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Tasca takes Funny Car lead; Lucas, Edwards still on top in Pomona
Bob Tasca
Bob Tasca III raced to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position in  Funny Car action Friday at the 52nd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.

Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) also held onto the provisional top qualifying spots in their respective categories at the season-opening race of the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

Tasca drove his MotorCraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang to the provisional No. 1 position with a 4.109-second pass at 309.34 mph during Friday’s qualifying efforts. If it holds, it would be Tasca’s third No. 1 qualifying position.

Bob Tasca III
Morgan Lucas
Mike Edwards

Bob Tasca
“That 4.10, based on what everyone else ran, was pretty impressive,” Tasca said. “I tell ya, it wasn’t much of an off-season for us. We tested a week in December and another week-plus in January, so we probably have 50 runs on that Motorcraft/Quick Lane car. We were disappointed with how we finished the season last year, so we dug deep this off-season and made some great runs in testing, and it’s always nice to translate into a race-day tune-up.”

Defending Top Fuel event winner Morgan Lucas ran the quickest Top Fuel lap during Friday’s qualifying efforts with a 3.835 pass at 316.38 mph, but it was the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster’s pass of 3.832 at 320.28 mph Thursday that earned him the provisional top spot heading into Saturday.

“To be honest, I’m as shocked as anybody that we’re still low with a 3.83,” said Lucas. “Our run today was pretty similar to what we did yesterday other than that it dropped a cylinder downtrack. I have to sing the praises of my guys. Since Aaron [Brooks, crew chief] and Rod [Centorbi, assistant crew chief] came over this winter, we adopted the motto ‘If it’s not perfect, it’s not right.’ The way the car is running is a reward for the hard work and extra hours they put in.”

In Friday Pro Stock action, no one was able to out run Edwards’ 6.545 pass at 211.86 mph from Thursday in his Penhall/Interstate Batteries Pontiac GXP. Edwards’s pass of 6.571 seconds at 211.53 mph Friday wasn’t exactly what the team wanted but tomorrow’ forecast calls for much better conditions. If he holds on to the top spot, it would be his 41st of his career and fifth at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

“Our car made a hard move out of the groove right off the starting line in the right lane,” said Edwards. “The 60-foot time was about the same as yesterday, but leaving crooked scrubbed off some e.t. If the conditions are good for Saturday morning’s first session, everybody should pick up, and I think that it’s going to take a 6.52 to end up with the No. 1 qualifying spot.”

Qualifying at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona will wrap up with two qualifying sessions Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Eliminations will begin Sunday at 11 a.m.

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