Bernstein wins the championship in semi-finals

Motorsport.com -- Kenny Bernstein won the NHRA Winston Top Fuel Championship today at Pomona. The season finale was the duel between Larry Dixon and Bernstein and it was anybody's race. All Bernstein needed to do was win in the semifinals and ...

Motorsport.com -- Kenny Bernstein won the NHRA Winston Top Fuel Championship today at Pomona. The season finale was the duel between Larry Dixon and Bernstein and it was anybody's race. All Bernstein needed to do was win in the semifinals and he did! Defeated Clay Millican 4.54, 321.35 to 4.99, 204.82.

"This has been some year," said crew chief Tim Richards. "My hats off to the Budweiser people who work with us [Bernstein and team] and to our crew, they were with us for every race."

This is Bernstein's sixth championship -- four in Funny Car and now two in Top Fuel [1996]. The last few years had not been good to Bernstein but this year has been fantastic -- setting records and top qualifying positions plus setting a national elapsed time [4.477] at Joliet and speed record [332.18 MPH] at Reading.

This was a very emotional victory for Bernstein, his family, team and close friend as he commented, "Wanted so badly to win this -- it is the highlight of my career." 2002 will be his final season as a racer; he turns the Top Fuel racer over to his son Brandon for the start of the 2003 season.

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