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Keeping Pace

Bernstein looking for third consecutive final round appearance in Seattle

Brandon Bernstein has made final round appearances in Seattle three out of the five years he’s been at the wheel of the popular Budweiser dragster owned by his father, Kenny.  Brandon won the event in 2005 and scored two consecutive runner-up finishes in ’07 and ’08.  He was also the No. 1 qualifier in ’06.


Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations

Seattle, Wash.- As the NHRA season nears the cutoff for the Countdown to 1, Budweiser/Lucas Oil driver Brandon Bernstein hopes to continue the success he’s enjoyed at Pacific Raceways where he will be competing July 17-19 at the NHRA Northwest Nationals.

Bernstein has made final round appearances here three out of the five years he’s been at the wheel of popular dragster owned by his father, Kenny.  Brandon won the event in 2005 and scored two consecutive runner-up finishes in ’07 and ’08.  He was also the No. 1 qualifier in ’06.

“This has been a good track for us in the past,” confided Bernstein, “and we hope the trend continues. With five races remaining before the points are reset for the Countdown, we want to stay in the top five. We have been in the top four all season and it’s a dogfight for position.  Several of us are within a few points of each other and can be reshuffled in the standings after each event.  There’s a lot of pressure on the crew chiefs, and we want to be sure to do our job in the cockpit.  Race days are very intense.

“We have a lot of talent on our team and just need to keep racking up rounds.  Victories would be nice, too.”

At this point in the season, Bernstein has four runner-up finishes on his scorecard and three final four showings.

“With Rob Flynn and Mike Guger, their first season as crew chief and assistant crew chief, and for all our sponsors and especially my Dad, we’d sure like to make a drive to victory lane on Sunday.”

With Budweiser recently announcing that they will not return in 2010 after 30 years of primary sponsorship with the Kenny Bernstein team, new sponsorship is being actively pursued.

“We are passionate about the sport of NHRA drag racing and we will continue to field a team in 2010 with Brandon as the driver if we can secure sponsorship,” said six-time champion Kenny Bernstein. “But let me stress that if we don’t find funding for next year, we will not be back.  Racing is our business.  We do not have another business to fall back on to help absorb the expense of a race team.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to all the Budweiser employees and wholesalers we’ve worked with through the years, as well as the fans and friends who have followed and supported us beginning with the Funny Car era.

 “We believe that taking a proactive role in initiating programs and promotions that help sell product and build brand awareness has been an integral part of retaining our sponsorship associations through the years.  Coupled with the success we’ve had on the racetrack while flying the Budweiser colors, including six NHRA championships and 85 national event victories between Brandon and me, then it’s a very attractive opportunity for another sponsor.

 “We think we have been one of the marquee teams in this sport for the past three decades and we bring with us 30 years of fan base. NHRA drag racing is our home.”


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

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