Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Upset of the Year

March 17th, 2009 · 2 Comments


With March Madness about to commence, you’re likely to hear a lot about mammoth upsets in the coming days—no hyperbole will be spared when a 14-seed inevitably knocks off the likes of Wake Forest or Gonzaga. But such triumphs pale in comparison to what went down in Gainesville, Florida over the weekend, when Bob Tasca III won the Funny Car division of the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals. It was Tasca’s first professional win, and it came against no less august an adversary than the legendary Tony Pedregon. (Pedregon is famous not just for his Funny Car win tally, but also for surviving one of the most ridiculous explosions in drag-racing history.)

Tasca’s surprise victory provides a sliver of good news for a sport that’s recently known its share of sorrow. Funny Cars have been crashing at an alarming rate, killing two NHRA mainstays over the past two years. A lot of eyes will be on this year’s Car Craft Summer Nationals at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. If there’s more Funny Car carnage, folks will be hard-pressed to enjoy the accompanying Miss Car Craft pageant.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • keith

    Just linked over here from Ta-Nehisi’s blog and was pleasantly surprised. Anyone that writes about drag racing is alright with me. I haven’t kept up with it like I did back in the day, but occasionaly will peek over at ESPN to see whats going on.

    I grew up at a track back in home in Dallas called Yellow Belly, located in the hood where you can race anything with wheel’s, so this clip kinda brought back some memories…thanks.

    A recent video of back home racing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Euap_jz4emw

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    Glad to have you, Keith–any pal of Ta-Nehisi’s is a pal of mine. Looking forward to checking out the Yellow Belly clip.

    I’ll be doing plenty more on the NHRA in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned. I also have a longtime fascination with midget racing, which actually started in my native L.A. back in the ’30s.

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