Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III will miss NHRA’s return to racing this weekend after testing positive for COVID-19.
The 44-year-old Tasca, a Rhode Island native, will be replaced by 30-year-old Swedish driver Jonnie Lindberg – who won the Alcohol Funny Car championship in both 2015 and 2016 – for at least this weekend’s race at Lucas Oil Raceway in suburban Indianapolis.
“What makes this so scary is how good I felt for almost seven days from being exposed,” Tasca III said in a media release. “I had no symptoms but tested positive. I couldn’t believe it.
“Then day eight through 10 came, and I have never been so sick in my life. It’s so important we all practice social distancing and wearing masks. We all need to play a role in limiting the dangers of COVID-19.
“I am so disappointed I will not be with my team this week, but I know they will make us Ford fans proud. If I can help one other person make those choices, it’s worth me sharing my experience.”
Sunday’s race will be the first for the NHRA since the novel coronavirus (COVD-19) pandemic put the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season on hiatus in late February after its second race.
The next two race weekends will be held at Lucas Oil Raceway with fans in attendance.
NHRA officials will have an extensive safety protocol in place. Fans and anyone else entering the racetrack grounds will have their temperatures checked and will be required to wear facemasks and practice social distancing.
Tasca told Ford Performance he plans to return to racing as soon as he is given medical clearance.