Phoenix: David Baca preview

When the going gets tough Baca goes testing. CHANDLER, Ariz. -- There is a famous quote that says: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." This quote has been ascribed to both football coach, Knute Rockne, and to Joseph P....

When the going gets tough Baca goes testing.

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- There is a famous quote that says: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." This quote has been ascribed to both football coach, Knute Rockne, and to Joseph P. (Patrick) Kennedy, tycoon, diplomat and the father of the 35th U.S. president, John F. Kennedy. A variation of that quote has become the theme of David Baca, driver of the Henkelman & Baca American Racing/Waterloo/YP.net Top Fuel Dragster.

Gremlins in the clutch management system turned the last outing at the NHRA K&N Filters Winternationals sour. Baca, from Brentwood, Calif., is very optimistic that the problem has been found and corrected and that this weekend's 19th annual NHRA Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals at Firebird International Raceway, near Phoenix, will produce better results.

"We were disappointed in our showing at Pomona," said Baca. "Over the course of the race weekend at the Winternationals we thought we had our clutch problem corrected, but our pass during eliminations, or I should say non-pass, proved otherwise. We thought it was in our best interest to find the root of the problem and go test.

"When the going gets tough, the smart racer goes testing. Last weekend, crew chief Johnny West and team moved everything to Vegas and we were pleased with the results. We believe we solved the problem and are hopeful of good things to come at Phoenix. Our times at Vegas indicated that we can run with the big boys."

Since his days in A-Fuel Dragster (Top Alcohol Dragster -- TAD), Baca has always liked the Firebird quarter-mile. He currently holds the TAD national speed record at 274.44 mph, which he set in Phoenix in 2001. It is also the home track for Baca's crew chief Johnny West.

"This is my first trip to Phoenix in Top Fuel but I've always done well here in A-Fuel. I just hope the magic continues here in Top Fuel. It's Johnny's home track and you always want to do well in your home town. We'll rely on his knowledge and expertise at Firebird and try to put this American Racing/Waterloo Tool Storage Dragster back in the top 10 in the POWERade point standings.

"Several things are going on with our marketing partners here at Phoenix. It is the home town of one of our associate marketing partners YP.net, the yellow page online service. We welcome all their employees. Also, final plans are underway for American Racing to debut a souvenir trailer here. The trailer will carry items representing both American Racing and Henkelman & Baca Motorsports," concluded Baca.

Top Fuel and Funny Car qualifying is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., both Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, final eliminations get underway at 11 a.m.

-b&mm-

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Series NHRA
Drivers David Baca