Baca wins rounds, finishes second
Atlanta, Sunday: David Baca not only notched his first round win Sunday, but he added two more en route to an improbable runner-up finish to Doug Kalitta in the finals of the rain-plagued Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Baca and his Baca Motorsports team had to wait out a steady rain that delayed the start of the race for four hours and then again for two hours before it could be completed at 10 p.m.
After dispatching Doug Herbert, top qualifier Morgan Lucas and Brandon Bernstein around the rain drops, Baca's dream of capturing his first national-event victory in only his second final appearance ended against Kalitta, who is the POWERade Series point leader. He did, however, move into 10th place in POWERade Series points.
"I didn't see or hear him until the engine went bang at about 800 feet," said Baca of his run against Kalitta. "All-in-all it was a pretty good drag race. Our team made a great turnaround this weekend and I'm very proud of them. This was a big morale boost for them.
The only problems Baca encountered came on his last two runs when the engine expired both times.
"We'll definitely need more parts before our race at Columbus (Ohio, Friday through Sunday)," added Baca, of Brentwood, Calif.
Baca's dragster lost traction in the first round against Herbert and he had to pedal the throttle to get to the finish line first and claim that first 2005 round win.
The car's performance improved in the next outing as co-tuners Dennis Baca, Dave's dad, and Larry Meyer dialed in the combination. As it turned out, Baca needed every bit of it.
He led Lucas from start to finish in a close race, 4.602 seconds to 4.628 seconds.
Baca's first final round was at Sonoma, Calif., in August 2003.
If Sunday's performance is a harbinger of things to come, he shouldn't have to wait that long for his next title round visit.
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