Bristol: David Baca preview

Baca longs for summer BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 23, 2004) -- Summer is just around the corner. A fact that Top Fuel driver David Baca indicates is good as he anticipates this weekend's NHRA O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals presented by...

Baca longs for summer

BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 23, 2004) -- Summer is just around the corner. A fact that Top Fuel driver David Baca indicates is good as he anticipates this weekend's NHRA O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Quaker State at Bristol Dragway.

"We've been planning for summer since the end of last season," indicated Baca. "During preseason testing and during the five national events we've run this season, we've built our tune up toward the summertime months. Bring on summer."

If the last outing in Houston, where the temperature began to approach summer status, is any indication, then the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports team is right on schedule. At Houston, even in a losing effort, Baca's American Racing dragster ran quicker than the seven other first round losers and quicker than four of the opening round winners.

"Hot weather is to my liking, but even more importantly, winning is to my liking. We've been working on the hot weather set up for the last few races and maybe that's why we've been going out first round. Hopefully, we're over that. The first three races we went two rounds, the last two we went one. Bristol will be a mighty good time to go three or four rounds," said Baca.

As to his winning at Bristol, Baca added, "Top Fuel is a tough field. Thus far, in five races, we've had only two drivers win. Brandon (Bernstein) has won two and Tony Schumacher three. I think the team we've assembled, led by crew chief Johnny West, Larry Meyer and my partner Rick Henkelman, are as good as any team out here. At the moment, we probably don't have the funding they do, but other than that, we lack nothing as far as parts and the capability to post big numbers.

"As to Bristol, we'd like to believe we're on the right path now. The bottom line is that every race I go to, I'm there to win and that includes Bristol. If I didn't think that I was there to win, I would have got tired of this a long time ago and gone home and parked this car."

Although a POWERade championship is currently not out of reach for most Top Fuel drivers, Baca's goal is to finish in the top five. He current sits in the tenth spot with 221 points, but is only 65 points behind No. 5.

-h&bm-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , David Baca