Story By: STEVE INCH / SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY – SELINSGROVE, PA – Bryan Bernheisel outdueled his father Jim Bernheisel to capture his second career late model season opener at Selinsgrove Speedway Saturday afternoon in the division’s 25-lap main event.
The $3,000 victory was the 10th of Bernheisel’s career at the track in the Lazer Chassis No. 119. Bernheisel, of Lebanon, scored his other opening day win in 2018, the year he also won his first track championship.
Saturday’s race marked the track’s 60th late model season opener in its rich history.
Ken Duke of Selinsgrove was awarded the win in the 20-lap PASS/IMCA 305 sprint car feature when Kruz Kepner’s racer came up light on the scales during the post-race inspection.
Rookie Levi Vial of Bloomsburg made his first career start in the roadrunner division and found himself standing in Victory Lane at the conclusion of the division’s 12-lap feature.
Selinsgrove Speedway’s next race is at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 16, featuring the United Late Model Series in the 30-lap Spring Championship. Joining the super late models again will be the PASS/IMCA 305 sprint cars and roadrunners. Gates will open at 4 p.m.
Bryan Bernheisel started on the outside of the front row while his father Jim Bernheisel started on the pole for the super late model feature. Racing out of turn two, B. Bernheisel pulled into the early race lead with his father in tow.
Fourth-place starter Gene Knaub raced a close third with sixth-place starter Jim Yoder quickly advancing to fourth. The race’s first caution flag unfurled on lap nine when Drew Weisser’s car spun in turn two. On the lap 10 restart, B. Bernheisel continued to set the pace as eighth-place starter Hayes Mattern challenged fifth-place starter Jeff Rine for fifth.
Late in the race, a double spin for John Schoch in turn two and Jared Siefert in turn three regrouped the field for another restart. When the race resumed, Mattern powered by Rine for the fifth position.
At the checkered flag, B. Bernheisel was victorious by several car lengths over J. Bernheisel, Knaub, J. Yoder, and Mattern.
Front row starters Drew Young and Tyler Snook brought the 305 sprint car field to the green flag at the start of the main event. Snook powered into the lead with third-place starter Kruz Kepner in pursuit. Two laps later, fifth-place starter Ken Duke passed Young for the third position.
By lap eight, Kepner closed in on Snook in slower traffic. On the 11th circuit, Kepner made a pass by Snook for the lead using the inside lane in turn two. A lap later Snook and Jason Roush made contact and spun in turn three.
With five laps remaining, Kepner maintained a healthy lead over Duke and seventh-place starter Austin Reed. At the checkered flag, Kepner was victorious over Duke. During the post-race inspection, however, Kruz’s car was under the legal weight limit and the win was awarded to Duke followed by Reed, Doug Dodson, Erin Statler, and Scott Frack.
Fourth-place starter Tom Underwood attempted to take the lead at the start of the roadrunner but it was second-place starter Nate Romig who brought the field around to complete the first lap.
Romig and sixth-place starter Keith Bissinger were in a hard-fought battle for the lead through much of the event. At the halfway point, Romig set the pace in front of Bissinger, Underwood, Curtis Lawton and Levi Vial.
A close three-car battle unfolded at the front of the pack when Lawton advanced to third. On the final lap, Bissinger made a move to the inside of Romig to challenge for the lead. When the two cars made contact, Bissinger’s No. 11 turned sideways and barrel rolled into the first turn, collecting Lawton.
Original ninth-place starter Vial inherited the lead with one lap to go and held off Daren Rice for his first career win in his first-ever start on the half-mile track. Matt Ney, Cory Lindenmuth, and Romig completed the top five.
SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY RACE SUMMARY – 2 April 2022
Late Models – 19 Entries
25-Lap A-Main: 1) 119 Bryan Bernheisel 2) 31 Jim Bernheisel 3) 1 Gene Knaub 4) 27 Jim Yoder 5) 9 Hayes Mattern 6) 2J Jeff Rine 7) 2Y Andrew Yoder 8) 22 Brett Schadel 9) 92 Shaun Lawton 10) 7 Meade Hahn 11) 89 John Schoch 12) 25 Jared Siefert 13) 63 Nathan Long 14) 12M Tyson Mowery 15) 22 Randal Paxton 16) 32J Shaun Jones 17) 19 Drew Weisser 18) G05 Paul Spear 19) 77 Scott Dunham Jr. DNS
Heat Winners: Jim Bernheisel, Jeff Rine
305 Sprint Cars – 24 Entries
20-Lap A-Main: 1) 67 Ken Duke 2) 34 Austin Reed 3) 20 Doug Dodson 4) 2 Erin Statler 5) 39X Scott Frack 6) 46 Mike Alleman 7) 25 Dustin Young 8) 51 Dave Graber 9) 91J John Fiore 10) 31 Roger Weaver 11) 41 Joshua Harner 12) 5 Logan Spahr 13) 88 Fred Arnold 14) 1M Paul Moyer 15) 71 Josh Spicer 16) 7 Drew Young 17) 17 Owen Dimm 18) 19 Kruz Kepner 19) 95 Garrett Bard 20) 56 Tyler Snook 21)28R Jason Roush 22) 98 Croix Beasom 23) 36 Dominic Melair 24) 54 Mike Melair
Heat Winners: Austin Reed, Drew Young, Dominic Melair
Roadrunners – 11 Entries
12-Lap A-Main: 1) 19 Levi Vial 2) 8 Daren Rice 3) 5 Matt Ney 4) 14 Cory Lindenmuth 5) 25 Nate Romig 6) 11 Keith Bissinger 7) 33 Curtis Lawton 8) 12 Tom Underwood 9) 992 Terry Kramer 10) 60 Jimmy Kessler 11) 0 Kevin Dobson
Heat Winners: Terry Kramer, Keith Bissinger