Recently-crowned ANDRA Modified Champion, Craig Baker says he feels like he has a target on his back as he gets ready to defend his title.
Baker heads to Portland's impressive 1/8th mile Fuchs South Coast Raceway for this weekend's opening round of the 13-event, 2014 Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship.
While 12 teams are entered in Modified for Portland, the Melbourne racer is concentrating on running his own race despite the pressure of carrying the coveted national number one.
"You feel like you have the target on your back after winning the championship," Baker said.
"We just have to go out there and do our best with our own team.
"We've made no changes at all to the car, the only thing we have been concentrating on is picking up little maintenance issues."
The Baker family team expands to two cars from this weekend, dad Craig living up to a promise made to his 12-year-old son Josh for winning the title.
"It all started when we were in the USA on holiday in 2012 and Josh wanted an iPad. I said if I won the Nationals I would buy him an iPad – and, of course, we won the Nationals," he said.
"Then I made another promise that if I won the championship we would buy a Junior Dragster.
"My wife is now trying to tell me I promised her some crazy things as well."
Baker expects he will be a nervous parent watching his son on track.
"I'm not sure how much it will distract me but it is great having him follow in my footsteps, he knows everything about drag racing," Baker said.
"Obviously we want to do well but it's also about having fun and getting Josh going on his drag racing career."
Baker will be one of four ANDRA champions beginning their title defence this weekend, Johnny Kapiris (Super Sedan), Gavin Dohnt (Modified Bike) and Matthew Forbes (Super Gas) entered amongst the impressive 132 competitor line-up for the event.
Qualifying starts from 11am Saturday, with eliminations from 10am Sunday.
Image: © Lee Davis