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Record 341-MPH Drag Pass Wasn’t Enough Because Faster Isn’t Always Quicker

The Ford Mustang Nitro Funny car smashed the previous trap speed record, but the time was a couple of hundredths off the lead.
Bob Tasca III Breaking Quarter Mile World Record

If what took place in Bradenton, Florida, last week is any indication of what’s to come, 2024 is going to be one badass year for racing. Bob Tasca III matched a world record speed in drag racing on Thursday night and shattered it the next night when he broke the 340-mph barrier at the Bradenton Motorsports Park. Even if this astounding run in his Ford Mustang Nitro Funny car wasn’t enough to take the top spot, it’s surely something he can be proud of.

During qualifying for the inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout, Tasca went 339.87 mph. This was the fastest he’d ever gone, matching the previous world record speed for wheel-driven cars set by Robert Hight in 2017. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Tasca III blasted past that record and made drag racing history the next night.

With similar conditions to the night before and a car that was clearly dialed in, Tasca III went through the traps at 341.68 mph in a 3.84-second pass. That’s an absolutely monstrous speed. Even then, the world-record run wasn’t enough to put Tasca III on top in qualifying. That award goes to Austin Prock, who cleared the 1,000-foot track with a 3.82-second pass at 337.41 mph, proving once again that it’s better to be quick than it is to be fast in drag racing. However, while this is a world record, the PRO Superstar Shootout isn’t an NHRA-sanctioned event and, therefore, isn’t officially recognized by the nation’s largest governing body in drag racing. Still, that nuance doesn’t discredit Tasca III’s achievement 

To put this accomplishment into perspective, the Dodge Demon 170 shook the world with its 8.91-second quarter-mile run, where it went 151.17 mph. Tasca III went nearly 200 mph faster on a slightly shorter track. Mind you, 1,000-foot tracks were made standard for this class of car back in 2008. Moreover, the fastest quarter-mile speed ever recorded was run by Sammy Miller when he went 402 mph in 3.22 seconds. While he may have gone almost 60 mph faster than Tasca III, it took a 28,000-horsepower rocket-propelled monster to sling him there. That makes Tasca III’s break-neck speed in an 11,000-horsepower wheel-driven funny car that much more insane. 

A new rule placed drivers against one another based on a random chip draw for the main event on Saturday. Tasca went on to knock Paul Lee out of the competition in the first round of eliminations but was sent home by Matt Hagan in the second. By some cruel irony, Hagan was bested by Prock in the third and final round of eliminations, who’d beaten drivers Alexis DeJoria and John Force, father of Brittany Force who holds the record for the fastest top fuel pass of 338.48 mph, in earlier rounds. Prock, who’d taken the podium in qualifying the night before, snatched the $250,000 purse.

While I’m sure Tasca III would have appreciated a quarter of a million dollars, a giant mark on history will have to suffice.