Ford to Return to NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing with 2018 Tasca III Sponsorship (Press Conference Video)

Bob Tasca III Ford Nitro Funny Car SEMA 2017

Ford is back in NHRA Nitro Funny Car. Ford will sponsor Bob Tasca III’s car for the 2018 NHRA season, company officials announced at the SEMA Show Tuesday. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

LAS VEGAS, NV — After a three-year hiatus from NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series sponsorship following Ford Racing’s exit from NHRA’s premier racing series after the 2014 season, the Blue Oval will be back in NHRA in 2018, sponsoring Bob Tasca III, who will pilot a Ford Mustang Nitro Funny Car next season.

Ford announced the news at its annual press conference at the 2017 SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with Tasca III on hand to talk about his new sponsor.

“This is a very exciting day for me personally, and for everyone involved at Tasca Racing,” Tasca III said. “We have always been a Ford family and have a long history with drag racing, so to be able to return to NHRA Funny Car full-time in 2018 with the support of our long-time friends at Ford is the perfect scenario for us.

“Ford Performance and Tasca Racing have a rich shared history in the world of drag racing, and we’re delighted to hear that Ford Performance will partner with Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III for the 2018 NHRA season,” said Mary Lendzion, director of media and public relations for Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OH. “The pairing is sure to put the spotlight on innovative engineering and we can’t wait to see it in action it at the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 21-24, 2018 at Summit Motorsports Park.”

Tasca Racing has a new technical alliance with Don Schumacher Motorsports, and believes the Schumacher and Ford partnerships can propel the team toward a championship run in NHRA Funny Car next year.

“We’re excited about partnering with Tasca Racing and helping them return to NHRA for a championship run,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “We believe we have the technology tools to help the team be competitive on the track long-term, and are looking forward to the effort starting in 2018.

“The Tasca family has always been a pioneer in racing, and a leader in Ford vehicle and parts sales for many decades,” said Pericak. “This partnership will only serve to strengthen that legacy.”

Bob Tasca III NHRA Funny Car

Ford officials announced the company’s return to NHRA’s Nitro Funny Car series for 2018 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Ford will sponsor Bob Tasca III’s Funny Car next year. (Image/NHRA)

Tasca III is the grandson of the late Bob Tasca Sr. who famously introduced the Cobra Jet 428 engine to drag racing in the 1960s and helped to develop the Ford Thunderbolt drag racing car.

During Tasca III’s decade as an NHRA Funny Car competitor, he won four races, appeared in 11 finals, and qualified for the Countdown to the Championship three times. His career-best ET is 3.892 and his career-best speed is 326.56 miles per hour.

( contributed to this report.)

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