Cars, and the car community, have always been the biggest part of the Cormier family dynamic. Lynn and her dad Leo have been going to National drag race events races since she was around the age of five. When in grade school, Lynn and Leo would celebrate every graduation by going to the races at Sanair Super Speedway in Quebec where Leo was part of the support team for Joe Roy and Don Lavoie. This is where Lynn first discovered her passion for drag racing, hanging out in the pits and meeting such legends as Kenny Bernstein, Joe Amato and her life long idol Shirley Muldowney. Her fondest memory of Shirley is a down pour at Sanair that flooded the pits. Shirley took Lynn and told Leo to come get her in an hour. In her trailer she made Lynn Kraft Dinner and kept her dry. It was Shirley that always said if Lynn wanted to be a racer, just do it.
When sitting in the stands during her childhood years she would also find herself wishing she could be in a car and feeling the adrenaline rush of the launch and race down the ¼ mile. Lynn’s first chance to go down the track was at McEwen Dragway in Moncton, in her father Leo’s ’31 Model A coupe (Jan 2021 Issue). Lynn’s first race car was an almost new (~3000km) ’95 Acura Integra that she would race at the newly opened drag strip in Miramichi. It was in this car that Lynn won her first $250 in a street car class and she was hooked for life. Lynn raced the Acura for 7 years, at likely 100+ events, once winning the ADRA Street Car Championship. Over the years Lynn was able to bring the car from the 16’s to the 13’s.
At this point Lynn decided she needed to go faster, so she bought Chapman’s ’82 Camaro and completely rebuilt the car, tubbing it and adding a roll cage. Lynn raced the car was for 7 years, reaching the 11:90’s. From there Lynn decided she wanted a street/strip car as she had a lot of friends with hot rods and wanted to be able to attend car shows as well as race. This led her to purchase a 1970 Nova - slicks and on the trailer for the weekend, street tires for the rest of the week. The car ran in the 11:50’s and Lynn enjoyed the street strip lifestyle for a few years.
Once again, feeling the need to go faster, and needing a car made specifically to do so, they bought the ’68 Camaro to which they added much more power allowing Lynn to get into the 8:90’s. The car was partially fibreglass, partially steel, and had a heavy steel frame making for an almost 3000 lb car. To go faster they needed to build lighter. Around that time Greg Blair (January 2020 Issue) had a beautiful ’63 Promod Corvette that Lynn had her eye on, but that Greg sold to his brother in Western Canada. Like Greg, Rob has a vast collections of cars and a passion for going fast. After completing a number of upgrades and improvements to the Corvette, Rob gave Lynn the opportunity to purchase the car and bring it back to New Brunswick. To date, Lynn’s fastest pass in the Corvette is 7:32 at around 190 mph. Her goal in 2022, given that there hasn’t been many opportunities to race because of Covid-19, is sub 7 seconds, in excess of 200mph.
Over her career Lynn has been lucky enough to never be involved in a catastrophic accident, but has had several close calls. She’s lost a front tire on her ’95 Acura, lost the hood on the ‘82 Camaro, pushed so hard on the accelerator pedal of the ’68 Camaro that it became lodged behind the brake pedal leaving the car wide open without brakes, as well as a few great saves with the Corvette. She calmly explained that you turn the car off, pull the chutes and stay calm and focused until you have the vehicle under control. Most importantly you get right back in the saddle!!!
One of Lynn’s personal goals is to get more women interested in the automotive industry in general, and more particularly racing. Lynn started in the automotive industry 25 years ago working at NAPA. At the time women made up 2.7% of the industry, today it’s 10%; a noticeable increase, but still leaving a lot of room for improvement. A large part of her time away from the track, other than serving on several boards associated with the racing community, is traveling to high schools for career days. The goal here is to get kids, particularly girls, interested in the automotive industry. Lynn is able to capture their attention as she provides real context by talking about her drag racing career.
One of Lynn’s greatest passions, and something she wishes was in place when she was a kid, is helping promote the Junior Dragster program. Instead of having to wait until the age of 16, kids are getting “seat time” and learning the ins and outs of racing, as well as racing etiquette. Lynn and her team also enjoy helping out other teams around North America. One of the teams they’ve worked with pre-Covid was Barry Paton and his top fuel dragster team from Canada. They have traveled to Las Vegas, Epping NH, and Florida to help wrench. It was during this time that Lynn and her team explored moving into a Top Fuel car. However, working with Barry’s team
gave them a first-hand look into the expenses that are much more than their current setup. Being with Barry’s team also gave them an appreciation for the increased work in the pits, in a relatively short period of time, required to successfully race a Top Fuel car.
Car and car culture, other than the drag car, are still a big part of Lynn’s life. In partnership with Castrol, Lynn has the opportunity to fly the Castrol colours at Moncton’s two largest car show events, Radical Speed Sport and the Atlantic Nationals. A car aficionado through and through, even in her down time Lynn enjoys taking in a local cruise night or a car show. Getting to those events requires choosing between Leo’s 31 Model A (January 2021 Issue), or the ’65 Mustang Fastback or ’23 T-bucket that she shares with Jason who does double duty as Lynn’s Crew Chief at the track, and life partner away from the track.