Tasca earns first career Funny Car victory

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Bob Tasca raced to his first career Funny Car victory Sunday at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals.

Larry Dixon, Jason Line and Hector Arana also were winners at the NHRA event at historic Gainesville Raceway. Tasca, in his second-year in NHRA, earned his first No. 1 qualifying position on Saturday and ran strong all weekend. He finished the job by powering his Ford Mustang to a final-round performance of 4.200 seconds at a top speed of 280.72 mph to hold off defending Gatornationals winner Tony Pedregon, whose Chevy Impala trailed with a 4.536 at 210.90.

"I’m speechless," Tasca said. "It’s one of those weekends where you qualify No. 1 and then have to beat John Force and Tony Pedregon to get your first win. It’s a big accomplishment and just a credit to this Motorcraft team.

"If you’ve got to pick a place to win your first race, I couldn’t think of a better place to do it."

Dixon raced to his first Top Fuel victory of the season and fourth at this event, posting a 3.898 at 311.05 mph in his dragster to defeat Cory McClenathan, whose dragster lost traction early in the run and crossed the finish line in 4.570 at 192.60. It was Dixon’s 44th career victory.

Line earned his second win of the season in Pro Stock by outrunning Allen Johnson in the final round. Line used a quicker reaction time to take his 17th career win, powering his Pontiac GXP to a 6.614 at 209.20 mph to hold off the Dodge Stratus of Johnson, which finished in 6.607 at 209.01.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Arana raced to his second career victory with a 6.977 at 191.40 on a Buell, to hold off final round opponent and event top qualifier Matt Smith, whose Suzuki slowed to a 7.133 at 185.51. With the win, Arana moved into the series points lead for the first time in his career.

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