POMONA, Calif. - Brandon Bernstein and the ProtectTheHarvest.com/MAVTV Top Fuel dragster rode their 3.761-second, 325.22-mph run from Thursday to the No. 2 qualifying spot for Sunday's 53rd annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals.

"We had two great runs in the 3.70s," Bernstein said. "The whole team is ready for tomorrow. We know we can run with anybody. We're just going to go out there and put together four good runs in a row and see what happens."

Brandon Bernstein
Brandon Bernstein

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

The Thursday run took place in the coolest conditions of the weekend. By the time Saturday rolled around the sun was out and track temperatures climbed to 100 degrees, not the most ideal for putting power to the pavement. That changed the goal from improving to finding out exactly what the track could hold.

"The track kind of went away today," Bernstein said. "(Crew chief) Joe Barlam was kind of testing the limits so we'd have an idea of what to expect on Sunday."

Sunday is supposed to be significantly cooler, so Bernstein said the ProtectTheHarvest.com team will be confident when they face No. 15 qualifier Brittney Force, who had a best pass of 3.845 seconds at 293.22 mph in her pro debut.

"We heard that the temperatures are expected to cool," Bernstein said. "I'm happy because that plays right into our tune-up. Any time it gets cooler, these cars get better down track. It should be a great race tomorrow if the cooler temperatures come."

After winning the season finale at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona last year, a win to start the year would be a nice way bring it all full-circle for the veteran driver.

"It would be great if that happens because that is what we're here for," Bernstein said. "We're here to go rounds and win races. The ultimate goal is to be as high in the points as we can when the Countdown starts. It'd be a good way to start the season, that's for sure. The most points you can earn at a single race come when you win."

Protect The Harvest Team