Seattle: David Baca final summary

Baca shows more progress with fifth-place finish in Seattle SEATTLE (July 23) -- Mach 1 Air Services driver David Baca recorded a respectable fifth-place finish at the 19th annual Schuck's Nationals at Pacific Raceways. After qualifying fifth on...

Baca shows more progress with fifth-place finish in Seattle

SEATTLE (July 23) -- Mach 1 Air Services driver David Baca recorded a respectable fifth-place finish at the 19th annual Schuck's Nationals at Pacific Raceways. After qualifying fifth on the elimination ladder, the Northern California-based Top Fuel racer beat nemesis Cory McClenathan Sunday morning before exiting in the quarterfinals at the hands of red-hot driver J.R. Todd, who won last weekend's race in Denver.

After an early-season slump, Baca has come to life this summer, recording elimination-round wins at four of the last five events. Although he remained in 11th place at the conclusion of this event, he now finds himself just 53 points out of eighth.

"This Mach 1 car, my crew chief Rick Henkelman, the entire crew, I have to give these guys a lot of credit because they've really worked hard at giving me a competitive car every weekend," Baca said. '"We come into every race knowing we have a car that can win the trophy and it's hard to ask for more than that.

"The facts are that only one person is happy at the end of the day. That's the nature of the beast. But when you can finish fifth in a field of talented guys like this, it's hard to be too upset. Our day will come very soon. I'm sure of that."

Once again in Seattle, Baca entertained some very special guests. Just as he has several times this year, the big-hearted racer opened his pit to some special friends when he invited an entire camp-load of "Jerry's Kids" to visit him for a day at the races. All expenses were paid for by Baca's title sponsor, Mach 1 Air Services.

"We've supported a lot of different charities this year and the Muscular Dystrophy children are always so much fun to have around," Baca said. 'They really enjoyed themselves, even though it was the hottest conditions we've ever faced up here, and I think they all got a kick out of our racecar and being on TV. Those kids are just like me -- they're big hams when the ESPN cameras are on."

Baca and the rest of the NHRA's pros will complete the final leg of the three-race Western Swing next weekend in Sonoma, Calif., when Baca will try for his first victory of the year at his home track, Infineon Raceway. Baca lives in Brentwoon, Calif., and owns All State Contract Floors in Pittsburgh, Calif.

"I went to my first final in Sonoma so maybe we can take it one more round this time through," Baca said. "I know we have the car to do it. So does everyone else out here."

ESPN2 will carry Sunday's eliminations from 8-11 p.m. (ET) later tonight.

-dh

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers David Baca , Cory McClenathan , J.R. Todd