SOMMERS PREPARED TO SHAKE UP TUNDRA ROOKIE BATTLE
Gabe Sommers Racing Facebook Photo
PORTAGE, Wis. (May 11, 2018) – When fans look back on the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes rookie class of 2018 they may be looking at some of the top names in Super Late Model racing. That day could come in five years…or a lot sooner than any might imagine.
One of those names in this year’s Back 40 Wraps rookie class that should be sure to capture attention is Gabe Sommers. The young, up-and-coming racer from Plover, Wis., has already made some splashes early in his career. He was the youngest ever Midwest Truck Series feature winner at age 13 two seasons ago. He backed that up last season with a Fifth Place finish in the season standings as he went on to win Rookie of the Year.
He’s hoping TUNDRA will be a boost in his career as he moves up the ranks.
“I always think there is a possibility to be the next racer to make it through,” Sommers said. “My passion is racing. I have an extremely dedicated crew and supportive sponsors, and we all know these are key factors.”
The fact that the Sommers family is deeply entrenched in short track racing history doesn’t hurt either. Sommers is a third-generation racer and is a cousin of the famous Rich Sommers. Rich Sommers was well-known across the Midwest and captured the first weekly track Championship at Wisconsin International Raceway in 1975. He won it again in ‘78.
“It’s really cool to keep the Sommers tradition going and keep the 15 on the track,” Sommers said. “Family and fans appreciate that we are carrying on the tradition.”
Much like any young racer at this point in their career, Sommers is looking for seat time. He’s been busy so far in 2018 competing in three Super Late Model shows in Wisconsin. His best finish was Seventh at the Golden Sands Speedway Thaw.
But even before the snow melted in the Badger State, Sommers was turning laps. He and his team ventured to New Smyrna Speedway in February to compete in the World Series of Asphalt.
“I learned a lot at Speedweeks,” Sommers said. “The main thing I got out of it was learning setup, the feel of the car, and I gained more experience in the car to get ready for this year.”
Thus far, the biggest hurdle for Sommers has been getting used to the move from the Midwest Truck to the Super Late Model. According to Sommers though, that learning curve hasn’t been too steep.
“The biggest change from racing the truck to the car would be the different engine and the shocks. The rest is still the same concept,” Sommers said.
What will be helpful for Sommers in TUNDRA is that he has raced many of the tracks on the schedule – either in the Midwest Truck or in his brief stint so far in a Super Late Model.
“I decided to run TUNDRA this year because it is a good series with a many great drivers and the tracks TUNDRA choses are some of my favorite tracks,” he said. “My goal is to capture the Rookie of the Year in TUNDRA.”
This season Sommers is sponsored by Kwip Trip, Wysocki Produce Farm, Allied Cooperative, Tasteful Selections, Midway Machine, Meadowview Farm, Dave’s Body Shop, B&B Paving, R. Smith Construction, Woodstreet Rental Center, Bushman Electric Crane & Sign, and Coca-Cola.
Kroll’s West Round One for the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes takes place Saturday, May 12 at Wisconsin International Raceway. The Super Late Models will be joined by the TUNDRA Sportsman and Triple Crown Late Models. Qualifying is at 5:15 p.m. with racing at 6:45 p.m. Adult admission (13 and up) is just $12. Kids 12 and under receive free admission.
Wisconsin International Raceway is located just past the intersection of Hwy 55 and KK outside of Kaukauna, Wis. For more information visit www.wirmotorsports.com