Englishtown: David Baca preview

Mach 1 Top Fuel racer Baca moved to help 9/11 fundraiser ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 14) -- An impromptu visit to Ground Zero during a New York City sightseeing trip so moved Mach 1 Air Services Top Fuel driver David Baca that he's taken on a...

Mach 1 Top Fuel racer Baca moved to help 9/11 fundraiser

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 14) -- An impromptu visit to Ground Zero during a New York City sightseeing trip so moved Mach 1 Air Services Top Fuel driver David Baca that he's taken on a special cause at this weekend's K&N Filters NHRA Supernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. And he's challenging his fellow pros to help.

After being brought to tears several times as he toured the area where the World Trade Center towers once stood, Baca, a 41-year-old from Brentwood, Calif., felt compelled to do something to honor those who lost their lives in the September 11th attacks. He quickly remembered a story on NHRA.com about the efforts of sportsman racer Frankie Cicerale Jr. and decided to do what he could to help the kid from Piscataway, N.J.

"I wasn't expecting to be so emotional at Ground Zero," Baca said. "But when you go there it hits home, especially when you're with your family. I thought about how lucky we all are to live in this country and enjoy the liberties we have.

The people who we lost that day are American heroes and we can never forget their sacrifice."

Last September 11th, after selling tickets all summer, Cicerale raffled off his specially-designed 9/11 tribute helmet during a divisional race at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. The proceeds of the raffle went to the Mark Hindy Charitable Foundation, which was set up after the 9/11 attacks to honor Mark, whose father George Hindy competes in Super Gas. Mark was on the 104th floor of the North Tower when it collapsed.

The Mark Hindy Charitable Foundation keeps his memory alive by donating money to various children's hospitals and children's charities in the New York City area.

Cicerale hopes this year's commemorative helmet raffle, which will culminate in early September, will raise a record amount.

"The raffle starts this weekend in my pit," Baca said. "I pledge $500 to get this thing started and I will ask all of my fellow racers to make the same contribution. I hope this year's helmet fits me because if it does I want to make a pass with it in my Mach 1 Air Services dragster. I ask everyone to stop by our pit and buy a raffle ticket."

The paint scheme of this year's helmet was a collaborative effort between Cicerale and local Piscataway Schools art teacher Krista Kirchofer. It honors police officers, firefighters, the 3,000 people who perished in the World Trade Center towers, and the innocent civilians lost in the four hijacked airplanes.

The helmet will be on display all weekend at Baca's pit where fans will also have a chance to buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win the one-of-a-kind souvenir.

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Series NHRA
Drivers David Baca