Brandon Bernstein
MAV TV/Lucas Oil dragster

Bernstein looking for second victory at Gainesville

Gainesville, pre-race: Every year when NHRA competitors roll into Gainesville for the ACDelco Gatornationals, fans remember that historical date, March 20, 1992 that sent shockwaves through the motorsports world when Kenny Bernstein became the first to eclipse the elusive 300 mile-per-hour barrier. 

Becoming the first to 300 mph won Kenny the nickname “King of Speed.”  Bernstein calls this feat his most memorable, citing the fact that it is probably the last speed barrier in NHRA drag racing. 

Gainesville Raceway continued to play a significant role in Bernstein family history when second-generation driver Brandon followed in his father’s footsteps, winning the ACDelco Gatornationals in his 2003 rookie season, setting a track record speed of 327.27 mph. 

Last year Bernstein was runner-up in the Top Fuel category in Gainesville and is looking for his second win in Florida at the March 13-15 ‘09 event.

For the first time since he began his professional racing career, Brandon has started the season with a new crew chief, Rob Flynn, and assistant crew chief, Mike Guger. The new regime has proved to be contenders as the Budweiser/Lucas Oil team finished in the final four in the season opener at Pomona and were runner-up at the last race in Phoenix.

“Our goal was to start the season strong,” said Bernstein, “and so far we’ve accomplished that.  We’re hungry for a win, but we are staying focused and attacking race day one round at a time.  Consistency is the name of the game.

“We changed chassis manufacturers this year and there are some subtle cockpit differences which we were able to quickly adapt to during pre-season testing.  We feel very comfortable right now, and we have a talented team with good personnel mesh, along with a lot of enthusiasm and drive.  With these dynamics in our favor, we hope to keep accumulating round wins and stay in the hunt for the Countdown to 1.”