Session #1 Friday: 7.161 seconds at 111.46 mph (#22)
Session #2 Friday: 4.783 seconds at 272.01 mph (#15)
Session #3 Saturday: 4.733 seconds at 315.05 mph (#18)
Session #4 Saturday: 4.895 seconds at 221.56 mph (#19)
David Baca runs good but misses field by .014 seconds in Top Fuel debut.
LAS VEGAS -- Making his first runs in Top Fuel competition, second generation drag racer David Baca, from Brentwood, Calif., did not qualify his Henkelman & Baca Motorsports Prolong/Waterloo/303 Protectant Top Fuel Dragster for the NHRA AC-Delco Las Vegas Nationals The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.
After breaking a blower belt in the opening session on Friday, Baca rebounded in the day's final qualifying run and moved into the top 16 with a pass of 4.783 seconds at 272.01 mph, good, at the time, for 15th.
After running his best pass of qualifying in Saturday's first qualifying sessions (4.733 seconds at 315.05 mph), Baca found himself in 18th position entering the final session. Off to a good start in the final chance session, Baca posted numbers in the first half of the run that looked like he would make the qualifying grid. Then the car began to have problems and the engine let go just after half-track ending Baca's chance to be part of Sunday's eliminations.
Baca finished the four qualifying sessions in 19th position on the final qualifying sheet, missing the field by 14 thousandths of a second.
"All in all, putting this car together and coming out here with this new car on Tuesday and doing as well as we did gives us a brighter outlook for the future," said Baca as he recounted the events of his Top Fuel debut. "Throughout the weekend we just tried to go from A to B (start to finish). Everything was geared to making me comfortable in the car.
"On the last run today, we turned the wick up but unfortunately we had what looks like mechanical problems. Based on the numbers we received, it looked like the run would have been in the 60's (4.60 seconds). We're thankful that everything went okay this weekend. We want to thank Prolong Lubricants, Waterloo Tool Storage, 303, Riebe/NAPA Auto Parts, YP.Net and Las Vegas Club Casino & Hotel for their support this weekend. We'll see you in two weeks."
The next event, the final on the 2002 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, for the Baca and Henkelman & Baca Motorsports Prolong/Waterloo/303 Protectant Top Fuel Dragster is the NHRA AAA Auto Club of Southern California Finals, November 7-10 at the LA County Fairplex/Pomona Raceway.