Lonnie Sommerville: PASS North Series
Autodrome Chaudiere Race Preview
Lonnie Sommerville of Saint John, New Brunswick, joins the PASS North Series for its debut at Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee Jonction, Que., with the Habitations Dany Lagace 150 on Saturday, June 25. Sommerville hopes to rebound from a tough effort last time out at Speedway 660, when a mechanical failure took him out of contention shortly after leading the 200-lap event. He has never raced at Autodrome Chaudiere, though he and the Mulkern Racing No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders Chevrolet team did get the opportunity to test at the track earlier this month. Sommerville enters the weekend third in the PASS North standings, just 26 points off the lead through three races.
WHO: Lonnie Sommerville, Saint John, New Brunswick
TEAM: Mulkern Racing No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders/Community Pharmacies Chevrolet
CREW CHIEF: Seth Holbrook, Turner, Maine
TEAM MANAGER: Gary Crooks, Mooresville, N.C.
BEST CAREER AUTODROME CHAUDIERE FINISH: N/A
LAST RACE AT AUTODROME CHAUDIERE: N/A
WHAT: PASS North Series Habitations Dany Lagace 150
WHERE: Autodrome Chaudiere, Vallee Jonction, Que. (.25-mile banked oval)
WHEN: 9 p.m., Saturday, June 25
PASS North Series
LAST RACE: June 11, PASS 200, Speedway 660, Geary, N.B. (12th)
NEXT RACE: July 2, Firecracker 150, Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, N.H. (.333-mile oval)
CURRENT POINTS POSITION: 3rd
DID YOU KNOW?
Despite the fact that the race this weekend is being held in Canada, Lonnie Sommerville is still a six and a half hour drive from Vallee Jonction, Que. – meaning he’s closer to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Maine than to Autodrome Chaudiere.
Mulkern Racing has never competed at Autodrome Chaudiere.
Lonnie Sommerville is one of only three drivers in the entire PASS North Series with two Top-5 finishes this season.
Mulkern Racing will take the same car to Autodrome Chaudiere that it took to Star Speedway and finished fourth with earlier this season.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
LONNIE SOMMERVILLE, Driver of the No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders/Community Pharmacies Chevrolet, On his impressions of Autodrome Chaudiere: “It was a nice little place. The surface is very smooth, with a lot of banking. Reminded me of a White Mountain (Motorsports Park) kind of deal. It’s short, a little bullring. My guess is there’s probably going to be some tearing of some fenders off the cars.
“We were in the low 12-second lap range (during testing), so with 25 cars out there all going in the low 12-seconds, it’s not going to be that easy to pass there. We didn’t have anything to compare to for what the times were, but we know that the ACT (Late Model Tour) cars were around 12.9 (seconds). We’re assuming we were pretty good and the car felt good. I’m thinking we’ve got something we can unload there with and be pretty good with.”
On rebounding from a 12th-place run at Speedway 660: “I kind of expect, in talking to Joey Doiron and testing there, I expect it to be the type of deal where if you’ve got third place car and you’re thinking about whether to take that risk and go for second, you might want to just take third. You’ve got to be very careful now not to finish outside of Top-5. That’s going to be tough to do, but you can’t expect other guys to finish outside the Top-20. We’ve got to go there trying to win the race here, but we’ve also got to go and try and get the most points we can and not take any chances.
“The key is to unload with a race car that’s going to be fast right off the trailer. (Points leader Johnny Clark’s) team has been the best at that the last few years, and I think we’ve done that this year everywhere we’ve been. When you have the resources and top people that some of these teams have, when you go to a track it’s almost always similar to other places and you work from that.”
On what it will take to get the team a win: “A little luck. Realistically, we contended and could have won the first few races. We didn’t. But if we go this weekend and we all do our jobs and work together as a team – and I do my job as a driver – I don’t see any reason why we can’t win. I’m sure 25 other guys all say the same thing, so its not that easy. But we’re on the verge of winning some races, and hopefully once it starts, we’ll get on a roll.”
The PASS North Series races next weekend at Canaan Fair Speedway in Canaan, N.H., with the Firecracker 150 on Saturday, July 2… Though it will mark Lonnie Sommerville’s debut at the track, Mulkern Racing won the event a year ago with driver Ben Rowe, leading more than half the laps in the process.
Read more on the PASS forum – http://www.neracingforum.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=17