July 1, 2017
By Hope Weaver (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Aidan Baker was the talk of the town, known as the nine-year-old junior racer who had a 0.000 second reaction time at the NHRA New England Nationals last month at the New England Dragway in front of thousands of race fans. With a perfect run, he caught the eye of Mello Yellow Series drivers including sixteen-time Funny Car champ John Force and Aidan’s favorite racer, Top Fuel driver, Leah Pritchett. We caught up with Aidan and his parents to ask what everyone’s been wondering: Where did that kid come from?
Turns out, the junior drag racer from Cumberland, Rhode Island isn’t from a racing family; his parents aren’t even mechanics. Aidan’s interest in racing came from a family friend, who Aidan calls his Uncle, when he invited the family down to New Jersey to see him race. By the end of the weekend, Aidan had made ithis goal to get behind the wheel himself.
Brian Baker says he didn’t know anything about cars or racing; he can’t even change the oil on his own car, but he made a deal with his son: get your grades up and we’ll try it. Ever since then, Aidan’s grades have been up and his parents haven’t been able to get him out of the car. In his last five races, he’s brought his Cookie Monster junior dragster, named after his first stuffed animal and his love for cookies, to the final round three times.
Aidan and his family call New England Dragway their home drag strip. “It’s the funnest place to drive,” he added. Brian has become Aidan’s crew chief and he and his wife are hooked and love seeing how happy their son is when he’s racing. And while there aren’t many weekends the Bakers aren’t racing, when not at the drag strip, Aidan likes to ride his bike. “I like to be on four wheels or two wheels, just not two wheels when I’m going 100 miles per hour,” he smiles.
When asked if he brings his friends to watch him race and what they think, he replied like a pro, “I only usually bring friends (to the track) on test and tune days.” Other days, he’s training. But he admits, “Most of them are jealous.”
Aidan posted a 0.002 second reaction time during this weekend’s test and tune and is determined to be behind the wheel as much as he can. When asked where he wants to go with this racing thing, he replied, “I want to drive top fuel.”