SEARS — Life on the race track has been challenging this summer for Bruce Bregenzer.

Bregenzer lives in Sears and works for Extreme Cleaning & Restoration of Evart. He’s lived in the area most of his life.

Bregenzer usually races modifieds on Fridays at Cherry Raceway near Fife Lake. Reed City’s Roger Steig owns the track.

In high school, Bregenzer played football, baseball and basketball. But he got involved in auto racing in 2000.

“My brother (Nate) hauled me into it,” Bregenzer said. “He races but he’s down in Florida now.”

He’s raced at Merritt on Saturdays.

“I raced in Florida last year,” he said. “I have no feature wins. I have a lot of seconds and a lot of thirds. I have a lot of heat wins.”

Bregenzer has gotten off to a “rusty” start far this season.

“It’s getting better,” he said. “I have my small motor in now. I need some horsepower. I’m trying to get that ready to go.”

Bregenzer does his own auto work, “everything but my motors,” he said. “My brother did all my motor work. I have to find somebody else to do it. He pretty much guides me through it over the phone if I need help.”

As he’s gained more experience, Bregenzer’s driving skills have improved.

Cherry Raceway has seen improvements since Steig took over the track two years ago.

“He’s put a lot of clay into it and has made it high banked,” Bregenzer said. “Years before, it wasn’t so high-banked. It’s a whole lot faster track now.”

The car counts have been down because of the economy, Bregenzer indicated.

“But there’s still some competitiveness there,” he said.

There’s plenty that Bregenzer would like to accomplish in the final weeks of the season.

“I’m going for my feature win,” he said. “It’s pretty much a combination between car and driver, getting more horsepower, driving the car and being a smooth driver and consistent.”

Bregenzer enjoys seeing how fast his car can go.

“You meet new people and interact with other race car drivers,” he said. “I’ll race as long as I possibly can, as long as my body will let me.”