With the disappointment at Bristol in the rear-view mirror, Brandon Bernstein and the MAVTV/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster team are looking forward to brighter days at this weekend's O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
Bernstein suffered his first DNQ in a long while at Thunder Valley last time out, but he and the crew are expecting that setback to be temporary.
"We feel confident it was a one-race, freak deal," Bernstein said. "The guys are going to be right back at it as soon as we hit Chicago. We've been working hard at the shop making sure everything is right."
Prior to Bristol, the MAVTV car had been on a roll going to two semifinals and finishing runner-up in the previous three races. Bernstein had worked his way from 11th place in the season standings to seventh. He now sits eighth, 31 points behind Shawn Langdon.
"We know we can still run with anybody," Bernstein said. "You brush not qualifying in Bristol off and you move on."
The Route 66 Nationals are a relatively quick dash from the Morgan Lucas Racing shop, which Bernstein said is good for keeping everyone on the crew fresh, especially with the grueling Western Swing looming next month.
"It's kind of nice to have these next two races close to home," Bernstein said. "The guys are able to get back to their homes and their families, because once we hit the West Coast the summer run is on."
This weekend is also the eve of the re-launch of Bernstein's sponsor, MAVTV. On July 4, the cable network will unveil its "American Real" programming, which aims to better serve the entertainment needs of America's heartland.
"We're excited about the 'American Real' launch," Bernstein said. "It's going to be really cool and a great way to get the public to get to know more about MAVTV."