Bath resident making mark as road race driver

by Laura Bednar

Chase McIntyre has had a passion for cars since he was a kid, so when he took instruction to compete as a race car driver, it was no surprise he found accelerated success.

McIntyre, a Bath resident, graduated from Revere High School in 2020. For his graduation present, he asked his parents if he could attend racing school. He took a three-day course at the Mid-Ohio School in Morrow County.

McIntyre enjoyed competing in other sports but said basketball and baseball didn’t have an “edge.”

Chase McIntyre started racing just three years ago.

“I like things with some risk to it,” he said. McIntyre was fascinated by adults driving and asked his sister about the stick shift in her car at age 5.

No family members raced cars, but McIntyre’s love of cars and his thrill-seeking personality led to his participation in a variety of racing divisions.

The Sports Car Club of America sponsors competitions for professional and amateur road racers. McIntyre said a variety of cars compete. He drives a Mazda Miata with the interior gutted, aside from a driver’s safety seat with harness, a roll cage and glass in front and in back. It has a manual transmission, which McIntyre learned to drive the day he got his driver’s license.

SCCA offers races as well as autocross, where drivers maneuver around cones on a timed course. McIntyre also races under the National Auto Sport Association, which organizes races.

McIntyre has participated in racing series Champ Car, American Endurance Racing and NEO Endurance Racing. These races range from six to 24 hours. McIntyre won a 24-hour race with his team, Nichols Racing, where teammates drove in three-hour shifts. In SCCA and NASA, races last 30 minutes. “I do different leagues because of that,” said McIntyre.

Road racing tracks, unlike NASCAR, are filled with twists, bends and changing elevation. At Mid-Ohio, there are 13 turns, according to McIntyre. In his young racing career, he has already driven at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Kentucky, Virginia International Raceway, Pittsburgh International Race Complex, Watkins Glenn International racetrack in New York and Nelson Ledges Race Course in Garrettsville, Portage County.

McIntyre was the SCCA NEOhio Spec Miata Champion in 2022 and earned the title of NEOhio’s Rookie of the Year in 2021. In a Spec Miata race, McIntyre recalled seeing his mother jumping up and down at the finish line, knowing he had enough points to clinch the championship.

Spec Miata is a racing series of NASA, which provides an avenue to promote sponsor brand awareness and showcases driving talent so drivers can advance to higher-level series, according to

McIntyre said if he wins a race, he transmits a photo to potential sponsors, who send cart parts, discounts on car maintenance and other free offerings. One of his goals is to get more sponsors.

“If I’m going to go professional, I have to have money to spend and invest,” said McIntyre. “Club racing is fun, but I want to see what I’m made of. It’s a dream of mine to go pro.”

The SCCA allows drivers to show up when they want to practice, but McIntyre said a lot of his training is physical. “I treat it like a job,” he said.

He lifts weights to maintain muscle mass, which helps his endurance when driving for long periods. He is also a runner, following in the footsteps of his parents, who have run marathons. He stretches every night before bed and meditates to stay mentally tough.

“If I’m going to do this, I’m going 100%,” said McIntyre, adding that driving race cars is all about making decisions. “It’s not just pushing the pedals.”

When you are wearing a fireproof suit and driving a car whose temperature can reach 100 degrees, you have to stay cool under pressure, said McIntyre.

In addition to racing, McIntyre coaches new drivers, offering tips on how to approach a track, finding a breaking point and reviewing data such as tire pressure, driving techniques and other observations. His biggest piece of advice for newcomers? Take it slow.

“Build up to it and be honest with yourself,” he said. “Don’t go fast to impress people. No one cares when you’re having fun.”

In his Miata, McIntyre has reached speeds of 125 mph. He said his meteoric rise to racing success comes from natural ability and a raw passion for racing.

“Success is the goal. I just want to drive cars and see where it can go,” said McIntyre.

The racing community has taken notice of his talents at such a young age. He was a guest on “Late to the Grid,” a podcast about grassroots racing which aims to “share inspiring stories to help listeners along their motorsports journey.”

McIntyre’s parents support his racing. They watch his races and review race recordings to learn more about the sport with their son. His next goal is to secure funding and race in the Mazda MX-5 Cup, the professional Spec Miata series of Mazda motorsports, which McIntyre describes as the opening act to even higher professional racing series.

“A lot of people go on into NASCAR from Spec Miata,” he said. ∞

Featured Photo: Bath resident Chase McIntyre has been road racing since 2020 and won the 2022 Spec Miata Championship, a racing series of the National Auto Sports Association. Photos submitted.