Baytown: David Baca preview

Baca predicts a quick and fast race in Houston BAYTOWN, Texas (April 9, 2004) -- Brentwood, Calif., Top Fuel driver David Baca predicts a quick and fast race for Houston Raceway Park, site of the NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals presented by ...

Baca predicts a quick and fast race in Houston

BAYTOWN, Texas (April 9, 2004) -- Brentwood, Calif., Top Fuel driver David Baca predicts a quick and fast race for Houston Raceway Park, site of the NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil, April 15-18.

"The Angel family and the Gay family have not only a good facility but one that is capable of national records, weather permitting," said Baca. "If conditions are right on Friday night, the field will be set and you will see both quick and fast runs. Typically, the weather gets warmer as the weekend progresses and if it does that means that the majority of Friday night's runs will stand throughout qualifying.

"Friday nights are the hero sessions. Saturday gets a little warmer and you start tuning for race day. Historically, it then gets even a little warmer on elimination day and if you don't have your tricky track clutch set up ready you might find yourself going home early. This Henkelman and Baca Motorsport American Racing dragster needs to qualify in the top half of the field and go rounds on Sunday."

After four events on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Baca has accumulated 190 points in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings. This places Baca in the No. 8 position, only one point out of seventh and just 50 points behind fifth, entering the O'Reilly Spring Nationals.

Tony Schumacher, currently the hottest driver in the Top Fuel class with three wins in the four events contested thus far, holds the top spot in points with 412 points.

"Schumacher is a juggernaut right now," reflected Baca. "It takes a good car and luck to win races. Team Schumacher has had both. They ran real hard last fall and haven't let up at the start of this season, but they've been fortunate. Some people that have run against them have been pressing and when you press you make mistakes. Don't misunderstand me, Tony has run real well and he gets it done when he has to. Right now they're the team to beat.

"This year we're a round behind where we were a year ago. We're still working on getting ready for the summertime weather when it's hot and sticky. We're trying to set ourselves up to gain more points during the summer period. Something we didn't do last year. We kind of stumbled during that time and lost ground in the point battle last season. I'm optimistic. I think it's a long season and I still think we're going to finish better than we did last year."

Qualifying during the O'Reilly Spring Nationals for the Top Fuel class is scheduled for 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 16 and noon and 3:00 p.m., Saturday, April 17. Final eliminations for all classes, with Top Fuel leading off, begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 18. All times are local time in Houston (CDT).

Times for television coverage are: Qualifying highlights on Saturday, April 17, from 10 p.m. until midnight. Eliminations can be seen from 5-7 p.m. on Sunday, April 18. All times are ET and can be viewed on ESPN2.

In business since 1956, American Racing Custom Wheels headquartered in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., offers over 75 styles of wheels for every aftermarket application -- including passenger car, off-road, truck/SUV, vintage, dualie, steel and hi-performance wheels. With 40 warehouses, American Racing provides the consumer ease of access to their product through dealers and retail outlets nationwide.

Henkelman & Baca Motorsports is pleased to be associated throughout the 2004 season with marketing support from Champion Spark Plugs, Don Steves Chevrolet (La Habra, Calif.), Goodyear, Lucas Oil and Mac Tools.

-h&bm-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , David Baca