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Dietz earns biggest career win - $15K at UBB Miner...

Dietz earns biggest career win - $15K at UBB Miner...

6/3/2024 -
Josh Dietz scored $15,000 and the biggest win of his career at Beckley Motor Spe
Erwin wins $10,000 after topping Mark Batten Memor...

Erwin wins $10,000 after topping Mark Batten Memor...

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Russell Erwin was $10,000 richer after topping the Mark Batten Memorial at Virgi
Cook drives to biggest win of career

Cook drives to biggest win of career

6/3/2024 -
Dalton Cook raced to the biggest win of his career on Saturday, June 1 with a $2
Putnam Pounces on $10,053 Win

Putnam Pounces on $10,053 Win

5/26/2024 -
Josh Putnam raced to the $10,053 Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals Super Late Mod
Warren Oldfield Claims Late Model Pro Dirt Series...

Warren Oldfield Claims Late Model Pro Dirt Series...

4/8/2024 -
Warren Oldfield claimed the 2023-2024 Late Model Pro Dirt Series Championship wi

Steve Baker

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.

In 1991, business was slow. As Baker said, we were “flat ass broke, but there was no one I’d rather be in this with than Mark Richards. He is the hardest working person in this business. He’s the most determined person I know.”

Baker and Richards convinced Ray Callahan to create a car to their specs to help increase sales. Callahan was resistant to changing his product, but Baker & Richards knew that times were changing and the Bullitt Chassis needed to evolve with the current times.

Davey Johnson & Mike Balzano drove the two new style Bullitt cars. At their debut at West Virginia Motor Speedway, Davey Johnson won two A-Mains in the same day and Balzano finished right behind Johsnon. That proved that the new design by Baker & Richards worked well. On the Monday following the race at WVMS, Ray Callahan called and told Mark & Steve that he would not build anymore of those style cars.

That phone call was the catalyst for Rocket Chassis. Going forward, Baker & Richards decided to manufacture their chassis in house at their Shinnston, WV. Mark & Steve hired Scott Purkey who they knew from the WRC days to manufacture the cars. Due to the success of Johnson and Balzano, Mark & Steve built 30 racecars during the winter of 91.

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