Steve Baker (co-owner of Mark Richards Racing, inc dba Rocket Chassis) has been involved in racing since he was two weeks old. His first trip to the racetrack was Morgantown Speedway (Morgantown, WV) in 1957.
Fast forward to the late 70s and he started driving dirt late models for various people including himself. In the early 80s, he drove dirt cars for Pennsylvania’s Denny Angelicci (a mutual friend with Mark Richards). In 1984, he got his first late model from WRC Race Cars. WRC assembled Bullitt Chassis from Ray Callahan for customers in the Pennsylvania/Ohio/West Virginia region
I was first introduced to Mark while he was working for WRC in the early 80s. We got to each know each other better through the Angeliccio connection.
In 1986 Mark left WRC and was at a cross roads at what he wanted to do professionally with his life. Their mutual friend Denny had an auto auction in Pennsylvania. Mark attended the auctions with Denny and Baker and at that time, he was going to start himself in the car sales business. Over time, Steve and Denny convinced Mark to get back into dirt racing.
That’s how Mark Richards Racing, Inc. (MRRI) was created. Richards, Baker and Angeliccio were the principal investors in MRRI along with a few minor investors who over time sold their shares to Baker & Richards.They built their shop in Shinnston, WV along the hillside overlooking Interstate 79. Angeliccio was too busy to deal with the day to day activities at MRRI, so he sold his share of the business to Baker. From 1986 – 1991, Mark and Steve sold and prepared Bullitt Chassis for customers to race. They would drive to Indiana to pick up the cars and assemble them in their Shinnston, WV shop. Business was good. Baker and Richards always had ideas on how to better things, it was a matter of time before the ideas translated to the chassis.