Memphis: David Baca preview

Charity-minded Baca keeps messages coming MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 16) -- Top Fuel driver David Baca and his Mach 1 Air Services teammates have dedicated their summer to raising awareness for various charitable entities. From the Muscular Dystrophy...

Charity-minded Baca keeps messages coming

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 16) -- Top Fuel driver David Baca and his Mach 1 Air Services teammates have dedicated their summer to raising awareness for various charitable entities. From the Muscular Dystrophy Association to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Foundation to the Mark Hindy Charitable Foundation benefiting the children of 9/11, Baca and crew have touched multitudes of people in a positive way.

But it wasn't until the tour's last stop in Brainerd, Minn., that Baca used his 330-mph billboard for something close to his heart -- organ donation. Through DonateLife.net, Baca asked race fans to take a minute and consider giving the "Gift of Life." The cause is special to him as Baca's father-in-law Frank Gau is alive today thanks to an artery transplant that repaired his ailing heart two years ago.

"Everything we've done this summer has struck a chord with a segment of fans out there who can relate to the cause," Baca said. "When we hosted an entire summer camp of Jerry's Kids, so many fans got involved because they felt compelled to do something. The deals we did involving cancer research hit home with so many people who have been affected by that terrible disease. The Mark Hindy Charity we helped in New York City made some people break down and cry. It was that powerful.

"Last week, we switched gears and decided to help DonateLife.net because Rod Fuller's mom had recently undergone a liver transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis. It reminded my wife Michele and I of the scare we had a few years ago with her father so we decided to do everything we could to help."

Whenever Baca got the chance, he asked race fans to consider signing up for organ donation, reminding them that one donor can help more than 60 transplant recipients. The response was more than he could have hoped for.

"It's a personal decision to make and one that people shouldn't take lightly," Baca said. "But the feedback we got from people blew us away. Sure we're all out here to race and win trophies, but there are many things that are bigger than racing. Our sponsor, Mach 1, is committed to using our program to help the various communities we reach. Because the DonateLife.net thing went so well we're carrying it over to Memphis."

Once again, Baca will carry the DonateLife.net logo on his racecar and he will most assuredly remind ESPN2 viewers to visit the site and sign up.

The plan is to win the race so that should give us lots of chances to be on TV," Baca said. "Our Mach 1 Air Services racecar is running strong right now and we're due for a big weekend. Hopefully, it's our turn to win one of these things."

Qualifying highlights will be shown on ESPN2 from 8-10 p.m. ET, Saturday, with eliminations airing from 10 p.m.-1 a.m., Sunday.

-credit: dbr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers David Baca , Rod Fuller