Columbus Top Fuel Preview

BERNSTEIN STAYS CONSISTENT IN TOUGH TOP FUEL CATEGORY KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio -- Despite not having posted a victory by the midpoint in the NHRA season, Kenny Bernstein feels good about his Budweiser King team's chances heading into the second...

BERNSTEIN STAYS CONSISTENT IN TOUGH TOP FUEL CATEGORY KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio -- Despite not having posted a victory by the midpoint in the NHRA season, Kenny Bernstein feels good about his Budweiser King team's chances heading into the second half of the season. The key for the 54-year-old Lake Forest, Calif. driver has been consistency. With half the races completed, Bernstein sits second in the point standings, 126 points behind Winston points leader Mike Dunn. He certainly trusts in the old adage that good things come to those who wait. "We've been more consistent this season," said Bernstein, whose season has been highlighted by two runner-ups and two semi-final finishes. "Last year we had won a couple of races by this point, but we weren't as good in the point standings because the consistency wasn't there. As long as we've got the consistency going like we have it now, the wins are going to come. It's just a matter of time. With the exception of a race or two, we've been right there fighting for wins at every event." Bernstein will be among Top Fuel drivers fighting for a victory at the 35th annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing, June 10-13, at historic National Trail Raceway near Columbus. The $1.6 million race is the 10th of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Bernstein, who defeated Bob Vandergriff for the victory last season at National Trail, leads a host of strong teams that includes points leader Dunn, a three-time winner, defending series champion Gary Scelzi, five-time Winston champion Joe Amato and MBNA dragster driver Cory McClenathan. "The competition has been so strong this season, there's a lot of good cars and strong teams," Bernstein said. "There's been several different winners. No one has pulled away with a big lead. At this point in the season everybody in the top 10 has a legitimate chance of winning the Winston championship. It's going to be exciting to see how everything turns out at the end of the season." Bernstein says the competition has been elevated because of the introduction of the five disc clutch, which has enabled teams to better distribute the power of their 6,000 horsepower engines across the quarter-mile. "The five disc clutch has made a tremendous impact," Bernstein said. "It's made a significant difference in the performance level of just about every Top Fuel team out here. That's why we're seeing all the records fall, the big speeds and low elapsed times. So far Mike Dunn's team seems to have mastered it better than the rest of us, but with each run we're all learning, gaining more data." A 52-time NHRA winner, Bernstein is the only driver in the history of the sport to earn Winston championships in both Funny Car and Top Fuel. He has four Funny Car championships and one Top Fuel title. He says his strategy for the second half of the season is simple: stay focused and keep working hard to get a win. "We're going to stick to our gameplan and keep working at getting better," Bernstein said. "We feel pretty confident that if we keep going in the direction we're headed, that we'll see a victory soon. We're second in points and a little over 100 points out of first. We're in good shape heading into the second half of the season."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Joe Amato , Bob Vandergriff