Mulkern Racing will field a two-car effort as the PASS North Series heads back to its hub for the Southern Maine Motors 150 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, on Saturday, July 9. Full-time driver Lonnie Sommerville of Saint John, New Brunswick, will pilot his usual No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders Chevrolet, while team owner Scott Mulkern will make his second start of the season in the No. 84 Southern Maine Motors Chevrolet. Sommerville is coming off a Top-5 finish at Canaan Fair Speedway last weekend and hopes to improve on his fourth-place run in the season opener at Beech Ridge back in April. The race marks the beginning of a trying stretch for PASS North teams – it's the first of two races in four days and four races in two weeks.
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.
WHO: Scott Mulkern, Falmouth, Maine
TEAM: Mulkern Racing No. 84 Southern Maine Motors /Community Pharmacies Chevrolet
CREW CHIEF: Tony Ricci, Westbrook, Maine
TEAM MANAGER: Gary Crooks, Mooresville, N.C.
LONNIE SOMMERVILLE'S BEST CAREER BEECH RIDGE MOTOR SPEEDWAY FINISH: 4th (April 2011)
LONNIE SOMMERVILLE'S LAST RACE AT BEECH RIDGE MOTOR SPEEDWAY: 4th (April 2011)
SCOTT MULKERN'S BEST CAREER BEECH RIDGE MOTOR SPEEDWAY FINISH: 3rd (multiple times)
SCOTT MULKERN'S LAST RACE AT BEECH RIDGE MOTOR SPEEDWAY: 15th (April 2011)
WHAT: PASS North Series Southern Maine Motors 150
WHERE: Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Maine (.333-mile oval)
WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Saturday, July 9
PASS North Series
LAST RACE: July 2, Firecracker 150, Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, N.H. (5th)
NEXT RACE: July 12, Bastille 200, Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H. (.333-mile oval)
CURRENT POINTS POSITION: 6th
DID YOU KNOW?
- Lonnie Sommerville has three Top-5 finishes in five starts this season, his first full season in the PASS North Series.
- Scott Mulkern won a track championship at Beech Ridge in 1985 – the last year the track operated as a dirt track.
- Mulkern Racing crew chief Seth Holbrook has won PASS races at Beech Ridge with drivers Mike Rowe and Chris Staples.
- Lonnie Sommerville is in a logjam near the top of the PASS North standings, just 11 points out of third place.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
LONNIE SOMMERVILLE, Driver of the No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders/Community Pharmacies Chevrolet, On the busy stretch of racing in July facing PASS North Series teams: “We were talking about it in the hauler, and our team has a lot of depth. Even though we have all these races coming up in the month of July, we have times to turn cars around, cars that need to be can be fixed, and everything we need is accessible to us to keep things rolling.
“This whole race team is 12-18 hour-a-day guys, and it's not going to bother us any. It's just work, and we're going to do what we're going to do. Hopefully, we can start it off on a good note. I'm really looking forward to going back to Beech Ridge. We learned some things the last time we were there, and we'll be ready.”
SCOTT MULKERN, Owner of Mulkern Racing and Driver of the No. 84 Southern Maine Motors/Community Pharmacies Chevrolet, On racing at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway: “You need to be smooth and keep the tires under you there. It's kind of my style. I kind of like that. I don't seem to be right there at the end like I want to be, but it's all about saving everything that you can for the end.
“The thing about the place is that whenever you go there, the minute you drop the green for the feature, you've got something different than you had in practice. You could be fighting a loose problem all day in practice, and then they start the feature and all of a sudden you're pushing. After five times of that, you realize that's kind of the way the place is. You just really have to work to have a neutral (handling) car. If you get tight, chances are it's the same for a lot of guys.”
GARY CROOKS, Team Manager For Mulkern Racing, On having two teams competing this weekend: “It takes a lot of prep in the shop before you ever go so you can minimize the chaos at the track. It takes more people, obviously. Scott (Mulkern) has some people coming in to help him, and Tony (Ricci) will work with him on Saturday. We'll keep the whole 48 program intact. Other than the finishes, our program is good and the team's working really good together.
“We're all there, and we're basically available for consultations or whatever. For the most part, we'll run it like two separate teams.”
On what the teams learned at Beech Ridge in the season opener: “What bit us at Beech Ridge both times – the (PASS) 300 last year and the first race this year – is that we just didn't trust what we had for the heat race. We were really good in practice the past two races, but we over-adjusted for the heat race and we just didn't go forward. I think we started 16th and 15th – and it just takes too long to get track position back in the feature at that place.
“The biggest thing I've learned there is when you have a good car during the day, just to leave it alone.”
The PASS North Series makes a quick turnaround with the Bastille 200 at Lee USA Speedway on Tuesday, July 12... Lonnie Sommerville has never competed at the track before, making this the fourth track in the first seven races of the season that the New Brunswick driver has never seen before this season.
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