Sophomore slump not in plans for David Baca POMONA, Calif. -- Coming off a strong showing during his rookie year on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series last season, David Baca, driver of the American Racing/3-A-Day of Dairy/Dairy Farmers of ...
Sophomore slump not in plans for David Baca
POMONA, Calif. -- Coming off a strong showing during his rookie year on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series last season, David Baca, driver of the American Racing/3-A-Day of Dairy/Dairy Farmers of Oregon Top Fuel Dragster, is not even open to the thought of a sophomore slump.
"The term sophomore slump is not even part of my vocabulary," said Baca emphatically, as he looked towards the season-opening NHRA K&N Filters Winternationals this weekend. "We're coming out fighting stronger than ever this season. Some people might think we had a good rookie season and I guess, all-in-all, it was. But it took me a long time to get here and being the oldest rookie last year only gave me the taste of all I want to accomplish before it's too late for me to do this any more. A sophomore slump isn't part of this team's play book for 2004.
"We're expecting good things out of our group this year. We're not slumping. If anything, we're picking up the pace. The crew is gelling. We've got our team picture in line from crew chief to all the members of our crew. My biggest concern right now is parlaying what we're working on into a major sponsorship. The only thing that can hold us back this year is the almighty dollar. It takes a lot of dollars to compete at the top level of NHRA POWERade Top Fuel drag racing."
Baca, who finished No. 7 in 2003 NHRA POWERade point standing and was runner-up for the NHRA Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award (Rookie of the Year), wants to get off to good start at the Winternationals.
"You can set the pace with a good start at Pomona. Last year we didn't get a good start at the first couple of races but we turned that around in the middle of the season and the end results were okay. It's like a trick question, meaning, like all the other Top Fuel drivers, you want to come out of the gate fast, go rounds and win if you can and come out of Pomona with the point lead. But if you don't, it's not the end of the world.
"The NHRA POWERade season is 23 races long and that's plenty of time to prove your consistency, win points and finish high in the final point standings. We going to go out and do the best we can. Hopefully, we can go some rounds in this American Racing/3-A-Day of Dairy/Dairy Farmers of Oregon dragster. If we can leave this race in the top five in points, we will consider it a pretty successful weekend," reflected Baca.
Professional qualifying for the K&N Filters Winternationals gets underway at Pomona Raceway with a single session on Thursday, February 19, followed by another single session on Friday, February 20, and ending with two final sessions on Saturday, February 21. Final eliminations for all classes begin Sunday morning, February 22, with champions being crowned in late afternoon.