'Giant killer' Baca removes champ from '06 title chase DINWIDDIE, Va. (Oct. 15) -- Mach 1 Air Services Top Fuel driver David Baca recorded the biggest upset win of the 2006 season when he beat three-time series champion Tony Schumacher in a ...
'Giant killer' Baca removes champ from '06 title chase
DINWIDDIE, Va. (Oct. 15) -- Mach 1 Air Services Top Fuel driver David Baca recorded the biggest upset win of the 2006 season when he beat three-time series champion Tony Schumacher in a shocking first round race at Virginia Motorsports Park. It was Baca's first win over the sport's best driver. The victory virtually eliminated Schumacher from '06 title contention.
"They call me 'the Spoiler' for a reason," a pumped-up Baca told the TV announcers. "Today we were a giant killer too. I doubt many people gave us a chance but this team was up to the challenge and we took out the hottest car in the NHRA. What a big win for this Mach 1 race team.
"I saw him put a nose out on me and then he just disappeared. I knew he was in trouble because when someone just vanishes it usually means their engine died or the lost traction. I actually could have run quicker but the motor started going away at about 1,000 feet so I lifted. I knew by them he couldn't have recovered fast enough to catch me."
Schumacher had smoked his tires a few hundred feet into the run and although he tried to get his car to hook back up, his 5.869 at 150.58 mph wasn't close to Baca's winning 4.700 at 270.64 mph.
Baca next faced former employee Cory McClenathan in the quarterfinals but this time the Mach 1 Air Services dragster was the one losing traction. McClenathan took the win with a 4.723 at 300.33 mph.
"We didn't have lane choice so we were back in the right lane," Baca said. "We looked at the data and saw that we were the only ones to win in the right lane in Round 1 so we just kept the car set-up the way it was and tried to repeat what we had done against Schumacher. This time we smoked 'em like everyone else did in that lane.
"Racing Top Fuel puts you out there on the ragged edge. We did what we could. Beating Schumacher was huge for this team. That might be the single biggest round win of my career. That just proves that anyone can beat anyone on any given day."