NHRA: Salinas, Tasca, Anderson and Gladstone retain #1 qualifying positions

Race cars are built to battle heat in all its forms. With horsepower comes an inferno that must be channeled into race-winning work. On days like Saturday’s qualifying from the 2022 Menards NHRA Nationals Presented by PetArmor, we see that NHRA race cars now handle the heat better than the drivers. Greg Anderson and Bob Tasca III were both heard likening today’s conditions to that of the surface of the sun. Yet they were both amazed at how stable and consistent the track remained all day.

The challenge of handling the heat reminded us of this line from John F. Kennedy’s “Moon speech,” given on the football field at Rice University in 1961. Kennedy was talking about a Saturn V rocket, but the similarities to NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series cars seem appropriate.

We’re paraphrasing: “[We’re going to build a craft] capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, and survival…causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun—almost as hot as it is here today—and do all this, and do it right, and do it first…then we must be bold.”

Bob Tasca III’s boldness continues to grow. He powered to the number-one qualifying spot for the second straight race on Saturday at Heartland Motorsports Park, securing the top position in Funny Car at the 33rd annual Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor. Tasca’s run of 3.930-seconds at 323.81 mph in his Ford Mustang held up from Friday, giving the veteran his ninth career No. 1 qualifier. He’ll look for his second win in three races on Sunday, as well as his first career victory in Topeka.


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