Barry “;e Fabulous One” Baker is a
legendary American racer known for his
accomplishments on the track and his skills
tuning a car. Often very opinionated about
all things in racing, he also has the cred to
back it up, and has multiple ROAR National
titles to his name along with a string of Reedy
International Touring Car Race of Champions
titles. He TQ’d and nearly won the 2002
IFMAR Championship in South Africa for
touring cars, only to finish in second place—an
amazing accomplishment for anyone else, but
something that still haunts him. Now running
for Serpent, we got a chance to ask him a few
questions. Read on.
RC Car Action: What’s your favorite class?
Barry Baker: Always will be Electric 10th Touring Car.
What’s your favorite race?
Any of the Reedy races, o;-road or on-road. Always good
racing and great format.
What are the biggest changes since you
first started racing?
I would have to say the biggest change
is the amount of “sponsored” drivers.
Back in the ’90s and early 2000s, there
were a handful of fully sponsored racers.
;ere were no 50 percent sponsored
racers back then. Now every company has
multiple levels of sponsorship, from 40 to
100 percent and everywhere in between. I
have even heard of someone saying they
get 53. 5 percent o;. Really, come on. To
me, it’s a way for the companies to get a
guaranteed customer. Another big change
is online retailers, but that is the sign of the
times with technology.
When you go to a race, what are the steps you take
when you first arrive?
Well, first o;, I try to find the best setup for the track. Not
all setups work everywhere. Usually you can find a good
average setup and just dial your car in with tires and tire
sauce these days. If I go to a track that I have not been
to before, I will seek out the local fast guys and see what
they are running. ;ere is always a reason they are fast at
that track, and I want to find out why. It could just come
down to track time or even where they stand on the
drivers’ stand, but it is something. I have never been
afraid to ask questions.
Reedy, Picco, Sanwa,
AKA, MIP, Avid,
UpGrade RC, Desoto
Racing, Lion Art
Prints, PT RC Racing,
Home: San Gabriel,
What are some changes you’d like to see in racing?
I may get in trouble for saying what I think, but you asked and I am not
one to sugarcoat it. ;e first and most important thing I would like to see
changed is the amount of classes at races. Why do we have so many
di;erent levels? Is it because everyone wants a trophy? ;ere should be
two, maybe three, classes these days at races. For electric: Stock, 13. 5,
and Modified. For Nitro, you should only have one level per class. People
will argue with me over this till the cows come home, but it is the way
it should be. Promoters think it builds entries, and all it does is prolong
races with having to run eight di;erent sets of triple A-mains. And the big
thing is it only happens in America. In Europe and Asia, it is one division.
Look at the E TS [Euro Touring Series] or EOS [Euro O;road Series]. Why in America do
we need so many classes?
Another change I would like to see is a National and World Championship series. I really
feel a World Championship series is needed. In every other form of racing, there are
multiple races to determine the champion. Why not in RC as well? Just my opinion, and I
am sure many people agree with me on this one.
Do you have any advice for aspiring pro racers?
;is is a hobby for most. A hobby is supposed to be enjoyed—enjoy it, have fun. Just
remember, only a few people in the world make a living racing RC cars. Only a few! Sure,
people get paid to race, but only a few can live o; what they get paid. I was one of them
and took that for granted. Just when you think you have the world in your hands, it all can
come crashing down. ;ere is always someone that is attempting to take your job in this
industry. ;at is the best advice I can give.