Brandon Bernstein crashes at Englishtown

Top Fuel drag racer Brandon Bernstein has been transported to the University Medical Center in Englishtown, New Jersey following a crash at the SuperNationals today during the first-round of the Top Fuel eliminations.

Brandon Bernstein starts to get into trouble.
Photo by Greg Gage.
In second place in the NHRA championship points, Bernstein had qualified in the number six spot and was meeting the 11th-place qualifier John Smith. Bernstein and Smith both smoked the tires as they left the line. As they pedaled the throttle, something went wrong with Bernstein's Budweiser dragster, which flipped onto its side, into the wall and then up and over it. Bernstein strapped into the dragster ended up on the return road in front of the grandstands.

NHRA's new Safety Safari team arrived immediately and had to cut Bernstein out of the car. He was transfered, alert and awake, to the University Medical Center for evaluation to access the injuries Bernstein sustained.

Bernstein is the son of the six-time NHRA champion Kenny Bernstein. The family has released the following statement:

"Brandon has a crushed vertebrae in the T3 to T4 area. He is stable. There is no paralysis. His spinal canal is in good condition. He will be at the Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center for two to three days. The decision will be made today or tomorrow whether to reconstruct with surgery or a brace. His recovery is expected to take two to three months."

The team has confirmed that the driver for the next event at Topeka, Kansas will be team owner Kenny Bernstein.