Baytown: David Baca Saturday summary

David Baca qualifies 14th -- Takes on defending Top Fuel champ tomorrow. BAYTOWN, Texas (April 12, 2003) -- Just one week after qualifying his Henkelman & Baca Motorsports/American Racing/Waterloo Tool Storage Top Fuel dragster third in Las ...

David Baca qualifies 14th -- Takes on defending Top Fuel champ tomorrow.

BAYTOWN, Texas (April 12, 2003) -- Just one week after qualifying his Henkelman & Baca Motorsports/American Racing/Waterloo Tool Storage Top Fuel dragster third in Las Vegas, the highest qualifying position of his Top Fuel career, David Baca started qualifying for the 16th annual NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals on the outside of the elite-16 at the end of Friday's two qualifying sessions.

A second generation Top Fuel driver, Baca reversed the trend during Saturday's first qualifying session, running the fourth quickest elapsed time. The Brentwood, Calif., driver covered the Houston Raceway Park quarter-mile track in 4.656 seconds. This pass moved Baca to 14th on the qualifying ladder.

Using the final qualifying session as a test session, crew chief Johnny West tried to stand on Baca's dragster to see what the track would hold but stepped it up too much and the Baca smoked the big Goodyears. The American Racing/ Waterloo Tool Storage Top Fuel dragster finished in the 14th qualifying spot.

"We got a little off step last night," said Baca.  "The track had more
teeth than we had gas and we pitched a belt.  Today Johnny (West) got
going.  We had the third or fourth quickest run in the first session and
jumped right back into the thick of things.  This final round we had to
go for it and see what the track would hold.  We overpowered the track
but we'll adjust for that in the opening round tomorrow.  I think we got
the champ.  I'd rather have him early than in the later rounds."

In tomorrow's first round Baca will square off against Larry Dixon, the defending POWERade Top Fuel champion. Dixon qualified third with a pass of 4.527 seconds at 326.32 mph. The pair have met once previously in 2003 with Dixon taking the win light in the semifinals at the SummitRacing.com Nationals last weekend.

-h&bm-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , David Baca