Former Owner/Driver Robinson to Crew Chief for Locke
Quincy, MI (Friday, February 3, 2023) - With the start of the 2023 season just two months or less away, another driver/owner combination has been announced. According to a Facebook post, Quincy, Michigan’s, Kyle Locke has teamed up with Busche Motorsports for the upcoming season. Locke says they’ll primarily run the 2023 schedule at Butler Motor Speedway on Saturdays, with select shows sanctioned by the Great Lakes Super Sprints (GLSS), and a number of options for Friday nights.
Locke’s sprint car career took off with a bang some seven years ago when he first piloted a sprint car for Butler Motor Speedway track champion, Shelby Bilton. Locke then began driving his own equipment in 2016, but finances and an injury hampered the team's efforts.
“We pretty much got that one good year and that was it,” recalled the 23-year-old. “My senior year of high school I took a pretty bad football hit; it was really tough for [the family] to try and go race without me, and to be honest, I was kind of out of it for quite some time. I don’t think I got cleared [from a concussion] until August of 2017, and the incident happened in September of 2016.
Locke says the family team was mostly financed by his father’s business, Locke MAsonry, LLC. Locke says the time off allowed him to begin his own business, Locke Epoxy, and start to work toward having his own equipment once again. That, he says, is what lead to his return in 2022.
“I’ve missed it for a long time,” Locke admitted. “It was just a matter of getting some of my own skin in the game. That really brought it full circle for me, where I said, ‘you know, this is something I’m definitely going to pursue,’” commented Locke.
His return in 2022 didn’t produce the results they had hoped for. In fact, Locke says the chassis they had bought to start the season was one they raced in previous years. The driver of the orange no. 3 says that the car struggled all season. The set-up changes they attempted were unsuccessful and the car wouldn’t respond to the changes they were making.
“We come to find out that something was wrong with the car,” Locke said. “We were working with our shock guy and things were not adding up; our efforts did not show in our results,” said Locke.
The team did have a couple of bright spots in 2022, setting fast time with the GLSS at Butler Motor Speedway on July 2 out of 26 cars. He followed that up with a 9th-place finish. Locke also punched out a top-5 racing his 360ci engine with the field of traditional 410ci Sprint Cars at Butler early that season. Locke says he believes just getting back in the seat helped him secure a chance with Busche, someone he’s known since his Micro Sprint days.
“Terry’s grandson and I used to race together back in micros, and the last year that we had both raced them, we were in a heat race, we got pretty aggressive trying to pass a lot of cars in the first lap and [flipped],” Locke remembered. “He came right to our trailer and asked if we’d want to use his wing, and so we did. When the results weren’t turning out like we hoped, I reached out to Terry and said I’d really like to wheel some quality equipment and then we had a meeting and here we are,” said Locke.
Locke said the phone call was somewhat of a surprise and the deal came together very quickly.
“We had a meeting Monday, we just kinda went over all the conditions and kinda met in the middle and agreed that Butler works out great for both of us,” said Locke. “[Butler is] really close for Terry and it’s obviously really close for me. The opportunities on Friday night are endless, but we plan on running Limaland and probably quite a bit with GLSS,” he said.
The goals for a new driver and team combination are always fluid. The main goal is always to win, and Locke says that goal is good enough for him and Terry both.
“Terry hasn’t got his first feature win and I’m still chasing one,” Locke admitted. “I’m really thinking this is the year we make it happen. I think that it’s gonna be a real banger of a season,” he said confidently.
The team surrounding Locke is capable of winning as well. Two-time Sprints on Dirt (SOD) Champion car owner, and former SOD Champion driver, Sean Robinson will be turning the wrenches for Locke. Robinson will be part of what Locke says will essentially be a four-person team.
“It’s me, Terry Busche, and he’s got a few guys helping him,” said Locke. “[A] young guy from UNOH, and Sean Robinson will be my Crew Chief,” explained Locke.
While Locke is excited to get rolling in 2023 with his new team and new cars, he made sure to pay special attention to the people who have supported him through the years.
“I think it’d be nice to recognize all my sponsors from last year who supported me for that comeback season,” Locke said. “I know it didn’t go how we’d hoped but i really appreciate the support and I’m just really excited to see everyone’s faces at the races.
Locke will pilot a XXX Chassis in both the 410 and 360 divisions this season. Locke says the 410 is being built brand new from the ground up. Both cars will run on Kercher Engines. Locke says a schedule is not complete for the 16B yet, but the first race at Butler Motor Speedway is Saturday, May 6. GLSS gets underway April 21 and 22 from I-96 Speedway and Crystal Motor Speedway.
Story - Zach Hiser
Photo - INSZN Media