Bob Tasca III is a third-generation dealer who lives life in the fast lane, at least on weekends.

As a vice president at Tasca Automotive Group, he focuses on fixed operations. But he’s also a professional drag racer in the National Hot Rod Assn.

He drives a Ford Mustang Shelby Funny Car sponsored by Ford’s Motorcraft auto-parts division and QuickLane, the automaker’s franchise of automotive service centers. 

His late grandfather, Bob Tasca, a longtime Ford dealer and one-time drag racer, started the family business. In 1943, at age 16, he began working at a Ford dealership in Cranston, RI. Ten years later, he opened Tasca Ford. In 1962, he found Tasca Racing, now based in Concord, NC.

The elder Tasca’s Ford dealership became one of the largest in the country. He became an influential go-to guy for the automaker’s top executives, including the late Henry Ford II.

Tasca Automotive now represents several brands in Massachusetts, Connecticut and its home state of Rhode Island. 

In a Q&A, Bob Tasca III, 38, discusses the differences and similarities between dealership work and racing, lessons his grandfather taught him, growing up in a no-nonsense dealership family and whether he wants his sons to follow in his footsteps.    

WardsAuto: Your grandfather was pretty famous. 

Tasca: He accomplished so much on the drag strip and back at the dealership. He coined the term, “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” There is no truer statement when it comes to the sport of drag racing.

The fans who come out to support us are the customers we see at the dealership. They buy our parts and our cars and trucks. My grandfather built a business on that model in the 1960s, and it grew from there.

He got out of racing in the mid-1970s, and focused more of his energies back at the dealerships. He started to grow the business with my father and two uncles.

I got into drag racing through stories of what my grandfather did. I was fascinated. I started driving just to see if I could do it. You can’t fake it. You either can or can’t get behind the wheel of one of these things.

My brothers and cousins are involved at the dealerships, and we’re all car people. We’ve been referred to as an automotive army. But I’m the only racer in the family.

WardsAuto: When did you get into it?

Tasca: At 16. I started professionally in 2007. I set the top Alcohol Funny Car world record in 2008 in Gainesville, FL, and went to Top Fuel Racing in 2009.