Championship Drag Racing

NHRA Nationals
Las Vegas, NV
(April 6-9)

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Brandon Bernstein
MAV TV/Lucas Oil dragster

Bernstein now fourth in Top Fuel POWERade points

, Sunday: Brandon Bernstein and the Budweiser/Lucas Oil team followed their Houston victory with a final four appearance at the Nationals at “The Strip” at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The consecutive strong showings helped boost the Kenny Bernstein-owned team to fourth in NHRA Top Fuel POWERade championship point standings.

The Budweiser/Lucas Oil team, led by crew chief Tim Richards, started from the No. 3 qualifying spot with a 4.534/330.23

Brandon Bernstein faced off against Bob Vandergriff, Jr. in the opening round of eliminations. In a competitive side by side race, Bernstein’s red dragster crossed the finish line first with low elapsed time of the round, 4.535 seconds, at 328.14 mph to defeat Vandergriff Jr.’s 4.601/326.32.

“I saw some of the cars before us smoke the tires,” said Bernstein. “We need to go some rounds. Hopefully we can have a good outing today and make up for time lost at the first couple of races of the season.”

Bernstein put another 20 POWERade championship points in the bank and took the quarterfinals victory out running Doug Herbert with a 4.564/324.75 over Herbert's 4.681/311.49.

"We lost an engine in the lights," said Bernstein. "We were lucky it happened at the end of the run."

The Budweiser/Lucas Oil team made an engine swap during the 75-minute work window between the quarterfinals and the semifinals.

Bernstein rolled to the starting line for the third time Sunday, this time facing David Grubnic. A big engine explosion early in the run, followed by a blast of fire, killed all hope of a final round appearance for the Budweiser/Lucas Oil team. Grubnic won the round, 4.629/324.98 to Bernstein’s 9.799/69.79.

“We had a problem with a fuel line,” said Bernstein. “All the raw fuel pumping out caused the fire. One of those weird mechanical things again.

“When you figure we were 12th in point standings two weeks ago, and we’re fourth leaving Las Vegas, we’ve had a good couple of races. We’ve found some consistency and we’re going rounds.”

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