Pomona: David Baca preview

Baca and Baca Father-Son Top Fuel Team Ready to Build Winning Tradition 45th Annual Winternationals Launches 2005 NHRA Season at Pomona, Calif. POMONA, Calif., Feb. 8, 2005 - Will the combination of Baca and Baca unlock the door to the 2005...

Baca and Baca Father-Son Top Fuel Team Ready to Build Winning Tradition 45th Annual Winternationals Launches 2005 NHRA Season at Pomona, Calif.

POMONA, Calif., Feb. 8, 2005 - Will the combination of Baca and Baca unlock the door to the 2005 NHRA POWERade Top Fuel Series championship?

That's a question to be answered as the 23-race schedule unfolds over the next eight-plus months, but it's the dream scenario of Dennis and David Baca and the Baca Motorsports team.

David Baca will be at the controls of the Murf McKinney-built dragster when the clan gathers for the 45th annual CarQuest Auto Parts Winternationals, Feb. 10-13, at Pomona Raceway while Dennis, his father and former Top Fuel driver, and Larry Meyer will be team tuners.

Dennis, a two-time Top Fuel winner (1977 U.S. Nationals and World Finals), returned to the competitive side late last season and impressed David with his tuning acumen.

"Having my father with us for the full season will definitely make things better this year," said David. "The dramatic changes he hopes to implement, especially in the area of performance, should improve our team right from the get-go. With his help, we came on strong at the end of last year and we had what I would call two successful test sessions in Las Vegas. We had a couple of promising runs there and we want to build on them at Pomona."

The Brentwood, Calif. driver reached the semifinals of the 2004 season-ending Auto Club Finals at Pomona and ran a personal best of 4.487 seconds. But reigning Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher ended Baca's winning bid for the second straight time at the Los Angeles Fairplex track. Schumacher stopped Baca in the quarterfinals of last year's Winternationals.

"I would like to see us go one more round on Sunday than we did in the final race," David said. "We want to at least equal that outing. We do feel we are now on the right track to show our improved performance. We feel the big teams like the three Connie Kalitta (owned) cars (of cousins Doug and Scott Kalitta and David Grubnic), Schumacher, Brandon Bernstein, Larry Dixon and Morgan Lucas aren't going to slow down, so we have to step up and go after them."

To do that, the Bacas will "start the season with pretty much all new parts and equipment," added David. "This will help us contend with the big dogs."

David Baca, runner-up for 2003 rookie of the year honors, finished seventh that year. He qualified at all 23 races and was runner-up at Sonoma, Calif., his hometown track, in his one final round. He also started from the No. 1 position twice - at Indianapolis and Memphis.

Last year "was one of those years where things just did seem to go right at times," he recalled. "My business commitments caused me to leave the tour temporarily in June. At Seattle, with my father joining the team, we came out with what was basically a family operation. After adjusting to the 85-percent nitro rule, we picked up performance right as the season was ending. All-in-all I was satisfied with a 13th place finish in points."

Its clear David Baca, owner of All State Contract Floors, a flooring business that serves some of the largest builders in the San Francisco Bay area, won't be satisfied with any finish outside the top 10 in 2005, even without major sponsorship funding.

"We want to grow our program for the future and will continue to look for financial marketing partners, but it's not all about money," he said. "Teams have won championships and not had the most money. Look at the late Alan Kulwicki. He didn't have a lot of money but won the Winston Cup title, so why can't we? Through being aggressive and with teamwork you can get a lot done. As Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, says: 'Just win, baby.'"

That's exactly what the Baca Motorsports team has planned for this season . . . beginning with the Winternationals.

-baca-

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