Tech Talk with Mike Baker, IHRA Director of Competition and Technical
Words and photos by Ian Tocher
Please forgive Mike Baker if he sometimes feels like the
whole world is against him. As the IHRA's director of competition and
technical services, the 36-year-old Princeton, West Virginia native
often faces the wrath and consternation of competitors, fans, and media
"I'll admit when you have continual disagreements on various issues,
it can be a little difficult at times," Baker says. "The important thing
is to address the issue positively."
A former IHRA Super Stock competitor and high-performance automotive
machinist, Baker also holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
He was introduced to the legislative side of drag racing in 1994 by
IHRA official Howie Dalton, and began his IHRA career as a Sportsman
staging lane official.
Baker advanced the next year to become regional technical director,
concentrating on the Pro entries, then prior to the 1996 season, IHRA's
previous national technical director resigned his position and Baker
agreed to assume some national responsibilities. By the end of that
year, Baker officially accepted the position of IHRA's full-time national
tech director and midway through 2001, added the director of competition
title to his resume.