341.68 MPH: NHRA Funny Car Pilot Bob Tasca Says Nothing Unofficial About His Record Speed Mark

bob tasca nhra ford
341.68 MPH: Tasca Mark May Be NHRA Final FrontierNHRA/National Dragster
  • Tasca’s feat eclipsed a 25-year-old nitro threshold and a 20-year-old Funny Car mark—but it happened at a non-NHRA-sanctioned event, so it’s unofficial in the NHRA’s eyes.

  • No anticipation, Tasca says: ‘I’ve already done it.’

  • How far away is a 350-mph run? Probably not in his lifetime, Tasca says.

Bob Tasca III stood the drag-racing world on its ear Feb. 9 with a 341.68-mph Funny Car pass at Bradenton, Fla., during qualifying for the PRO Superstar Shootout. It was the fastest run in the sport’s history, even surpassing the best any Top Fuel dragster has delivered.

However, the NHRA doesn’t recognize his achievement because it occurred at a non-NHRA event. So, as the Mission Foods Drag Racing Series resumes this weekend with the Lucas Oil Winternationals at suburban Los Angeles’ In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip, one question remains: Will anyone go 340 mph officially?

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Bob Tasca says there’s no pressure to prove that his 341.68 mph run that he made in the PRO event at Bradenton is something he could do in an NHRA event.Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

According to Tasca, that’s a moot point.


“I've already done it officially,” the Dark Horse Ford Mustang owner-driver said. “Now, doing it officially at an NHRA national event, I'd love to do it, but it's already been done, and I've made this point very clear to everyone who's asked me. It's already been done. Whoever does it is going to do it for the second time, not the first time. The first time at a national event, I'd love to do it—but we already did it.”

His accomplishment was the first in the nitro ranks. It broke a 20-year-old Funny Car record. Gary Scelzi was the first to clock a 330-mph-or-better, in the second qualifying round of the 2004 Joliet, Ill., race, with a 330.15. But Tasca broke a 25-year-old nitro-ranks record. Top Fuel’s Tony Schumacher was the first to go 330 mph (330.23), in 1999, at Chandler, Ariz.

Tasca’s speed record, as impressive as it was, raises at least a few questions:

Will he or anyone else in either Top Fuel or Funny Car post an official 340-mph speed record?

Moreover, will anyone reach the 350-mph mark?

Never mind that the NHRA no longer rewards a driver for setting a performance record at a national event with 20 bonus points. Never mind that speed, no matter how remarkable, takes a back seat to elapsed time in NHRA competition.

“Every crew chief out here is trying to go quicker and faster. That's our job,” Tasca’s co-crew chief Todd Okuhara said. “They spend days and nights working on it and trying to do it. So how quick, how fast? I don't know. What is too fast? There's probably a number. I just hope we're not there. If we're close to it on every run, you're going to be on edge. But I don't know what that number is.”

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Bob Tasca’s crew chief Scott Okuhara did his job in putting Tasca’s Ford past the 340-mph barrier.Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

Even if the NHRA attempts to slow down the cars for the sake of safety, crew chiefs always know the knobs to turn to circumvent the effort.

“Not always,” Okuhara said, “but you can try. You try.”

Neither Tasca nor his colleagues could duplicate the 341.68-mph feat or surpass it a month later at the NHRA season-opening Gatornationals at Gainesville, Fla. And Tasca said that surprised him a bit.

“I thought for sure we would've seen it Saturday night in Gainesville,” he said. “We were setting the car up like we did in Bradenton. It all depends on conditions. We could do it here [at Pomona]. If the conditions are right, we can do it in Phoenix. I believe we could do it in Vegas, and I believe probably the last chance we would have to do it as Charlotte before it starts to get too warm.

"Any one of those races, if the conditions present itself, we believe we can [do it]. Can we break 341? I don't know if the conditions will be that good, but we feel confidently that over the next couple of races, if the conditions present [themselves] as they did Saturday night in Gainesville, we fully intend to break 340.”

Shortening the length of the track in mid-2008 from the traditional quarter-mile to 1,000 feet, many contend, is the reason it took 25 years to reach that next plateau.

“It had been 25 years since we broke 330 miles an hour, believe it or not. And the reason it took so long is we went from a quarter-mile to a thousand feet and then NHRA put some limiters on the cars slow us down. Hence, 25 years later we broke 340,” Tasca said. “I feel that one of the greatest limiting factors of continuing to accelerate is distance. We're stopped at a thousand feet.

"So with that goalpost brought in, do I feel anyone's going to break 341 yet? I fully expect people to break it. Will it be 350 in my lifetime? Probably, most likely, not. I don't believe so. And it is just going to become harder and harder to do it because we shut off at a thousand feet. I think it's exciting for the fans.”


The fact a Funny Car continues to outpace the fastest Top Fuel dragster is a source of pride for Tasca. Robert Hight still has the NHRA speed record, at 339.87 mph (which he set at Sonoma, Calif., in 2017). That trumps Brittany Force’s Top Fuel-best 338.94 (from the 2022 NHRA Finals at Pomona).

“It's exciting for just casual viewers to break a milestone as the first time a Funny Car has ever done it. It's always been a dragster. It's the first time anyone's gone 340 and it's been 25 years since a milestone has been broken. So I don't want to take anything away from what my team's done.

"It's an incredible accomplishment to be able to do what we did, clearly. We're always trying to go faster. Everyone's going to be gunning for that 341 68. But at the end of the day, we were the first to break 340, which is a pretty incredible accomplishment. It's the first barrier broken at 1,000 feet. Many people didn't think we could break 330 at a thousand feet, and we did. So I'm excited about it.”

Official NHRA Speed Milestones In Top Fuel

250 mph – 250.00, Don Garlits, 1975, Ontario, Calif.

300 mph – 301.70, Kenny Bernstein, 1992, Gainesville, Fla.

320 mph – 321.77, Cory McClenathan, 1997, Ennis, Texas

330 mph – 330.23, Tony Schumacher, 1999, Chandler, Ariz.

Speed Milestones In Funny Car

250 mph – 250.00, Don Prudhomme, 1982, Baton Rouge, La.

300 mph – 300.40, Jim Epler, 1993, Topeka

320 mph – 323.35, John Force, 1998, Englishtown, N.J.

330 mph – 330.15, Gary Scelzi, 2004, Joliet, Ill.