Chase Locke, Randy Cabral Top NEMA Action At Lee USA Speedway First Responder Freedom 300 Night


(Press Release from Northeastern Midget Association)

Chase Locke scored his first NEMA Lites victory over the weekend at Lee USA Speedway (Photo: Norm Marx/NEMA)

The Northeastern Midget Association rolled into the Wrenn family’s LEE USA Speedway this past Friday evening for the Freedom 300/First Responder’s September 11th tribute.  

Great car counts across all divisions showcased some of the best drivers in New England at the New Hampshire oval.  In the NEMA Lites, after so many “so close” scenarios for the youngster Chase Locke, he finally took down his first ever NEMA Lites victory, and in convincing style.  In the NEMA feature, Randy Cabral inherited the lead after teammate Todd Bertrand suffered a heart breaking flat tire with seven laps to go, as the eight time champion took down his first back to back victory in many years.  

In the Lites feature, NJ’s Richie Coy blasted out into the lead from the pole position on lap one.  Coy was quickly hounded by the young Chase Locke in the Chester General Store/Locke Crane Services #88.  Locke followed Coy closely, and made a bid for the lead on lap nine.  Once in command, Locke began to set a torrid pace, with his fastest lap of the feature coming on lap nine, a 14.182 second lap.  Lap after lap, Locke began to distance himself from the field, clicking off consistent 14.3 second laps. Behind him, veterans Jim Santa Maria and  PJ Stergios were engaged in a battle for the second spot, with Stergios taking over the spot on lap twenty. 

As the laps wound down, Locke went unchallenged, as Stergios settled into second, and Joe Bailey in the Scrivani 21, made his way up through the field to take over the third spot on lap 25.  Locke would go on to take down his first ever Lites win after heart breakers in 2019 at the Wiscassett Speedway, where he was leading and engine troubles plagued him, and a DNF at the LEE Oktoberfest after leading the majority of that feature event.  Stergios would finish second, followed by Bailey, Ryan Locke, Santa Maria, Riche Coy, Anthony Marvuglio, Barry Kitteridge, Kyle Valeri and Matt Seavy.  

Locke was a heat race winner earlier in the evening turning a blistering 14.0 second lap, with brother, Ryan Locke taking down the second heat race.  

In the NEMA portion of the event, veteran Doug Cleveland jumped out into the lead from the pole position.  Cleveland set the pace for the first seven laps, and two restarts.  Further back, seventh place starter Todd Bertrand was making his way to the front of the field on the outside lane.  Bertrand would go around the outside of Cleveland on lap ten and begin to distance himself from the field.  Behind him, eight time champion Randy Cabral and Lanson Fornoro were tied up in a battle for the second spot.  Cabral would move into second on lap thirteen, and four laps later Bertrand would suffer misfortune as he cut down a right rear tire, keeping the car off the wall.  

On the restart, Cabral would pull away from Fornoro, taking down the win in convincing fashion.  Fornoro took his second podium finish at Lee this year for Bertrand Motorsports in the #47. John Zych had his best run in a number of races to finish third, followed by four time Champion, Ben Seitz, returning for Bertrand Motorsports. Jake Trainor finished fifth, Doug Cleveland sixth, followed by Matt O’Brien, Bertrand, Anthony Marvuglio, and Matt Merry.  It was Cabral’s second win in as many races on the shortened NEMA schedule this season.

Up next, NEMA and the Lites visit the Star Speedway for the annual Star Classic this coming weekend and the O’Brien Memorial.

NEMA Results

NEMA Lites Results

Comments

  1. Midget races were good but can we talk about the real story to come out of the night?? What a complete failure and embarrassment for the track in regards to event execution. A $5K to win 75 lap street stock race cut to 25 laps and a 150 lap pro stock race cut to 100 ending about midnight. I hope they made every dollar they were looking for in beer sales. I for one felt pretty ripped off not seeing the action and laps I went there at 6:45 to see (left at midnight). What could cause such a slow moving program to be cut so short? They even had to start skipping heats to move it along and it didn’t help. It really could have been a special event. Add to that the track is radio silent on the issue and now removing facebook posts where fans are clearly showing their displeasure and it leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. I was thinking of attending their Oktoberfest races but not if they can’t find a way to get this track to the way it was when Red and company were running the show. I feel really bad for the teams that traveled a good distance for this event too.

  2. Suitcase Jake says

    I agree with you JG … I arrived at 500pm for 700pm start,,, Endless practices and Time Trials in groups,, I was looking forward to the $10,000 to Win150 lap Pro Stock Race . Also the Street Stock 75 Laps for $5000 to Win Races also. In hindsight I believe Norm and Jeff should have started the 150 race at like 8pm allowing those with kids to be able to see that Race. The Pro Stocks ran 100 laps really quickly with great drivers and only two yellows .. They had to start the Feature before 1130pm with the Midnight Curfew at Lee looming.. Thats why they had to cut the Street Race short to start the Pro Stock feature before 1130pm ..not to mention the streeters were we banging each other around enough to cause single file restarts .. I saw lots of Family’s with Children leaving after the 10- 1030pm time frame . Hopefully next years Freedom 300 will start Features earlier and learn from this years event. On a Positive note ::: THE FIREWORKS SHOW WAS FANTASTIC !!!! Also our First Responders got their just due and were Honored for their selfless service on 9/11, First Responders got free Admission and one Lucky First Responder Won $ 1000. Raffle put on by the Track !! Great Job LEE SPEEDWAY on that.. I hope this race will be an annual event around the 9/11 date. This could easily become a race date that we look forward to every September at LEE ..!!!

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