Baca goes to second round, moves to eighth in points KENT, Wash. (July 27, 2003) -- With the Pacific Raceways quarter-mile track suspect due to bumps, oil downs and unseasonable temperatures, which caused the track to be greasy and slick,...
Baca goes to second round, moves to eighth in points
KENT, Wash. (July 27, 2003) -- With the Pacific Raceways quarter-mile track suspect due to bumps, oil downs and unseasonable temperatures, which caused the track to be greasy and slick, coupled with the high horsepower of a Top Fuel dragster, crew chiefs are searching for answers as eliminations began today for the NHRA Carquest Auto Parts Nationals.
In the opening round, David Baca, driver of the Henkelman & Baca/American Racing Top Fuel dragster, met the driver that piloted the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports entry in 2002, Cory McClenathan. Crew chief Johnny West had Baca's car ready, running the team's quickest elapsed time of the weekend, a 4.749 second pass, to give Baca his first win over McClenathan in three meetings.
In round two, Baca faced Doug Kalitta, the driver second in the POWERade Top Fuel point standing. The pair have never meet during Baca's short professional career. Lane choice has been important though out eliminations and this match up was no exception. Kalitta was in the lane of choice, while Baca was in the lane where no man or women dared to go.
Even though they left together, it was no contest as Kalitta blazed away to the win light, while Baca shut down with no chance to catch Kalitta. "The bottom line is that something has got to give here in Seattle. We has a good old drag race going until the tires let loose. I saw him drive away, so I shut it off rather than hurt parts. Get us to a two lane race track please." said Baca.
"We're going rounds again. That's good. We moved up a spot in points to eighth. If we would of won the round against Kalitta, we would have jumped to sixth. Would of, could of. Johnny West (crew chief) has a good clutch set up going for the hot weather. Now that this race is history, I'm looking forward to getting to my home track - Infineon Raceway in Sonoma (Calif.)."
Baca's partner Rick Henkelman, from San Jose, Calif., had these thoughts regarding the racetrack, "We got stuck in the left lane. That's the biggest no lane I've ever seen. I've been drag racing a long time and that lane is as bad as it gets. They have got to fix that before we come back here next year or there isn't anybody coming back here. There's no sense in having a one lane racetrack.
"If you're going to run two cars you have to have two good lanes, otherwise, we can run them all out of one lane and see how the E.T.s (elapsed times) come out. There's no sense in wasting our time. If they are not going to fix the situation, then just quit doing it."
Baca, from Brentwood, Calif., moved into eighth in the point standings with 638 points. He is 12 points behind seventh and 16 points behind sixth.
Nine races remain on this year's NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Next up is the final of three consecutive races on the western swing, as Baca and the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports team moves to the Napa Valley area of Sonoma, Calif., for the NHRA FRAM Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway, August 1-3.