Mike Nazaruk was born in Newark, New Jersey. He raced midget cars, sprint cars and IndyCars. He was nicknamed "Iron Mike."
Nazaruk served as a U.S. Marine in the Battle of Guam and the Guadalcanal campaign in World War II. He promised himself that if he lived through the war he would become a race driver.
He raced after he returned home. He won the track championships at Staten Island, New York, and Rhinebeck, New York in 1947. He scored over twenty feature wins at Middletown, New York enroute to winning the 1948 track championship.
Nazaruk was the 1949 American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) midget car champion. The series tours the East Coast of the United States.
Nazaruk joined the AAA in 1950. He won 14 national midget tour events, including the 1950 Night Before the 500, and the first midget car event at Terre Haute Action Track in 1953. He finished fifth in the 1954 National Midget car points.
Nazaruk finished second in his first Indianapolis 500 in 1951. He competed in two more Indianapolis 500, including a fifth place finish in 1954.
Nazaruk was killed in a sprint car race at Langhorne Speedway on May 1, 1955.