Sonoma: David Baca preview

No-Cal racer Baca wants one more 'first' from Infineon SONOMA, Calif. (July 25) -- The NHRA's only Northern California native -- Top Fuel professional David Baca -- arrives at his home racetrack for this weekend's 19th annual Fram-Autolite ...

No-Cal racer Baca wants one more 'first' from Infineon

SONOMA, Calif. (July 25) -- The NHRA's only Northern California native -- Top Fuel professional David Baca -- arrives at his home racetrack for this weekend's 19th annual Fram-Autolite Nationals looking for yet another "first" at Infineon Raceway.

Baca, of nearby Brentwood, recorded his first NHRA victory in the sportsman ranks at what was then called Sears Point Raceway in 1989 when he drove a Top Alcohol Funny Car past heavy hitters Brad Anderson and Art Hindy on his way to the winner's circle.

In 2003, when Baca was a rookie in the professional ranks, he had another first when he raced past veterans Kenny Bernstein and Doug Kalitta to the final round of the Fram Nationals and took runner-up honors. That marked his first-ever chance at an NHRA trophy behind the wheel of a Top Fuel dragster.

Now, as the owner and operator of All State Contract Floors in Pittsburgh, Calif., pulls through the gates with his powerful Mach 1 Air Services race team, he wants one more first -- his first Top Fuel win.

"Winning my first Top Fuel trophy here would be beyond a dream come true," Baca said. "When I won in my alcohol Funny Car way back when, it was such an incredible feeling because it answered all the questions I had in my head of if I belonged. The way we won and the people I beat that day gave me such a feeling of satisfaction. I can still remember it very well.

"When we got here in '03 and had our first real chance at a win in the Top Fuel car it was the same kind of deal. It validated what we were trying to do. I think people looked at us differently after that day."

Baca has since been to two more final rounds and earned a couple of low qualifying positions, which when combined with his steady race day performances this summer make him a real threat to make his dream a reality this time through.

"We have a great crew, a wonderful sponsor in Mach 1, and Rick Henkelman making the tuning calls," Baca said. "If everyone does their job, including me in the driver's seat, then we can run with anyone.

"There are a lot of people that would share in the win, and a lot of them live right around here. My wife and kids, all the people at All State that pick up the slack when I'm on the road, Mike Entzminger at Mach 1, who has been such a huge support this year, lots and lots of fans that keep me encouraged; it would be a very crowded winner's circle."

ESPN2 will carry five hours of the Fram-Autolite Nationals. Comprehensive coverage of all qualifying action will air from 8-10 p.m., Saturday, while race day eliminations will receive three hours of tape-delayed coverage from 8-11 p.m., Sunday.

-dbr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Doug Kalitta , David Baca