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Keeping Pace

Bernstein hopes to continue family tradition

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.

Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations

Englishtown, N.J.- Kenny Bernstein held the keys to victory at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. The six-time national champ drove to the winner’s circle seven times in his career, more than any other NHRA professional driver in any category.

When second generation driver Brandon Bernstein comes to the United Association SuperNationals June 12-14, he hopes to begin to build upon that legacy.  The Budweiser/Lucas Oil team was runner-up at this event last year and they were the No. 1 qualifier in 2006.

“When we think about this track, it’s never lost on me that we had a bad experience here in 2003 when we were injured,” said Bernstein, “but we’ve put that behind us and when we’re in competition mode, it’s a track just like any other.

“We have a very competitive team right now,” continued Bernstein, “and we’re looking for that day of redemption.  Of all tracks, this is certainly one we’d like to conquer.

“Additionally, we’re on the downhill side of the Countdown to 10, and we’ve maintained a top three spot in the point standings since the beginning of the year.  It’s critical for us to continue to be consistent and gain round wins so we can have a strong position when the points are reset for the Countdown to 1.

“Dad is at home recovering from back surgery and he won’t be able to join us at Englishtown. We miss him, and maybe he can send us some good mojo for winning via telepathy.  He listens to Bob Frey on the NHRA audiocast on the internet so he is hearing the competition in real time.  We’re in touch by phone.”

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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