OSWEGO – Chase Locke of Chester, New Hampshire plans to compete full-time in the 350 Supers division at Oswego Speedway this season.
Locke, 16, hopes to build on four consecutive podium finishes on his speedway debut in 2021.
Locke is a second generation driver at Oswego. His dad Jeff raced in both winged supers and non-winged supers on the track. Chase’s brother, Ryan, also intends to join the big block class as a weekly entrant this season, driving his grandfather, Ken Locke.
Chase said his grandfather’s love for Oswego and his decision to take the big-block car to the track every week was a big influence on them to do the same with the Locke Crane Services 350 Super.
“After everything we did in Oswego last year, we thought it was a good decision for us to try a full season this year,” Locke said. “My grandfather was there for a lot. He loves it at Oswego Speedway and wants to run the big block there with Ryan every week, so that was a big part.
Despite only making four starts, Locke caught the eye of Oswego fans last season. Showing incredible speed from the start, he etched his name in the Oswego history books as the youngest rider to ever finish on the podium in a supermodified.
That second-place finish from Jeffrey Battle came on Locke’s first career start at Oswego, which also happened to be the classic weekend.
After turning heads in the Spring Classic, Locke followed that up with a victory in the playoff race and an outstanding streak of second, second and third places in a row, as well as another third in the Fall Classic driving Seymour Racing NEMA Lite. .
“I thought last year went well for the first time,” the driver said. “Obviously we could have done a bit better, but seeing as it was the first time I think it was a good year. We had help from a few guys who asked us, but for the most part, it was just dad and I figuring things out.The day before the races we went to the Friday practice sessions and that helped us a lot to learn the track and find some speed.
Prior to making the jump to the 350 Super class in 2021, Locke’s freewheeling experience stems from years of racing for his family on the NEMA Lite circuit from 2018-2020.
His move to NEMA Lite earned him his first career victory in the Midget ranks, as he rode the #88 machine on victory lane at Lee USA Speedway in September 2020.
Backing his first NEMA controllers, he picked up his first 350 Supermodified win midway through his debut season, winning at Star Speedway’s Jen Garland Memorial event in June of last year.
Locke continued to race all season at the quarter-mile track in Epping, New Hampshire last year, with numerous top-10 finishes and a seventh-place finish in the Star points standings.
Locke said the five-eighths-mile track at Oswego was a challenge at first, but he adapted quickly.
“I felt like the bigger track in Oswego was a lot harder for me to handle,” he said. “It was a big adjustment for me going through the long corners at first, but as time went on the experience of racing helped me a lot and I started to get used to it. It was just cool to race there in general.I saw my dad and Randy (Ritskes) driving there from a young age.
With his first experience at Oswego now over, Locke is already a proven contender and a legitimate threat to win the track championship, something which he says, in addition to earning his first win at Oswego, tops his tasks. listing.
“Above all, my very, very big goal is consistency this year,” he said. “I want to try to go for the championship. We have a long way to go to get there, but hopefully we can do it, and obviously winning the first race at Oswego is also very important. I have a lot of enjoy racing with my dad and granddad and spending time with my family on the track.We’ve always had races to get together, so we’re really excited for that this year.
Oswego Speedway’s 2022 season opens May 28 with the Port City 150 program. It will include the 75-lap Jim Shampine Memorial for Novelis Supermodifieds, the 40-lap Tony White Memorial for Pathfinder Bank Small-Block Supers and a 35 lap special for the J&S Paving 350 Supers.
See www.oswegospeedway.com for details.