OSWEGO – Rising 350 Supermodified star Chase Locke of Chester, NH has made plans for his first full-time Oswego
Speedway season in 2022 as the teenage driver hopes to build on four consecutive podium finishes in his Speedway debut a year ago.
Locke is a second generation rider at Oswego, as his father Jeff raced both Oswego and Winged Supermodifieds at Speedway. His brother Ryan also intends to join the big block class as a weekly entrant this season, driving for his grandfather Ken Locke.
Chase said his grandfather’s love for Oswego and his decision to take the big block to the track every week was a big influence on him and Jeff 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 race the big block there with Ryan every week, so that was a big part.
Despite just four starts, Chase quickly caught the attention of Oswego fans at just 15 last season. Showing incredible speed from the start, Locke etched his name in the Oswego history books as the youngest driver ever to reach the podium in a Supermodified.
This historic second-place finish for Jeffrey Battle came during Locke’s first career start at Steel Palace, which was also on Classic Weekend – and Chase’s success didn’t stop there.
After turning heads at the Spring Classic, Locke followed that up with a victory in the playoff race and an outstanding streak of second, second and third place in a row, plus another third at the Fall Classic on Saturday driving Seymour Racing. NEMA Lite.
“I thought last year went well for the first time,” Locke 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.
Chase’s NEMA Lite pass brought 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, who arrived at just 14, Chase would then claim his first-ever 350 Supermodified win midway through his debut season, winning Star Speedway’s Jen Garland Memorial event in June last year. .
Locke continued to race all season at the quarter mile in Epping, NH last year, with numerous top-10 finishes and a seventh-place finish in the Star points standings.
Getting his feet wet on much smaller tracks in New England, Locke admits Oswego’s fast 5/8th mile was a daunting challenge at first, but one he was able to adapt to fairly quickly.
“I felt like the bigger track in Oswego was a lot harder for me to handle,” Locke 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 very 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 that he says, in addition to earning his first Big O victory, is far on the way. to-do list for high school sophomores this season.
“Mostly, my very, very big goal is consistency this year,” Locke 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.
Chase Locke will kick off its 2022 season at Oswego’s 71st season opener on Saturday, May 28, which marks the return of the historic “Port City 150,” featuring the 75-rpm Shampine memorial for Novelis Supermodifieds, the Tony Memorial 40-lap white for Pathfinder Bank SBS and a 35-lap special for J&S Paving 350 Supers.
The 2022 season pass, individual race ticket and camping rates will be published in the coming weeks.