Reading: David Baca preview

Baca's '06 tribute to 9/11 victims will conclude in Reading READING, Pa. (Sept. 11) -- Fulfilling a commitment he made in mid-June, Mach 1 Air Services Top Fuel driver David Baca will honor the victims of 9/11 with two very special helmet ...

Baca's '06 tribute to 9/11 victims will conclude in Reading

READING, Pa. (Sept. 11) -- Fulfilling a commitment he made in mid-June, Mach 1 Air Services Top Fuel driver David Baca will honor the victims of 9/11 with two very special helmet presentations Sunday morning at Maple Grove Raceway.

Both helmets, a genuine New York City firefighter's helmet and a special 9/11 tribute racing helmet, were used as the centerpieces of a massive auction to raise money for the Mark Hindy Charitable Foundation, a 501c3 organization that distributes money to children touched by the 9/11 tragedies. Hindy worked on the 104th floor of the North Tower for Cantor Fitzgerald, and was one of more than 3,000 people who were lost in the attacks. Hindy's father, George, competes in Super Gas in Division 1 and will be racing this weekend at Maple Grove.

Baca helped New Jersey-based sportsman racer Frankie Cicerale kick off this year's second annual auction on June 15 at the K&N Filters Supernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in New Jersey. The increased awareness Baca generated on ESPN2 and among the professional teams and sponsors in the drag racing community helped Cicerale more than double the amount his raffle raised in it's inaugural year.

"David Baca is a hero to me," Cicerale said. "When he found out what I was doing he jumped in 100 percent. Not only did he take money out of his own pocket, but he got a lot of the pros involved and the donations came pouring in. His sponsor, Mach 1, also was very generous with us, as was Bill Miller Engineering. Without question, we owe much of our success this year to David. He's a genuine guy, the real article."

Baca plans to help Cicerale again in 2007 with an even bigger presence on his racecar and a larger area in his hospitality area for fans to see the items that will be raffled off. Baca also will wear next year's helmet in competition to increase its' uniqueness.

But before he looks to next season, Baca will award this year's grand prizes to Ed Alessi Sr. and Sara Winzer. Alessi, a Super Gas racer from Howard Beach, N.Y., who is racing in Reading, won the firefighter's helmet, while Winzer will receive the 9/11 tribute helmet. Winzer races Super Street but is not competing this weekend.

"I couldn't be prouder of my role in Frankie's raffle," Baca said. "I got involved in this deal after an unscheduled trip to Ground Zero with my family. The 9/11 attacks really hit home with me that day and I realized how lucky I am to live in this country.

"I have two kids and the Mark Hindy Charitable Foundation gives 100-percent of its proceeds to help children, specifically those touched by the loss we all felt on 9/11 five years ago. I couldn't think of a better cause.

"Mike Entzminger, the CEO of Mach 1, and I decided at the beginning of our relationship to use our racecar to help the fans and the communities that support our racing program. We've had visits from Jerry's Kids this year, from the folks with Alex's Lemonade Stand for pediatric cancer research, from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and from Donate Life, which raises awareness for organ and tissue donation. But I think by far the thing that has touched people the most in this raffle because 9/11 is something that defined this generation of Americans."

-credit: dbr

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Series NHRA
Drivers David Baca