Carrying on a family tradition, Chase Baker was named the Mac-o-Chee race track quarter midget Male Driver of the Year for 2019.
A Clinton-Massie Middle School student, Baker won two track championships — Heavy 160 and Unrestricted Animal — at West Liberty’s Mac-o-Chee track.
Baker, who is a straight-A student at CMMS, according to his family, also earned a Mid-Ohio Series championship in Heavy 160 and a runnerup finish at Mid-Ohio in Unrestricted Animal. Baker also earned several other first-place finishes throughout the year.
Also this season, the 13-year-old Baker competed in two national events at the Daytona International Speedway and the Indianapolis Motorspeedway where he finished in the B mains.
Chase also raced in Nashville, Tenn., along with Xenia and Columbus, in addition to his home track in West Liberty.
Baker is looking to expand his opportunities during the 2020 season by attending the Midwest Thunder Series, which is held in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. He is seeking sponsorships for the upcoming season.
The son of Heidi and Roger Baker, Chase not only drives the car but is influential in the handling and setup of the vehicle. Recently, he was asked by a fellow racer to drive for him at the Columbus Indoor Series.
Baker’s brother, father and grandfather also raced during their lifetime. Chase began racing two years ago.
Grandfather Richard Baker raced primarily sprint cars. Father Roger Baker race go-karts and Legend cars. Brother Cameron Baker also raced the quarter midget cars.
According to boomerangracing.com, quarter midget racing centers around small cars scaled down to one-fourth the size of full size midget race cars and driven on a 1/20 of a mile oval race track. Power is by a small, one cylinder engine similar in size and construction to most lawn mower engines.
Quarter midget tracks are designed specifically for 1/4 midgets and must conform to QMA specs of approximately 1/20 mile. The average speed for a 6.00 sec lap is 30 miles per hour. The faster “AA”s can hit speeds up to 50 mph at the end of the straightaway.
Most of the competitive classes run speeds near 45 miles per hour. Current upper class quarter midgets can exceed 45 miles per hour, but remain safe due to the limited size of the track. Quarter midget racecars have four-wheel suspension, unlike go-karts. The drivers are typically restricted to ages 5 to 16.