After scoring multiple championships in the 358 Modified division, Steve Bernard is ready to take on the next challenge as a rookie contender with the Super DIRTcar Series
Steve Bernard loves a good challenge. After almost 20 years of racing, the Granby, QC native is taking the next step in his career – racing full-time in a Big Block Modified with the Super DIRTcar Series.
Recently, he’s conquered about everything put in front of him in the DIRTcar 358 Modified division, including DIRTcar 358 Modified championships in 2015 and 2017 and track championships at Autodrome Drummond and Le RPM Speedway. So, with his finances and crew support in place, Bernard decided it was time to find a new challenge with a series he loves.
“It’s been a while that we have been talking about it with my dad,” Bernard said. “We’ve done the challenge with the 358s and stuff like that and we won a couple championships. And we were like, that would be awesome to run on the Big Block series for the overall year. It’s really something that we love.”
Like the other three Canadians contending for the Rookie of the Year title with the Super DIRTcar Series, Bernard will have to overcome the learning curve of visiting several tracks he’s never been to before. It didn’t take long for him to encounter that challenge with the first two races of the championship season – Bridgeport Motorsports Park (finishing 13th) and Orange County Fair Speedway (rescheduled for July 5) – being debut appearances for him.
“It [Orange County Fair Speedway] was a different configuration,” Bernard said. “It was our first time doing such banked, curved, super wide stuff… The one thing that we know is that we need to practice on those kinds of surfaces. We’re going to try to hit some races in between the Series and hit some races where we know this kind of surface is around there, for example, Can-Am (Speedway) or some stuff like that.”
One of his immediate observations of the Series front runners is their ability to make unfavorable track conditions work in their favor for the duration of the race. It’s a trait he knows he needs to improve.
“There’s going to be ups and downs,” Bernard said. “Every time we hit a track where we’re not good it’s a down shift, but as soon as you’re getting better, and finding new stuff and learning new stuff, you’re just improving yourself. So, I feel like the overall experience is going to be really helpful for me, as far as racing at home, but also just being better overall. It’s going to be a really cool experience.”
Even with the plethora of learning opportunities this season will afford him, he is willing to put forth the energy and effort to accomplish specific goals he has set for himself.
“I would like to win my first Series race,” Bernard said. “We have been racing for a bunch of years, but we broke our cars and stuff like that at our home track. I think that’s a goal we want to achieve. I think we are able to do that. After that, being a contender in the top five every night. That would be a good way of being better and better, being able to challenge those guys and being more regular finishing in the top five.”
UP NEXT: The Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds are back in action Sunday, May 28, at Weedsport Speedway in Weedsport, NY for the $7,500-to-win Heroes Remembered 100. Then, the Series returns to Lebanon Valley Speedway on Monday, 29, for The King of Spring, awarding a $13,500 payday and Super DIRT Week Guaranteed starting position.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch every Super DIRTcar Series race live on DIRTVision – either at DIRTVision.com or by downloading the DIRTVision App.