Jonestown, Pennsylvania’s Bryan Bernheisel has made a fine career in Dirt Super Late Model racing in and around the Keystone State, with championships at multiple race tracks and plenty of wins along the way. Coming into 2019 fresh off a SLM title at Selinsgrove Speedway (PA), Bernheisel was not able to find the same success early on, but as the weather has warmed, so has his performance on track.
With his first win of the season coming in July, the momentum is now there as ‘Kid Lazer’ gets ready for this week’s Northeast ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series Friday-Saturday Pennsylvania doubleheader at Path Valley Speedway and Selinsgrove.
“The year started out kind of rough, we started off with some mechanical issues early in the year, and just weren’t running very well. It was very frustrating to say the least,” Bernheisel told Speed51. “But we finally seemed to turn the corner, I picked up my first win of the year three weeks ago at Clinton County, which was my first ULMS win, and got my second this past weekend at Selinsgrove. So, it’s good to be on the upswing.”
First up on Friday, August 9 is the quarter-mile bullring west of Harrisburg, Path Valley Speedway, a track that Bernheisel has only run on occasion, but has long considered a favorite of his.
“We have run very well there, we run great at little short tracks like that. It should be pretty exciting. We’ve picked up a win there at least once. You get some good cars there and it is a lot of fun to race. It should be a great race.”
Then it is on to the half-mile Selinsgrove Speedway on Saturday, August 10 to conclude the doubleheader. With the 2018 track SLM title in hand, it should come as no surprise that Bernheisel feels more than ready to take on the ULTIMATE Northeast competitors there.
“I’m super comfortable at Selinsgrove, as a driver I get pretty nervous going to a lot of tracks, even places I’ve been to, just because I haven’t figured out how to get around certain places. But Selinsgrove is like going home and sitting in a comfy chair. I show up and I know what I need to do.”
Despite the obvious differences in the two tracks, Bernheisel is taking on the weekend with just one car, knowing that if he can come out of Path Valley intact on Friday, he and the 119 team can get the car turned around and race ready for Selinsgrove Saturday.
“We have a pretty good setup package, my brother Brandon who’s my crew chief and setup guy here. Being that we run at both places, we know pretty well what changes to make. As long as we don’t smash everything to smithereens on the first night at Path Valley, we should be able to make the changes we need and show up at Selinsgrove with the same car.”
While defending home clay at Selinsgrove would be a nice accomplishment, Bernheisel has some extra motivation to win on Friday at Path Valley.
“I’d love to win Selinsgrove, but I feel like there’s more pressure just because it feels like I’m almost expected to win, or at least have a good shot at it. I’d be really happy to win at Path Valley because it is a different track, and that one win was years ago. I love Selinsgrove, but if I had to pick between the two, I’d like to win at Path Valley,” Bernheisel explained.
Of course sweeping the weekend is the number one plan. I’m realistic to know that’s going to be tough, in this area the competition is really stout, along with the ULTIMATE regulars. We’ll do our best to do it.”
Speed51 will be on hand to cover both halves of the ULTIMATE Northeast doubleheader in PA. On Friday night you can see ‘The Night of Power’ live on the Speed51 Network, while Saturday’s ‘Showdown on Sand Hill’ from Selinsgrove Speedway will have taped highlights that you can also see on the 51 Network.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51