Brainerd, Min. - Brandon Bernstein and the MAVTV/Protect the Harvest Top Fuel dragster ran their best lap of the weekend during Sunday's first round at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, but it wasn't enough to get into Round 2.
Bernstein was off the starting line first and ran a 3.818 second lap at 321.35 mph, which was the fourth best time of the round. Unfortunately, Bernstein was paired with Khalid alBalooshi, who ran the best ET of the round.
"Fourth quickest in that whole session and you come up against that kind of run," Bernstein said. "It's just bad timing, bad whatever. It's not like we ran a 3.90-something. We put together a great car."
alBalooshi ran a 3.773 second pass at 322.81 mph, which was the quickest pass of the weekend to that point. Bernstein said the MAVTV team did everything possible to cross the line first.
"The team did an awesome job this weekend," Bernstein said. "We ran a 3.81, I had him pretty good on the Tree - that's nothing to be ashamed of at all. We know their car is capable of doing that, but it's just unfortunate that it came at that time against us."
The MAVTV team will head back to the shop and set its sights on the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway. First step for that race will be making a few runs down the track during the open test session next weekend.
"We're going to make some runs on Wednesday and Thursday," Bernstein said. "Our crew chief Joe Barlam wants to be sure to make some night runs there, so we'll be ready for the two night sessions we'll have at the U.S. Nationals."
Bernstein said the test will be a matter of making some small adjustments before The Big Go.
"We know the car can run," Bernstein said. "It's just a matter of making some small fixes, so we can qualify well and finish locking up our spot in the Countdown. Hopefully it'll be something quick and easy so we can focus on racing Indy instead of jumping through hoops to make the Countdown."
Source: Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals