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NHRA to race in New Hampshire in 2013

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff  May 31, 2012 01:11 PM

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Bob Tasca III, a 36-year-old NHRA Funny Car driver from Hope, R.I., could hardly contain himself Tuesday as he stood next to his 7,000-horsepower Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car in the plaza of Bostonís Old City Hall.

Tasca, a third generation member of his drag racing family, was thrilled beyond measure to finally bring his Funny Car home to New England to compete in the inaugural National Hot Rod Association Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event next June 23-20 at New England Dragway in Epping N.H.

It was the same track where Tasca made his first pass as an up-and-coming 16-year-old drag racer.

"It was 1992, in a Bimini Blue Mustang GT, it ran like 11.8 [seconds] in the quarter mile and I was hooked," Tasca said. "But what Iím excited about is that thereís never been a national event in New England, ever, in over 60 years of NHRA drag racing.

"So to bring a sport that Iím so passionate about, that gives fans such an unbelievable access and experience both what we do in the race track and what we do in the pits, to bring it our backyard and to our home is going to be real exciting for me to be a part of next year."

NHRA president Tom Compton said the sanctioning body, based in Glendora, Calif., had been working for 10 years to plant its flag in the New England market.

"Itís the largest metropolitan area that we really donít bring the Full Throttle Series to," Compton said. "So that kind of rounds out our position as the most geographically diverse motorsports series in the United States from Seattle to Florida and now not only from New Jersey to LA, but New England to LA."

The Full Throttle Drag Racing series, the NHRAís premier national touring series, is comprised of four divisions: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

The Full Throttle Series is showcased by the Top Fuel division, which features the 300-m.p.h., nitromethane-burning dragsters capable of generating up to 8,000 horsepower.

"Itís one of those sports where youíve got to see it, feel it, hear it and smell it to actually believe it, to see an object accelerate to 300 miles per hour in four seconds," Tasca said. "When you get to see it up close, youíre just mind-boggled about it."

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