Las Vegas: David Baca preview

At a race Baca wears many hats LAS VEGAS (March 29, 2004) -- When David Baca, who drives the American Racing Top Fuel dragster, shows up for the 5th annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, ...

At a race Baca wears many hats

LAS VEGAS (March 29, 2004) -- When David Baca, who drives the American Racing Top Fuel dragster, shows up for the 5th annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, winning the Top Fuel title will be foremost on his mind. But there are many other items, such as autograph signings, fan appreciation parties and sponsor relations, to divert his attention.

Baca wears many hats!

The one things Baca loves about drag racing is interacting with the fans and signing autographs is one of the most important ways in which Baca tries to meet the

First up for Baca, who enters this event sixth in the Top Fuel POWERade point standings, is a track-backed autograph signing that will take place Thursday evening at the ESPN Zone in the New York New York Hotel. The Brentwood, Calif., driver, along with other Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock drivers, will sign autographs for the fans from 7-8 p.m.

In addition, race schedule permitting, Baca will be signing autographs after each qualifying session on Friday and Saturday and after each elimination round on Sunday. He will also do his best to sign as many autographs in and around his pit area as possible.

In a few simple statements Baca summed up a driver's relationship with the fans by saying, " The fans are the reason we do this. They are the reason we're here. I love to talk with as many as I can. The fans are what makes this all worthwhile."

In addition, throughout the weekend Baca spends time with his marketing partners and their guests and clients. In addition to American Racing, Henkelman & Baca Motorsports marketing partners include Champion Spark Plugs, Don Steves Chevrolet (La Habra, Calif.), Goodyear Tires, Lucas Oil and Mac Tools.

"Without them we wouldn't be racing. What more is there to be said, other than we still have a need and room for more marketing partners. To run with the big dogs takes capital and this team wants to run with the big dogs," said Baca.

Add to all the things that demand time at a race, Baca then has to return to the Bay Area of Northern California to focus on the many demands of running a successful and growing business.

So with all these promotions and work to take up his time, how does Baca remained focus on racing?

"I try to do my best to stay focused," reflected Baca. "At times, it's really a challenge to keep the outside things form filtering in. The thing about being at the track is it's a change from the daily grind. Just like my business, racing is a whole new job. I try to relax, but sometimes I question whether I'm doing a good enough job at relaxing. I just try to put myself in a zone where driving the car is my main focus. The outside stuff will be there when I get back. I'm living a dream racing, so all the things that come along with it can't be all bad."

There are four qualifying sessions to make the 16-car Top Fuel field -- two on Friday at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. and two on Saturday at 12 noon and 3 p.m. Final eliminations for all classes get underway on Sunday when the Top Fuel dragsters take to the track at 11 a.m.

-h&bm-

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Series NHRA
Drivers David Baca