SOMMERVILLE HUMBLED TO RUN FRASER REPLICA CAR IN REMAX 250 AT SPEEDWAY 660
BARNESVILLE, NB (August 22, 2014) – Lonnie Sommerville has mixed emotions heading into Speed Weekend at Speedway 660. On the one hand he is excited to have the chance to win his third ‘250’, but on the other hand he is humbled to be carrying the colours of his good friend, the late Scott Fraser.
“The idea came to me in the spring,” said Sommerville, who won the 250 at Speedway 660 in 2006 and 2009. “Not too long after the 10th anniversary of Scott’s death. As friends we will always remember the date, but I was especially struck by how much the racing community, in general, reacted to it this year. So I approached the Fraser family way back then and asked if I could honour Scott by carrying his familiar colours in this race, and at a place that he dominated back in the day.”
Sommerville’s tribute to Fraser evolved even further later in the spring when it was announced in June that Scott Fraser will become the first stock car racer ever to be inducted to the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame (NSSHoF). The car Sommerville will drive is the chassis Scott Fraser raced in 2003, his last year, and with which Fraser himself won the 250 at Speedway 660. The car will carry the NSSHoF logo.
“Lonnie always had, and still has, a lot of respect for Scott,” said Frank Fraser, Scott’s father. “So we didn’t even hesitate when he called. He is the right guy to do this in New Brunswick.”
Sommerville realizes, perhaps more than anyone, just how much winning his third ‘250’ in a car replicating Fraser’s familiar black ’00’ Atlantic Cat car would mean not just to him, but to Fraser’s family and to fans in the region who still idolize him.
“If we’re in a position to win it will be emotional,” said Sommerville, who is the only regional driver to win a late model race in the United States since Fraser did, with Sommerville proud to be on his crew. “Scott taught me so much and his father and brother are still great supporters. The closer this race gets the more I realize just how big an honour it is to be driving Scott’s ’00’.”
Earlier this month two Scott Fraser tribute cars participated in a race at Scotia Speedworld near Halifax (NS), both entered in the event to recognize Fraser’s No. 00 being officially retired from Maritime Pro Stock Tour (PST) competition (the 250 at Speedway 660 is not a PST sanctioned event).
“It speaks volumes of Scott’s impact on the racing community when 10 years after his passing, the idea of seeing the familiar black ’00’ has fans returning to the stands,” said Dan MacLeod, Atlantic Cat. “There is no one more fitting than Lonnie to pilot the car in Scott’s memory at a facility that made Scott feel so welcome, and where he loved both the track and the fan support. Scott would be pleased knowing it was Lonnie behind the wheel. They shared a great respect for each other.”
Members of Scott Fraser’s team, including his father Frank, will be at Speedway 660 August 31 to help Sommerville and his crew. Sommerville’s tribute to Scott Fraser is made possible by Pub’s Bottle Exchange, Irving Blending and Packaging, and Atlantic Cat.
Scott Fraser passed away March 20, 2004 as the result of a snowmobile accident; he was just 33. Since then his accomplishments in racing have been posthumously recognized with inductions to the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the Colchester Sports Heritage Hall of Fame. To learn more about Scott Fraser please visit www.scottfrseronline.com.
Speed Weekend at Speedway 660 runs August 29 to 31. For details please visit www.speedway660.com.
The Scott Fraser Racing crew poses with the #00 car Ben Rowe drove in the August running of the Atlantic Cat 250. (MIKE MCCARTHY)