Dallas: David Baca preview

Baca bringing helmet, briefcase to Dallas DALLAS (Sept. 19) -- Top Fuel driver David Baca stepped into the corporate world big-time in 2006 when he announced a major sponsorship agreement with Mach 1 Air Services, a Phoenix-based freight ...

Baca bringing helmet, briefcase to Dallas

DALLAS (Sept. 19) -- Top Fuel driver David Baca stepped into the corporate world big-time in 2006 when he announced a major sponsorship agreement with Mach 1 Air Services, a Phoenix-based freight forwarder with a worldwide client base. He still chases glory one quarter-mile at a time, just as he will at this weekend's 21st annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals, but he also knows he needs to tout his backer's products and services while entertaining their corporate guests.

"I spend 99 percent of my time working for my sponsors," Baca said, "and the other one percent screaming down the racetrack. And I'll tell you this; I get almost as big a charge out of strengthening an existing business relationship with a Mach 1 client, or even better -- creating a new one, as I do going 330 mph. Of course I really stress the word 'almost' in that statement. I know nothing compares with a Top Fuel ride."

Dallas is a big market for Mach 1 Air Services and the company plans to bring several hundred guests to Texas Motorplex throughout the weekend.

"It's cool because you get to introduce a lot of people to the sport," Baca said. "It's been my experience that once someone comes out to a race, they're always blown away. If we can show them a great time, a memorable time, and tie it together with the relationship they have with Mach 1, then it's a win-win situation.

"The beauty of drag racing is we can take our guests and fans right up to the side of the racecar. They can ask me questions, ask the crew guys questions, and see how we work up close. It's unlike any other sport. You can't stand on the sidelines and talk to the players at an NFL game. You can't even get within 100 feet of a NASCAR driver. But out here we encourage it. I love that about our sport."

Baca's not afraid of asking his guests to back his sponsor more vigorously. As the owner of Allstate Contract Floors in the San Francisco suburb of Pittsburg, Calif., he knows the importance of customer service and providing value for money spent.

"Mach 1 is in the business of moving freight," Baca said. "We're out here to raise awareness for their brand, get them more business, and to entertain their clients through different channels than the average pair of tickets to the baseball game kind of deal. When I have time between rounds, I like to sit down with our guests and get them talking about their business and how Mach 1 can help them.

"Those of us in the motorsports world know we need corporate dollars to stay competitive. We have to go above and beyond putting someone's name on the car. We need to make the program work from all angles. Some guys think that part sucks but I like that side of it. I want Mach 1 to be a part of this team for many years to come and I want them to see that this arrangement works for them big time."

-credit: dbr

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Series NHRA
Drivers David Baca