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No Funny Stuff: Mustang Funny Car Driver Bob Tasca Breaks Sound Barrier

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Bob Tasca breaks sound barrier in an F-15 Eagle
Photo: Ford Motor Company

NHRA team owner and Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III has a need. A need for speed. That love for going super fast super quickly extends even beyond piloting a Ford Mustang Funny Car 330 mph — recently, he broke the sound barrier at the helm of an F-15 Eagle, which achieves a top speed of 1,875 mph in the Mach 2 class.

“It’s hard to explain the level of energy it consumes,” said Tasca. “I felt like I ran two marathons and I hadn’t left the seat. The physical demands on your body, it’s just incredible. I had so much respect for [the United States Air Force] before I got in the plane, but to see what their bodies are able to withstand while at the same time making decisions and being in combat, it takes a special kind of person to be able to do that.”

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Tasca didn’t even do the flying: He was piloted by Brig. Gen. Robert G. Novotny, a 57th Wing Commander ant Nellis Air Force Base. The general has over 2,500 flight hours, including 540 combat hours, and has piloted 11 different types of aircraft over his storied career.

But Tasca is not always in the passenger seat when he takes to the air. He’s a licensed pilot who puts in approximately 100,000 miles’ worth of flight every year at the sticks of a TBM 900. He says that the one thing that is comparable across the board between flight and Funny Car driving is the need for confidence in the team effort.

Tasca and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team finished fifth in the NHRA Mello Yello Series standings with two wins, two second-place finishes, and three semifinal finishes.

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