Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bernstein looking for glory at a track that owes him one

For a drag racer with a list of credentials as impressive as those of Brandon Bernstein, there's going to be personal history – some good, some bad – at every event on the NHRA schedule.

That's certainly the case for Bernstein at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, which hosts this weekend's 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals, although it's not the kind of history he chooses to dwell on too much.

"It's a big race but it's like any of the other ones to me," said Bernstein, who now drives the MAVTV/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster. "Everyone always asks me about my crash there, gosh going back 10 years now, but I don't even think about it any more."

Bernstein's ride up and over the retaining wall ruined a phenomenal rookie season in 2003, but the son of legend Kenny Benrstein said the SuperNationals are now just another place to win a trophy and earn some championship points.

"It's a big prestigious race and there's a lot of history there," Bernstein said. "But you have to treat it like just another race. The wreck was bad, and I hurt my back, but that was a long time ago now. I'm sure lots of fans will ask me about it, as they do every year, and I get that, but as a driver we really don't dwell on that sort of stuff."

Bernstein had his best weekend of the 2012 season last time out in Topeka, Kan., where he was among the quickest cars in all four rounds of qualifying before racing to a second straight semifinal finish in eliminations.

"We're looking forward to keeping the momentum going," Bernstein said. "The guys have been working mighty hard on this car and they are hungry for a win. We're making the right steps and I think we'll have a real good chance to get one this weekend."

Bernstein said if the weather cooperates, the track is prime for making good power.

"With all the trees everywhere, there's a lot of oxygen in the air," he said. "If the weather stays cool, you can really fly there. We're looking forward to going there, it's going to be a good track."

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