At the close of the 2016 ISMA season, former 4-time NEMA Champion, 6-time ISMA feature winner and 2014 ISMA champion Ben Seitz found himself without a ride. As it goes in racing his race team was disbanding. Said Ben, "I think the car owner Dickie (Bien) pretty much had had enough. It was time for him to stop.”
The car was sold in the off-season, and Ben was left without a ride, but not for long. Along came car owner Ken Locke, whose son Jeff had decided to concentrate on his son Ryan's midget career, leaving the 37 without a driver.
“Jeff didn't want to drive the super right now, said Ken, “ because he's having fun with his son Ryan's midget career. We have two midgets about ready to go. The midget that was wrecked at Thompson last year has been fixed and numbered 88 and Jeff and Ryan built a new car numbered 38. Now Jeff will be able to drive one with Ryan in NEMA and that's a pretty big deal for him.”
“Way last fall I learned Ben Seitz was without a ride, Ken continued, “When I found that out I said if we are going to run the car I want him in it. Among the guys out there, there is nobody better than him.”
The 37 winged car which Jeff ran to an ISMA win in his rookie season, and is at Brian's (Allegresso) and Brian is going to take care of it. “Ben has already been to the race shop to get fitted in the seat. They have to make a couple small changes and move the pedals but other than that we're ready to go, said Ken.
Seitz was looking for some possible track time before the season starts after being fitted into the car. “We have not been on the track yet, said Ben. “They will call me if we can test it or not but we will definitely be at practice the night before the ISMA opener at Oswego. I hope we get a chance to shake it down before that, but that depends on the weather.”
From his home in Maine, Ken Locke summed up his plans for the season. “We're going to try and run the full ISMA tour. There is only like 11 races now depending on Waterford. Right now we don't know. We also had four midget races scheduled there this year too.
“On the non-wing side, Brian is working on that car too. We should have it ready a few weeks before the Oswego Classic. Pat Lavery is going to drive that car. The non-wing car is really nice. Brian's been working on it for a year or so. The motor is in it. It's rolling right now so I can take it to get the headers built. It's going to Joey Hawksby's shop. And then we just have to fit the body on it.
Oswegonian Lavery, who was also without a supermodified ride for 2017, was Ken's instant pick to drive the non-winged 37. “I like Pat. He always does good. He's always been tough running the Classic. He doesn't wreck the race car. I like his wife Kelly too. They are nice people. I wanted to give Pat a shot at it.”
All told it will be a hectic season for the Lockes, to say the least. “It's a busy time with the cars and the business, which Jeff runs now. With NEMA being more local, it makes it easier for Jeff and Ryan to run. He gets a lot of enjoyment out of working with Ryan. His other son, Chase, who is 11 is a couple years behind Ryan, is into go-karts, so we have to go to go-kart races too.
As to the ISMA year, Ken has praise for his new team. “Ben and his family are nice and he's a good driver. We're looking forward to working together and to see what happens. I really expect big things out of that guy!”
In turn, Ben commented from his Bourne, Mass. home, “My sons Charlie and Cameron are getting older now and the family should be able to make some more races this year. I just want to get back to running competitively, having a good season and having some fun. Hopefully at the end of the year if all goes well, we might be contending for the championship.”
Stafford Springs, CT (June 23, 2017) – At the end of the 2016 ISMA season, Bourne, Mass. driver Ben Seitz found himself without a ride for the 2017 year. Along came car owner Ken Locke who just happened to have a vacant supermodified that needed a driver and a new team was born. And, to date, Seitz has acclimatized himself quite well and the union has been quite productive. Seitz started out with a fifth place at the ISMA opener at Oswego in his first run in the car and followed that with a twelfth at Lancaster. Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway, Ben started outside front row in the 22-car field , took the initial lead and easily fled from the competitive field behind him, leading the entire 60 laps. A late race challenge by Timmy Jedrzejek was the only close call for the talented former 4-time NEMA champion. Only two yellows slowed the way with Seitz picking up his 7th career ISMA win, his first in the Locke 37 at a track he ran as early as age 16 when he competed with the Legends class.
Depew, NY (June 3, 2017) - Saturday night, the large crowd of race fans waiting to see the ISMA supers return to the Lancaster Speedway for the first time since 2003, were not disappointed. With the winged supers turning high 14 second laps in practice, the expectation of an exciting and fast feature was fulfilled. Only a few yellows slowed the race action with Ravenna, Ohio's Trent Stephens coming up with the win after wresting the lead from Moe Lilje in the Lichty 74 on lap 12. It was Trent's third ISMA win in only his second full season with the group . He was not without challenges however, from some of winged supermodified's best who were in the field, vying for points in the lucrative Triple Crown Series introduced this year as well.
Oswego, NY (May 31, 2017) – The winged supers of the International SuperModified Association (ISMA) will make a quick turn around after the May 27 Jack Murphy Memorial on Saturday. The head down (or up) the NYS Thruway to Lancaster Speedway for the second event on the 2017 schedule. It’s the first visit to that five-eighth mile Western NY oval since 2003.
ISMA has a rich and storied history at Lancaster with their first officially sanctioned event in 1978, which was won by the late Jim Shampine. Over the four decades that races were run there were numerous winners that pulled into victor y lane, some scoring their very-first career ISMA win at that track.