Lonnie Sommerville: PASS North Series
Speedway 660 Race Preview
Lonnie Sommerville of Saint John, New Brunswick, heads home with the PASS North Series for the PASS 200 at Speedway 660 in Geary, N.B., on Saturday, June 11. Sommerville is from nearby Saint John, and he’s the only Canadian-born two-time winner of the track’s marquee event – the Peterbilt 250 – held each September. After finishing fourth in each of the first two races to open the season, Sommerville has his sights set on visiting PASS North Series victory lane with Mulkern Racing for the first time in his career this weekend at his home track.
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 SPEEDWAY 660 FINISH: 1st (2 times in Peterbilt 250, a non-PASS event)
LAST RACE AT SPEEDWAY 660: 3rd (June 2010)
WHAT: PASS North Series PASS 200 (2 100-lap segments)
WHERE: Speedway 660, Geary, N.B. (.333-mile oval)
WHEN: 7 p.m., Saturday, June 11
PASS North Series
LAST RACE: May 14, Star 150, Star Speedway, Epping, N.H. (4th)
NEXT RACE: June 25, Dany Lagace 150, Autodrome Chaudiere, Vallee Jonction, Que. (.25-mile oval)
CURRENT POINTS POSITION: 3rd
DID YOU KNOW?
Lonnie Sommerville is one of only two drivers to finish in the Top-5 in each of the first two PASS North Series races of the season.
Mulkern Racing finished fifth in this event during the 2010 season.
Lonnie Sommerville finished second in the standings in each of the two seasons he chased a track championship at Speedway 660.
Lonnie Sommerville spent the last two off weeks building race cars for his Canadian-based Lonnie Sommerville Racing customers.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
LONNIE SOMMERVILLE, Driver of the No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders/Community Pharmacies Chevrolet, On racing at his home track this weekend: “I’ve talked to a couple people this week about it. It’s a little bittersweet. If I go and win, everyone’s going to say I should have won there. It would be neat to win in front of that hometown crowd, though. But it will be bittersweet either way, because if we win the naysayers say we should win there and if we don’t they wonder why we didn’t.
“It’s awesome, though. To go there, it’s where I started racing pretty much. It’s great people that own the track, great fans there. It will be neat to go there.”
On whether or not he has any kind of home track advantage at Speedway 660: “I don’t think so. We went to Star (Speedway) having never been there before and we still ran up front. To be able to go to a track you’ve never been, or go somewhere that you’ve been before – it’s still about going and doing your job. You take guys like Johnny (Clark) and Ben (Rowe) – they’re guys that have good equipment and have their stuff together. Guys like that are good wherever we go.
“It is good for your confidence. You maybe have momentum going there thinking, ‘I’ve got a hometown crowd behind me’ and maybe you get up on the wheel a little more, have that extra drive, top try and win in front of them. It gets you a little more pumped and gives a little extra motivation.”
On a timeline for how close this team is to winning: “I think two races ago. I honestly don’t think that there’s a race track we go to this year that we’re not capable of winning at. We weren’t the best car at Star, but we were as good as anybody. We all know in racing, you don’t have to be the fastest car, you just have to put yourself in position. Some weeks we’re the best car, some weeks we’re not. But we definitely can go anywhere and be in contention for the win.
“We were just a little free at this race last year (in the second half). Two years ago, I dominated the race and had a flat while we were leading. We can do that again (dominate) at home.”
On racing at Speedway 660: “It’s just a driver’s race track. You can really manhandle the car and not get yourself in trouble. Star kind of reminded me of 660. It’s a two-groove race track. The race could be won by the guy running the top. It’s definitely a two-groove race track in that way.
“You can really get up on the wheel. The harder you drive it the faster you’re going to go, where as a lot of places, it’s a lot more finesse. That’s how I grew up driving.”
The PASS North Series heads north of the border for a second consecutive week for the Dany Lagace 150 at Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee Jonction, Que… The race marks the debut of the PASS North Series at the track.