Chase Locke, Randy Cabral Best in NEMA at LEE USA’s First Responder Freedom 300 Night


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.

Pos.#Driver HometownOwner
174Randy Cabral Kingston, MABertrand Motorsports
247Lanson FornoroBrockton, MABertrand Motorsports
39John Zych Jr.Mendon, MAJohn Zych Sr.
417Ben SeitzBourne, MABertrand Motorsports
58Jake TrainorMedway, MAMike Trainor
687Doug ClevelandSudbury, MADoug Cleveland
716Matt O’BrienWilmington, MAMatt O’Brien
848Todd BertrandDanielson, CTBertrand Motorsports
935Anthony MarvuglioBridgewater, MAGlen Cabral
1069Matt MerryPlaistow, NHMatt Merry
117Alan ChambersAtkinson, NHMike Chambers
12A1Mike HornAshland, MAJeff Horn
1339Avery StoehrLakeville, MABertrand Motorsports
Pos.#Driver HometownOwner
188Chase LockeChester, NHKen Locke
211PJ StergiosCandia, NHBill Stergios
321Joe Bailey– – –Mike Scrivani
438Ryan LockeChester, NHKen Locke
597Jim Santa MariaBurlington, CtJim Santa Maria
619Richie CoyHaskell, NJRichie Coy
735Anthony MarvuglioBridgewater, MAGlen Cabral
82Barry KittridgeMarlboro, MABarry Kittredge
917Kylie ValeriMonument Beach, MA Peter Valeri
1016 Matt SeaveyPittsfield, NHChristopher Butterweck 
1194Tiana KibbeFairfield, CTCurt Kibbe
1218DJ MonizNew Bedford, MADave Moniz