Bristol: David Baca eliminations summary

Burnout problem leads to first round loss. BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 27, 2003) -- One year ago at the Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals, David Baca, along with Rick Henkelman, owned the Top Fuel Dragster that Cory McClenathan drove to a semifinal...

Burnout problem leads to first round loss.

BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 27, 2003) -- One year ago at the Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals, David Baca, along with Rick Henkelman, owned the Top Fuel Dragster that Cory McClenathan drove to a semifinal round finish. Today, Baca is the driver for the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports entry.

His opponent in the opening round of the third annual Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway -- Cory McClenathan. Baca, driver of the American Racing/Waterloo Tool Storage/Skill Clean dragster, qualified in the top half of the elite-16 at number eight. The second generation driver from Brentwood, Calif., is seventh in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings entering eliminations today.

After his burnout, Baca had transmission problems as he tried to put his dragster into forward. After the crew solved the mechanical problem, Baca had to quickly move into the starting beams. With McClenathan away first at the green, Baca was forced to play catch up but ran out of real estate finishing a slim .011 seconds behind, with the veteran McClenathan taking the victory over the rookie Baca.

"When  we were backing up from the burnout we had something go wrong with
the reverser," said Baca.  "When the starter began pointing for me to
move forward, I lost focus. Johnny West gave me a good race car.  I
needed to stay focused, I didn't.  Car one, driver zero.  It was a
learning curve.  Hopefully, next time I will be ready."

Although he dropped one position in points, Baca remained in the top ten. Baca now has 276 points and holds eighth place in the NHRA POWERade(r) Top Fuel point standings after six of 23 events. The top five in the Top Fuel point standings are: 1.) Brandon Bernstein with 537 points; 2.) Larry Dixon with 516 points; 3.) Doug Kalitta with 424 points; 4.) Doug Herbert with 361 points; and 5.) Cory McClenathan with 352 points.

Brandon Bernstein defeated Doug Herbert to take the Top Fuel crown. Del Worsham won Funny Car over Whit Bazemore. While Kurt Johnson topped Mike Edwards to take Pro Stock.

Hardly any time to regroup. The next race for Baca and the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports/American Racing/Waterloo Tool Storage/Skill Clean Top Fuel Dragster is the 23 annual NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals. The event unfolds at Atlanta Dragway May 1-4.

-h&bm-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Kurt Johnson , Whit Bazemore , Doug Kalitta , David Baca , Cory McClenathan , Brandon Bernstein