Getting Up To Speed With…Colin Baker
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of Madman Photography)
Fans of the Cottage Grove Speedway may have noticed last year a late arrival turn some heads at the historic ¼-mile clay oval. Colin Baker may have not raced in every 360 Sprint event, due to an injury suffered during the offseason, but he did put up some good results including making the show with American Sprint Car Series-National Tour at Cottage Grove Speedway.
Although he’s been competing with in the Sprint Cars for several seasons what most fans may not know is he had a distinguished Motocross career and was even on the fast track to Supercross before some major injuries would force him to retire at an early age. Through his tenure on two wheels he would win over one-hundred-fifty features and became a three-time Oregon State Champion as well as a two-time Northwest Motocross Series champion.
In 2014 Baker will race in the Hedge Carter owned #71 mount the same car he piloted a runner-up finish in the Cottage Grove Speedway Non-Wing Nationals prelim night on August 31st, 2013 and to a fourth place finish in the finale the following night. The former Cottage Grove Speedway Limited Sprint and 360 Sprint Rookie of the Year award winner can’t wait to get back on the track now that he’s healthy again. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather Ted Baker Jr. and his father Ted Baker III young Colin looks to turn even more heads in this upcoming season. Now let’s get up to speed with Colin Baker.
Driver: Colin Baker
Home Track: Cottage Grove Speedway
Hometown: Cottage Grove, Oregon
Occupation: Metal Roofing Manufacturer at Steelhouse Metal Roofing Supply
Years Racing: 15
Classification: 360 Sprints/Non-Wing Sprint
Team: Hedge Carter Racing
Chassis: XXX Race Company
Sponsors: Steelhouse Metal Roofing Supply, Hedge Carter Continuous Gutter Service, Huddle Automotive Repair, Oregon West RV
Special Thanks: Brian Crockett
BD: Well Colin what is 2014 looking like for you?
CB: It’s looking like new horizons because I’m in a good car with a nice team surrounding me. I really feel like this is going to be my break out year. I know I haven’t won a lot in a while so I’m hoping to add some victories in the win column.
I’ll be driving for Hedge Carter and pretty much run anything we can. Right now we plan to race with ASCS-Northwest, Cottage Grove Speedway, and any other 360 races we can go to as well as a few Non-Wing shows maybe.
BD: This won’t be the first time you’ll be driving for Hedge Carter. You’ve ran for him before correct?
CB: Yes. We ran the Cottage Grove Speedway Non-Wing Nationals together last year. We had a good experience and had a good car. When we paired up for that race everything went well and I hope to build off of that experience for this year. People like Hedge and Kelly Carter and Tim Galloway are awesome with the way they give people great opportunities and are needed more in this sport.
BD: Last year you didn’t race that much due to an injury in the offseason but when you did you put up some decent results. Your take on 2013?
CB: Well last winter I broke both feet and ankles in a motorcycle accident on the coast. But on the racing side of things I thought it was good for the situation I was in. I didn’t have a big crew in fact sometimes I was the only crew. Brian Crocket gave me a good race car and I’m happy he gave me the opportunity to run for him. Making that ASCS-National show at CGS was big especially finishing in the top ten in the main event.
BD: Now during this current offseason you and Patrick Dills went and did some Kage Kart racing. How fun was that because it’s been several years since you’ve ran those.
CB: Oh man it was great. Jerry Dills gave me the awesome chance to do that and I got to thank him for that experience. We ran Roseburg Indoor a couple of times and Salem once.
It was a lot of fun. I really forgot how fun those things are. They have a ton of horsepower but not much suspension. I learned a lot that I think will help me this year. I really try to learn something new every time I get in a car whether it’s a 360 Sprint or Kage Kart.
BD: Now people have seen you race through the years whether it be Winged or Non-Winged Sprint Cars. But what some people may not know is you had a prestigious career in Motocross before even getting involved in Kage Karts. Could you explain that experience a little bit?
CB: I started riding when I was four or five. It was an everyday thing for me practicing all the time and every weekend we raced. It was a big passion of mine and I ended up having some sponsorship help from KTM that got me in the national spotlight. Unfortunately my career was cut short to some pretty major injuries. We travelled a lot on the West Coast and some of the Midwest and had a lot of fun doing that. When I couldn’t do Motocross anymore my dad got me a Kage Kart and started me out in the 250cc class and from there the rest is history.
BD: You’ve worked hard to get where you are today. Where would you ultimately like to end up with your career?
CB: I’m a big dreamer. To drive a race car for a living would be the ultimate for me whether it’s a Winged Sprint, or a Non-Winged Sprints, or even a fender car on pavement. I’d like to be racing at the highest capacity as possible whether it’s with the World of Outlaws or even the ASCS-National Tour that would be great.
The Cottage Grove Speedway is set to host a test and tune play day on Saturday April 5th while the first race of the year is planned for the following Saturday on the 12th. Log on to www.cottagegrovespeedway.com for news stories and articles related to the upcoming 2014 campaign.