LEE, N.H. – Lonnie Sommerville of Saint John, New Brunswick, finished fourth in the PASS North Series Bastille 200 at Lee USA Speedway on Tuesday, July 12. Sommerville led the event with less than 60 laps remaining, but a flat right front tire over the closing stages kept him for contending for a second PASS victory in a span of four days. After a tough qualifying effort, Sommerville started 16th in the 20-car field and moved into the Top-5 by Lap 80. Despite the loss of air pressure in the right front tire, though, he was able to hold on for fourth and unofficially move to fourth in the overall PASS standings.
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.
WHAT: PASS North Series Bastille 200
WHERE: Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H. (.333-mile oval)
LAPS LED: 2 times for 3 laps
PASS North Series
LAST RACE: July 9, Southern Maine Motors.com 150, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Maine (1st)
NEXT RACE: July 21, PASS 100, Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, Conn. (.625-mile banked oval)
LONNIE, WHAT DID YOU IN AT THE END?
“Flat right front. It only had 18 or 19 pounds (of air pressure) in it at the end. I knew on the second to last restart, either the bleeder bled down or I had rubber on (the tire). I went down in the turn and just slid the nose and lost Johnny (Clark). I was going to turn underneath him.
“I probably picked something up on the track... and then it was a slow leak. It started going down. Those (late) cautions didn't help us. It just didn't allow the pressure to build up and stay there.”
IS IT FRUSTRATING?
“I had an awesome race car. Even the first half, until we pitted, we were just playing with driving underneath Ben (Rowe). I was doing what I was trying to do last week (in a win at Beech Ridge) – just not abuse my stuff.
“I ended up doing the same thing with Johnny after we pitted. I'm pretty sure we had a car that was capable of getting by Johnny and driving off. We were awesome on the bottom, but that's part of it, I guess.”
ARE YOU AT LEAST HAPPY THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO SALVAGE A TOP-5?
“It's frustrating. We won last week – finally – and thought we got the monkey off our back. It's the if's, and's and but's kind of thing in racing – we had a flat tire, but it could have happened on Lap 125, gone down on the rim and then we'd have had to come in and pit and go down a lap.
“At least we were able to salvage a fourth out of it.”
Follow Lonnie Sommerville on the Web: http://www.lonniesommerville.com
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