Lonnie Sommerville: PASS North Series
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Race Preview


Lonnie Sommerville of Saint John, New Brunswick, kicks off his first full-time season of PASS North Series competition with the PASS 150 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, on Saturday, April 30. Sommerville has competed several times as a part-time fixture in PASS North with his own team, but this season marks his move to Mulkern Racing to run the entire slate. Sommerville has some experience at Beech Ridge, most notably having led the PASS 300 at the track for several laps last September.


WHO: Lonnie Sommerville, Saint John, New Brunswick
TEAM: No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders Chevrolet
CREW CHIEF: Gary Crooks, Mooresville, N.C.


WHAT: PASS North Series PASS 150
WHERE: Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Maine (.333-mile oval)
WHEN: 3 p.m., Saturday, April 30

PASS North Series
NEXT RACE: May 14, PASS 150, Star Speedway, Epping, N.H. (.25-mile oval)


Lonnie Sommerville will be reunited with Gary Crooks. Crooks is a New Brunswick native who now operates Crooks Racing in Mooresville, N.C.
Crew chief Gary Crooks is running the development team for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Brad Keselowski.
It’s a five-hour drive for Lonnie Sommerville just to make it to the Mulkern Racing race shop each week before even heading to the race track.
Mulkern Racing finished second in the final PASS North Series standings in 2010 with driver Ben Rowe in the No. 48 entry.


LONNIE SOMMERVILLE, Driver of the No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders Chevrolet, On his outlook for the 2011 season with Mulkern Racing: “The team they’ve put together, as far as I’m concerned, is as good or better than any as we’re going to run against. I don’t feel a lot of pressure, but having been given this opportnity, I’m confident I can go and beat (five-time PASS champion) Johnny Clark and those guys. Maybe not every week, but as much as they’re going to beat us – and that’s really exciting.

“This is the next level, the next step in my career. There are racing goals you want to accomplish in life, and in the the northeast, the PASS Tour has the best teams and best drivers on it. Aside from winning a CARQUEST championship, I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do so far. This is where I wanted to take my career.”

On racing at Beech Ridge: “The biggest thing is just to keep grip in the car and to keep car turning. You realize that you have to sacrifice a little forward drive to get underneath people in the corners and drive up under them.

“It’s a lot like an Oxford (Plains Speedway) or some of those tracks – you leave loving it one time and the next time you leave hating it. It’s definitely a chassis track, not a horsepower track by any means. It’s just a beautiful facility.”

On his goals for the 2011 PASS North Series season: “Obviously, in my mind I want to win the championship. But I’m not going to finish sixth when I could have won the race because I’m worrying just about points. If you win races, points will take care of themselves.

“But at the same time, you have to be smart about it – but that’s what makes good race car drivers.”

SCOTT MULKERN, Team owner and Driver of the No. 84 Community Pharmacies/Southern Maine Motors Chevrolet, on adding Lonnie Sommerville to the team: “ When we had the open ride (last fall), we were talking with Gary about working with us even before we were talking to Lonnie. Gary has a lot of confidence in Lonnie. Obviously, I’ve seen him race, and as far as the Canadian drivers, he’s one of the top dogs. He’s in that league – Scott Fraser, Patrick Laperle, those guys – and I’d put Lonnie right there.”


The PASS North Series returns the quarter-mile Star Speedway in Epping, N.H., on Saturday, May 14, for the PASS 150… Lonnie Sommerville has never competed at Star Speedway.