OSWEGO, N.Y. – Randy Ritskes announced last week that he has finalized plans to drive the Locke Crane Services No. 37 Novelis Supermodified at Oswego Speedway full-time in 2014.
Ritskes, a winner of nine Supermodified main events at Oswego Speedway, most recently piloted the Daratt Racing No. 88 to two consecutive top five finishes in championship points in 2011 and 2012.
Out of a weekly ride in 2013, Ritskes drove the Locke Crane Services No. 37 Hawk Supermodified in two main events last season at Oswego with finishes of 17th and 8th, setting the stage for a full-time move to the team in 2014.
“I wanted one more competitive year in a good car, and I’d love that (Oswego Speedway) championship,” said Ritskes, in a statement provided last week. “The rumors have been flying, but the deal was actually finalized on Sunday. This is going to be my retirement year.”
The Locke Crane Services No. 37 team is owned by Ken Locke and typically driven by his son Jeff Locke, a multiple feature winner on the ISMA Supermodified trail.
The machine Ritskes will pilot is a former Nicotra Racing Supermodified, purchased in 2012 and driven sparingly by Locke the last two seasons. With original intentions of competing weekly with Oswego and ISMA in 2013, Locke decided to turn his focus to their wing program and the ISMA trail weekly, with one feature victory and a finish of 9th in the season-long driver standings.
That frame of mind will continue to be the model this coming season, with Ritskes manning the non-wing racecar weekly at Oswego and Locke behind the wheel of the winged racer on the traveling series.
The team will be housed jointly in the Locke Racing shop in Raymond, N.H., as well as at Ritskes’ home in Oswego.
“If we have a good night, we’ll just keep the car here (in Oswego) and I will do the maintenance, clean the filters, etc. with some help,” said Ritskes. “This way Ken (Locke) doesn’t have to haul the car back to New Hampshire. If the car needs repairs or major changes it will go back to New Hampshire where Brian Allegresso will handle a lot of the repairs.”
Known forever as an Oswego hard charger, 48-year old Ritskes has five career top five finishes in the Budweiser International Classic with main event victories in both wing and non-wing competition at the ‘Steel Palace.’
The Canadian transplant will no doubt be a welcome addition to the Novelis Supermodified field at Oswego joining recent additions Joey Payne and Jessica Zemken as weekly competitors in search of Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane.