Lonnie Sommerville of Saint John, New Brunswick, kicks off a second full season of PASS North Series competition when the series opens 2012 with the SouthernMaineMotors.com 150 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, on Saturday, May 5. Sommerville, who finished fourth in this race a year ago in the Mulkern Racing No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders Chevrolet, earned his first career PASS North Series victory at Beech Ridge in July of 2011. Sommerville has never finished worse than fourth at Beech Ridge since joining Mulkern Racing.
TEAM: Mulkern Racing No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders Chevrolet
CREW CHIEF: Gary Crooks, Mooresville, North Carolina
BEST CAREER BEECH RIDGE MOTOR SPEEDWAY FINISH: 1st (July 2011)
LAST RACE AT BEECH RIDGE MOTOR SPEEDWAY: 4th (September 2011)
WHAT: PASS North Series SouthernMaineMotors.com 150
WHERE: Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Maine (.375-mile flat oval)
WHEN: Practice, Thursday, May 3 and Friday, May 4, 2-6 p.m.; Qualifying, Saturday, May 5, 3 p.m.; Race, Saturday, May 5, 5 p.m.
PASS North Series
NEXT RACE: Saturday, May 12, PASS 150, Star Speedway, Epping, N.H. (.25-mile oval)
FINAL 2011 POINTS POSITION: 2nd
DID YOU KNOW?
- Lonnie Sommerville posted an average finishing position of 3.0 in three starts at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway last season.
Lonnie Sommerville had one win and 10 Top-5 finishes in 14 starts last season, en route to a second-place finish in the final PASS North Series standings and co-Rookie of the Year honors.
- Mulkern Racing will bring a two-car effort to Beech Ridge this weekend, with both Lonnie Sommerville and Scott Mulkern competing in the event.
- Mulkern Racing won the 2011 season finale at Oxford Plains Speedway with Scott Mulkern driving as a teammate to Lonnie Sommerville.
- Lonnie Sommerville builds race cars for his own Lonnie Sommerville Racing organization in New Brunswick.
- Scott Mulkern finished second in the PASS 300 at Beech Ridge last September.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
LONNIE SOMMERVILLE, Driver of the Mulkern Racing No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders Chevrolet, On the key to winning at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway: “It's a place where you're never really comfortable there. You really have to drive the race car there. Mine and Scott (Mulkern's) driving styles, a place like that is more suited to our driving styles.
“Most people don't realize that your'e always free there, but you burn the right front tire off. You don't just go out there and run 90 percent as hard as you can all the time. You run maybe 70 percent at the start, and you'll have 70 percent left at the end when other guys have fallen off to 40 or 50 percent. In these longer races, you have to save your stuff at any track. But Beech Ridge is so hard on tires and the groove changes all the time, so it's even more so there. It's such a racy place, you have to be smart about it all the time.”
On Mulkern Racing's success at Beech Ridge in 2011: “I think it was just about us understanding what we needed for our race cars, And with (Mulkern Racing crew chiefs Gary Crooks and Seth Holbrook) being able to give Scott and I what we needed as drivers, the preparation at the shop turned into basically fine-tuning at the track on race day. We'd unload and try and make the cars better, but we'd end up going back to what we unloaded with because it was so good.
“Scott has a lot of laps there, and he had better race cars last year. I had some success with my own team there before, too. It's a place I really like, and it took me a while, but I've figured it out.”
On his goals for this weekend at Beech Ridge: “Obviously, I want to win the race. For us, it's about going to the race track, having everything go smoothly and doing our jobs. If we all do our jobs to the best of our capabilities, and we end up finishing second, third or fourth, then we'll go back and we'll work on our program. You never know what other guys have done to their cars over the winter.
“But for us, if everybody goes and gives 110 pct and we win, we did our job.”
GARY CROOKS, Crew chief on the Mulkern Racing No. 48 A.E. McKay Builders Chevrolet, On having a two-car effort at Beech Ridge this weekend: “We run the exact same setup in both cars, and we did that at Beech Ridge and Oxford last year. There's no negative in that aspect. If Seth tries something different with Scott and it works, then we find out about it; if we try something with Lonnie and it works, they find out about it. That part of it is all good.”
The PASS North Series continues a stretch of three races in three weeks with the PASS 150 at Star Speedway in Epping, N.H., on Saturday, May 12... Lonnie Sommerville finished fourth in the caution-filled event a year ago. It was his first career visit to the tight quarter-mile track.
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