Two weeks ago, Mach 1 Air Services
Top Fuel driver David Baca went numb when he got the call that his former crew
chief and longtime drag racing friend Larry Meyer was being rushed to
Minnesota's Mayo Clinic with heart trouble. The early prognosis was that Meyer
would probably need a valve transplant.
After spending much of the 2006
NHRA season raising awareness for charities such as the Muscular Dystrophy
Association, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Mark
Hindy Charitable Foundation benefiting the children of the 9/11 disaster, and
Alex's Lemonade Stand for pediatric cancer research, Baca suddenly had a close
friend on the serious end of a health issue.
"You never want to get phone
calls like that," Baca said. "For my family, it really hit home because my
father-in-law Frank [Gau] had the very same procedure they were thinking Larry
would need done to him a few years ago. Frank came out of it okay, thank God,
but we learned back then how serious the operation can be. It's a
As it turns out, the Mayo Clinic medical staff was able to stop
the seepage in Meyer's heart valve, meaning he avoided the transplant procedure.
He's now recovering in Dallas and is expected to be back to 100 percent within
the next few months.