PASS North

Mulkern Racing: PASS North Series
Lonnie Sommerville Speedway 660 Race Report

Lonnie Sommerville of Saint John, New Brunswick, heads home when the PASS North Series turns to the PASS 200 at Speedway 660 in Geary, New Brunswick, on Saturday, June 9. Sommerville is a two-time winner of the the premier Super Late Model race in the Maritime provinces – the Auto Zone 250 – held at Speedway 660 each Labor Day Weekend. Sommerville took a turn in the lead in the first half of this race a year ago before a broken wheel took him out of contention, but he’s anxious to get his season on track in the Mulkern Racing No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders/PUB’s Bottle Exchange Chevrolet on the .333-mile, multi-groove race track.

WHO: Lonnie Sommerville, Saint John, New Brunswick
TEAM: Mulkern Racing No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders/PUB’S Bottle Exchange Chevrolet
CREW CHIEF: Gary Crooks, Mooresville, N.C.
LAST RACE AT SPEEDWAY 660: 12th (June 2011)

WHAT: PASS North Series PASS 200
WHERE: Speedway 660, Geary, New Brunswick (.333-mile oval)
WHEN: 7 p.m., Saturday, June 9

PASS North Series
LAST RACE: June 3, PASS 150, Riverside Speedway, Groveton, N.H. (PPD-Rain)
NEXT RACE: June 23, PASS 150, Autodrome Chaudiere, Vallee-Jonction, Que. (.25-mile, progressively-banked oval)

Lonnie Sommerville is part of a parade of new faces atop the PASS North Series standings. 2010 Rookie of the Year Joey Doiron leads DJ Shaw (2008 ROY) and Sommerville (2011 ROY) in the points after three races. Sommerville trails Doiron by just 13 points.
Lonnie Sommerville hasn’t been outside the Top-5 in the PASS North Series standings at any point in his two seasons on the tour.
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, many of whom compete at Speedway 660 in both the Pro Stock and Sportsman divisions.

LONNIE SOMMERVILLE, Driver of the Mulkern Racing No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders/PUB’s Bottle Exchange Chevrolet, On how he feels heading home to Speedway 660 this weekend: “I don’t know that I’m any more comfortable there than anywhere else,at least as far as being on the track itself, but it is nice that you know you have the crowd on your side and you know most of the people at the race track. Everybody’s there to root for you. Well, maybe not all of them, but most of them, so it gives you a little more motivation to do well.

“I think most people (in New Brunswick) look forward to it. It’s maybe not as big as the (Auto Value) 250 on Labor Day weekend, but it’s a big show with some different guys coming in that they don’t usually get to see. I think a lot of people will go this weekend, because they may only get one chance to see some of the drivers we race with every week.”

On what he likes about Speedway 660: “It’s pretty much multi-groove. You can run the top or the bottom. It’s a little similar to a Beech Ridge, but it’s also more of a driver’s track. You can really hustle the car, move your line around and get a little more out of it, as opposed to being a finesse track where you have to be careful not to burn your stuff. You can go really go after it here from the start. That’s not necessarily the way you drive it, because you don’t have to over a long race, but that’s the way it races.
“With this being a pit stop race, you do want to make sure before the halfway break that you really hustle the car and really see what’s in it and what you have to adjust. After you put tires on it, you’re going to make some adjustments and see what you can get.”

On how a team bounces back from disappointing outings at the start of the season: “You’ve got to be confident in what you’ve done in the past, in the success you’ve had and how good our stuff is. If you’re confident in that, you’ll be OK. The last thing you want is to show up at the track and be second-guessing things you’re doing or decisions you’re making.
“We just need to regroup. We know we’re good enough. Everybody has an off-day. For our 17 or 18 races together we’ve been pretty good, so we just missed it this one time (at White Mountain). To be as bad as we were at White Mountain was unacceptable, but we’re going to bounce back. Nothing’s changed with our race team.”

The PASS North Series stays in Canada for a second consecutive race with the PASS 150 at Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee-Jonction, Quebec, on Saturday, June 23… A broken transmission ended Lonnie Sommerville’s day early in last year’s event after he advanced 10 spots from his starting position over the first 50 laps.

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