Topeka, Kan. – The first year Kenny Bernstein competed at Heartland Park Topeka it was in the Funny Car category. Then he made the switch to Top Fuel and made four final round career appearances, winning in 1997 and 2001.
He has come full circle. When he climbs behind the wheel to participate in the O’Reilly Summer Nationals June 1-3, it will be in the Monster Energy/Lucas Oil Funny Car.
“We’re looking forward to doing some racing,” said the six-time NHRA champion. “We had an unexpected weekend off with the Bristol reschedule, and my throttle foot is getting a little itchy. Our batteries are recharged and we’re ready to go.”
Bernstein’s comeback season has had its challenges, and prior to the third race of the season at Gainesville, Fla., the legendary driver/owner made a crew chief change to Jimmy Walsh, who is assisted by Danny DeGennaro. In the first race with Walsh and DeGennaro in place, Bernstein drove to the semifinals.
“We are definitely making progress but we’re still taking baby steps,” said Bernstein. “There’s a very tough Funny Car field out there and in qualifying there’s a lot of drama to set the field of 16 for eliminations.
“Our immediate goal is to get into the countdown to eight and that group is set after the first 17 races of the season. Topeka marks the eighth event, so there’s still a lot of time and the deck will be reshuffled many time between now and then.
“We have a very dedicated team and we’re putting forth every effort.”
Nitro (Top Fuel and Funny Car) qualifying begins Friday, June 1 at 5 p.m., followed by a second session at 8 p.m. There are two qualifying rounds Saturday, noon and 2:30 p.m., with Sunday’s final eliminations scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
Follow the Monster Energy/Lucas Oil Funny Car team at www.kennybernstein.com. Please visit our sponsors at www.monsterenergy.com, www.lucasoil.com, www.mactools.com, www.alphatrade.com (OTCBB:APTD) and www.alphatradefn.com
O’REILLY SUMMER NATIONALS TELEVISION ADVSIORY
Qualifying – June 2 – ESPN2
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. ET
NHRA Race Day – June 3 – ESPN2
11- 11:30 a.m. ET
Eliminations – June 3 – ESPN2
4 – 7 p.m. ET