Tasca Honors Glidden At U.S. Nationals

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, September 1 2018

Ten-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Bob Glidden died of heart failure last year.

Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III is paying tribute to drag racing legend Bob Glidden this weekend with a throwback paint scheme honoring Glidden’s 1987 Pro Stock championship-winning Ford Thunderbird during the 64th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Brownsburg, Ind.

“He was an incredible racer, no doubt, but the qualities of his life that he shared with everyone he met were second-to-none,” Tasca said of Glidden, who died on Dec. 17, 2017 at age 73. “His work ethic, his determination, his drive…as a young kid, I was just enamored by it.”

Glidden _ who singlehandedly carried the Ford banner for most of a 15-year period _ had battled heart issues since 1994, when he underwent six-way bypass surgery.

A native of Whiteland, Ind., Glidden’s career spanned more than 25 years and featured 85 national event victories capped by his 10 world championships in NHRA’s “Factory Hot Rod” class. Glidden was crowned NHRA’s first Pro Stock point champion in 1974 and dominated the class through the 1980s. After winning back-to-back championships in 1974-1975, he added three titles in a row (1978-80) and a then-record five straight (1985-89).

In 1987, Glidden drove his Motorcraft T-Bird to eight victories en route to capturing his eighth NHRA championship. There wasn’t a single race that year where he wasn’t No. 1 qualifier.

A member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, Ford Motor Company honored Glidden with its Spirit of Ford award in 1989. After his passing last year, Ford established the annual Bob Glidden “85/10” Award for Ford drag racers who epitomize the Indiana native’s spirit of grit and determination.

Tasca said his life and career-path were heavily influenced by Glidden, whom he first met at the end of an autograph line in 1987 at famed Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. Upon meeting the 12-year-old Tasca, Glidden asked if he was the grandson of fellow-“Blue Oval” loyalist Bob Tasca Sr. Glidden then invited Tasca to meet his sons, Rusty and Billy Glidden.

“It was such a turning point in my life…to have a connection with that kind of an icon,” said Tasca, driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Ford Mustang.  “He became one of my biggest heroes, and the rest as they say, is history. Being able to play this small role in celebrating his life, rolling out a car that says Motorcraft in Indianapolis with his name on the side window…there’s been a lot of memorable moments in my life, but this will certainly rank at the top of the page.”

Expected to be on-site at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis are Glidden’s widow, Etta, and his sons _ all members of Bob Gidden’s family-owned and operated organization. Glidden’s resume is highlighted by nine Pro Stock victories in the prestigious U.S. Nats.

“It’s really nice that people are remembering my dad,” said Billy Glidden, who will be competing at the U.S. Nationals in Pro Modified. “He and Mr. Tasca Sr. went back a long way. There was a really strong bond between them, and our families have remained in touch through the years. I’ve even worked on a few engines for Bob III, many years ago. It definitely makes me miss him, but seeing this kind of tribute is very touching for my family.”

Tasca began “The World’s Biggest Drag Race” one spot outside the top-10 in points in pursuit of a berth in the six-event Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Defending event-winner J.R. Todd powered into the provisional pole Friday during the lone qualifying session by covering the 1,000-foot distance in 3.910-seconds at 325.45 mph in his Toyota Camry. Tasca occupies the second slot with a 3.928-second pass at 322.65 mph.

“I’m not sure if there’s any truth to the racing gods smiling down from above,” Tasca said. “But I told my team that while we may have our backs against the wall, to have Bob Glidden’s name on the side of your car _ at a racetrack he ‘owned’ _ it’s just going to be one of those weekends where I truly believe great things are going to happen for our team.”

Top Fuel newcomer Mike Salinas powered into the provisional pole Friday evening during the lone qualifying session at the 64th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

Native Californian Salinas wheeled his Scrappers Racing dragster to a 1,000-foot pass in 3.756-seconds at 321.04 mph to lead Top Fuel for this first time in his brief NHRA career. “This is my first U.S. Nationals and I’m like a little kid in a candy store,” Salinas said. “When I was a kid we only dreamt of this stuff, so I’m just lucky enough to come out here and do this. We have a plan and it’s actually coming together, which is scary.”

Three-time world champion Antron Brown is second after his pass of 3.772-seconds at 325.22 mph while Scott Palmer is third.

J.R. Todd (Funny Car), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also emerged as provisional leaders in their respective categories at the 18th of 24 events on the schedule.

Todd covered the 1,000-foot distance in 3.910-seconds at 325.45 mph in his DHL Toyota Camry during the first of three qualifying days and first of five qualifying sessions. Todd is looking to secure his first career Funny Car pole.

“Listening to (crew chiefs) Todd Smith and John Oberhofer before that run back in the pits they weren’t planning on running that good,” Todd said. “That run is a testament to those guys, ‘The Yella Fellas,’ they’re a great group of guys. Three-second runs had been hard for us to come by until Brainerd (Minn.), where we were able to get it tuned up in the semifinals for once.”

Meanwhile, point-leader Courtney Force of John Force Racing secured the No. 1 position in the Countdown in her Camaro SS.

In Pro Stock, Gray holds the No. 1 spot after his quarter-mile pass of 6.603-seconds at 208.68 mph in his Chevy Camaro SS. Gray is seeking his fifth event victory of the season and first at the U.S. Nationals.

“As a driver, you try to take this race like any other race,” Gray said. “I think when you put more pressure on yourself you’re more prone to mistakes. Winning this event would be really cool for me since my dad (Shane Gray) won this event back in 2014.”

Four-time world champion Greg Anderson is in the No. 2 position at 6.621-seconds and 208.75 mph in his Camaro. Reigning world champion Bo Butner, a teammate of Anderson at Ken Black Racing, clinched his spot in the Countdown in his Camaro.

Defending event-winner Krawiec sits atop Pro Stock Motorcycle via his quarter-mile pass of 6.825-seconds at 197.02 mph aboard his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Street Rod.

“I think that was an awesome run for it just getting off the trailer,” said Krawiec, the four-time/reigning world champion. “I made a nice, clean pass. It didn’t rattle, shake and it was overall just a very clean run and I’m happy with it.”

Two-time world champ Matt Smith currently holds the No. 2 position aboard his Victory Magnum after a pass of 6.850-seconds at 196.47 mph.

Qualifying is scheduled to continue Saturday with two sessions beginning at 1:15 p.m. FOX Sports 2 will air 90 minutes of time trials during “Saturday Nitro Live” beginning at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). FOX Sports 1 will pick up the coverage Sunday with a two-hour program at 4 p.m. and again at 10 p.m. Coverage of Monday’s final s will begin on FS1 with a two-hour program at 11 a.m. and then switch to the FOX Network at 1 p.m. for three hours of eliminations.

Friday’s provisional qualifying results after the first of five rounds of time trials for the 64th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, 18th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Monday’s final eliminations:

Top Fuel _ 1. Mike Salinas, 3.756-seconds, 321.04 mph; 2. Antron Brown, 3.772, 325.22; 3. Scott Palmer, 3.791, 327.90; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.797, 323.50; 5. Tony Schumacher, 3.801, 328.14; 6. Clay Millican, 3.813, 318.17; 7. Blake Alexander, 3.815, 311.41; 8. Doug Kalitta, 3.824, 305.77; 9. Pat Dakin, 3.835, 323.04; 10. Billy Torrence, 3.840, 315.12; 11. Brittany Force, 4.393, 179.85; 12. Richie Crampton, 4.402, 183.72; 13. T.J. Zizzo, 4.514, 171.05; 14. Wayne Newby, 4.567, 171.34; 15. Steve Torrence, 4.957, 141.16; 16. Terry McMillen, 5.116, 138.96.

 Not Qualified _ 17. Kebin Kinsley, 5.325, 111.64; 18. Lex Joon, Broke.

Funny Car _ 1. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.910, 325.45; 2. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.928, 322.65; 3. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.943, 324.05; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.948, 320.36; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.952, 319.60; 6. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.961, 325.22; 7. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.003, 320.89; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.006, 316.08; 9. Robert Hight, Camaro, 4.010, 301.27; 10. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.103, 261.32; 11. Courtney Force, Camaro, 4.330, 214.83; 12. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 5.043, 151.58; 13. Jack Beckman, Charger, 6.031, 113.03; 14. Ron Capps, Charger, 6.240, 114.66; 15. Jim Campbell, Charger, 10.389, 61.82; 16. Justin Schriefer, Charger, Broke.

Not Qualified: _17. Bob Bode, Broke; 18. Terry Haddock, Broke.

Pro Stock _ 1. Tanner Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.603, 208.68; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.621, 208.75; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.623, 206.99; 4. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.628, 208.04; 5. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.630, 207.85; 6. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.632, 207.08; 7. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.638, 208.17; 8. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.642, 208.26; 9. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.648, 208.23; 10. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.650, 207.30; 11. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.653, 208.26; 12. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.658, 206.76; 13. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.690, 206.13; 14. John Gaydosh Jr., Camaro, 6.718, 205.91; 15. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.731, 206.01; 16. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.735, 205.32.

Not Qualified _17. Alan Prusiensky, 6.738, 205.57; 18. Charlie Westcott Jr., 6.832, 202.15; 19. Val Smeland, 6.888, 176.17.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.825, 197.02; 2. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.850, 196.47; 3. Chip Ellis, Harley-Davidson, 6.856, 196.44; 4. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.866, 195.11; 5. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.879, 195.11; 6. Hector Arana Jr., 6.883, 197.51; 7. Mark Paquette, Buell, 6.893, 194.13; 8. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.934, 193.38; 9. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.940, 193.93; 10. Joey Gladstone, Victory, 6.941, 193.71; 11. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.952, 191.02; 12. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.961, 191.78; 13. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.962, 190.94; 14. Hector Arana, 6.986, 197.28; 15. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.991, 192.08; 16. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.992, 191.43.

Not Qualified _17. Ron Tornow, 7.080, 190.81; 18. Angelle Sampey, 7.091, 191.29; 19. Andie Rawlings, 7.501, 171.18; 20. Karen Stoffer, 13.187, 58.53; 21. Odolph Daniels, Broke; 22. Wendell Daniels, Broke.

Sidnei Frigo emerged as provisional No. 1 qualifier during the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals following Friday’s lone session of time trials. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by Al-Anabi Performance, is the eighth of 12 events on the schedule.

Frigo covered the traditional quarter-mile in 5.823-seconds at 254.09 mph in his Chevy Corvette. Chad Green is second with a run of 5.825-seconds at 245.63 mph in his Camaro while point-leader Rickie Smith is fifth at 5.831-seconds and 247.97 mph in his Camaro.

Pro Mod qualifying will continue Saturday at 1 and 3:30 p.m.

Friday’s provisional Pro Modified qualifying results after the first of five rounds of qualifying for the 64th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, the eighth of 12 events in the series:

Pro Modified _ 1. Sidnei Frigo, Chevy Corvette, 5.823, 254.09; 2. Chad Green, Chevy Camaro, 5.825, 245.63; 3. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.827, 249.35; 4. Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.830, 245.27; 5. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.831, 247.97; 6. Dan Stevenson, Camaro, 5.855, 254.33; 7. Bob Rahaim, Camaro, 5.867, 246.48; 8. Jeremy Ray, Corvette, 5.892, 244.34; 9. Chip King, Dodge Daytona, 5.897, 246.89; 10. Danny Rowe, Camaro, 5.901, 248.80; 11. Steve Matusek, Camaro, 5.902, 246.62; 12. Todd Tutterow, Camaro, 5.999, 240.00; 13. Bill Glidden, Camaro, 6.024, 231.60; 14. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 6.057, 238.85; 15. Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 6.076, 239.23; 16. Mike Castellana, Camaro, 6.259, 184.40.

Not Qualified _17. Clint Satterfield, 6.450, 228.15; 18. Doug Winters, 7.048, 125.34; 19. Jose Gonzalez, 7.452, 143.58; 20. Erica Enders, 7.485, 127.90; 21. Troy Coughlin, 7.505, 166.33; 22. Jim Whiteley, 7.790, 142.84; 23. Michael Bowman, 8.222, 115.74; 24. Jason Scruggs, 8.527, 106.12; 25. Harry Hruska, 8.658, 112.02; 26. Marc Caruso, 9.048, 99.14; 27. Michael Biehle, 9.199, 99.45; 28. Steven Whiteley, 9.498, 95.58.

In what truly was a battle of the ages, Jimmy Daniels wrote himself into the NHRA Dodge HEMI® Challenge record books Friday by defeating No. 1 qualifier Gary Wolkwitz in the final round to become the first driver to claim three consecutive victories in the event at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

Daniels, 22, bested 72-year-old Ray Barton Racing Engines teammate Wolkwitz in the first all-1968 Dodge Dart final in the 18-year history of the event. The win was the fourth overall for the Daniels family, including the 2010 victory by Jimmy Daniels Sr. in the same Mopar-powered Dodge Dart.

Daniels qualified No. 2 in his ‘68 Dart and defeated Mark Howes in Round 1. Daniels sped to a steady 8.542-second pass in Round 2 after Dan Zrust fouled by leaving the starting line early. Following a bye run in Round 3, Daniels defeated the “Missouri Mule” 1968 Plymouth Barracuda of Russ Campbell with the quickest run of the weekend at 8.511-seconds.

In a final held under the lights prior to NHRA Nitro qualifying, the dental student from Pennsylvania launched first with an 0.033-second reaction time paired with a pass of 8.662/156.15 to claim victory over Wolkwitz, who spun his car’s rear tires and slowed to 10.110/97.63.

“It’s incredible. I just couldn’t imagine it,” said Daniels, competing in his first race in almost a year. “There’s so much that goes into this, it’s insane. The first qualifying run was my first pass (since the NHRA Dutch Classic last October). The car and I just get along. It’s cool, to be able to have us both (teammate Wolkwitz) here, and qualify 1-2.”

New Jersey native Wolkwitz locked down his second consecutive NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge No. 1 position on Friday and then clocked an 8.523-second E.T. on his first-round bye, paired with the fastest speed of the meet at 157.04 mph. He was quickest in Round 2, recording an 8.526-second pass to take down Wendell Howes. Wolkwitz then used a 8.525-second pass to trailer the uniquely-painted 1968 Plymouth “Psycho Kuda” of inaugural 2001 HEMI Challenge race-winner Bucky Hess. Wolkwitz advanced out of the semifinals after opponent Gus Mantas bowed out on a red light foul.

“I’m happy; it’s great to race my teammate and a young kid who I respect completely,” said Wolkwitz, who made his first career final-round appearance at the Indy HEMI Challenge. “He spun too, but not as bad as I did.”

The NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge showcases Super Stock/A-HEMI (SS/AH) NHRA Sportsman class competitors competing in 1968 Mopar “package” cars, powered by the legendary 426 HEMI engine, nicknamed the “Elephant” for its size and power.

The Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stockers are one of the earliest and most iconic iterations of the purpose-built vehicles created at the factory. The cars feature distinct race “packages” and are for use solely on the drag strip. The Darts and Barracudas are precursors to the modern-day package car _ the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak.


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, September 1 2018
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