever feels the pressure of just how competitive Top Fuel is these days.


(Photo Credit: Peyton Lohr/Racing Refresh)


“No, to be honest with you, our team likes pressure. I don't know if you ever looked at our stats, close into who we race. We always win like this, many-time world champions, this many time world champions, or Brittany Force, or Doug Kalitta, and we have to do that to win the race. But the thing about that for our team is, this class has always been very intense and I don't know what it is. Whoever we race, they run their best ET (elapsed time) and cut their best light against our team. We don't get the guy that cuts like a 200, like we never get that. We get a guy that cuts a 20 light against us. They never cut 20s. But that's the nature of our sport where they bring their A+ level game."


In Pro Stock, Aaron Stanfield won his second consecutive race by defeating points leader Dallas Glenn with a run of 6.539 at 208.91 mph.  As the NHRA comes up on a few weeks off, Stanfield is planning to stay focused and not get too caught up in the time off.


(Photo Credit: Peyton Lohr/Racing Refresh)


“I’m going to go home and make sure our equipment is in tip-top shape. I’m going to keep my head on straight and we need to keep going and keep doing what we’ve been doing.” 


In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Gaige Herrera won his astounding 11th consecutive NHRA Wally by defeating Matt Smith thanks to a 6.539 run at 208:91 mph. Despite some lacklustre runs over the weekend, Herrera’s confidence never wavered. 


(Photo Credit: Peyton Lohr/Racing Refresh)


“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what you do on Friday and Saturday. Once I saw what the weather was going to do, I was actually very excited. My bike drives really good in that weather. The main focus is always on Sunday. I always want the Wally and I definitely wanted the ice cream scoop.”


Sunday’s round-one eliminations kicked off with a couple of stunners. Perhaps most notably of all, the man with the most wins in Pro Stock, Greg Anderson squared the tires at the hit and was bested by Ohio native Larry Morgan. Pro Stock had its one and two qualifiers not advance out of round one for the first time since 2012.


The NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series returns to action July 19-21 with the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Seattle.


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