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Keeping Pace

Budweiser/Lucas Oil Team Looking For A Victory To Cap 30th anniversary

The Bernstein family has had backing from Budweiser for 30 years but this will be the final season of the fan favorite bright red Top Fueler. Brandon Bernstein aims to win this week’s NHRA stop in St. Louis, home of Anheuser-Busch as a proper send-off to the long-time sponsor.


Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations

For Kenny Bernstein and his Budweiser/Lucas Oil team, it will be a bittersweet trip to the O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals. The team is celebrating an unprecedented 30 years of sponsorship from the Budweiser brand of Anheuser-Busch, the longest team/sponsorship association in all of autosports.

“Sadly, this is the final year that Bud will be with our team,” said six-time champion and team owner Bernstein. “We will look forward to seeing many of our friends at the racetrack. It’s been a great ride, but as the cliché goes, all good things must come to an end.

“We are actively searching for a replacement sponsor so that we can continue to field the team with Brandon as driver.”

“We would love to bring home a victory at Gateway for the Budweiser brand,” said Brandon. “That would be icing on the cake.”

The Bernsteins have driven the Budweiser colors to six final rounds at Gateway Int’l Raceway. Kenny won in 2002, the year of his “Budweiser…Forever Red” retirement tour.

Brandon won in 2005, a joyous celebration that included the Bernstein patriarch, Bert, Kenny’s father. It was the last race Bert attended as he succumbed to cancer two months after he joined the team for their victory dinner.

“We always remember granddad each year at St. Louis,” said Brandon. “He knew he wasn’t going to win the fight, but he had the best attitude and was so excited to be with us at the track. It was a very special weekend; in fact we celebrated his 82nd birthday and the victory. There are some wins that just stick in your mind forever, and that’s one Dad and I will never forget.”

This season the Kenny Bernstein-owned team comes to St. Louis third in points standings with two runner-up finishes and two final-four showings.

“We have been in the top three in the points standings since the beginning of the season,” said Brandon. “We’re just hungry for a win. St. Louis would be an excellent place for us to grab our 18th career victory.”


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Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.

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