Arizona Always Shines Brightly For Pro Bernstein

Feb 19, 2013

PHOENIX (Feb. 19) - Coming off a solid start to the season, Brandon Bernstein and the Top Fuel dragster team are looking to repeat a little history at this weekend's NHRA Arizona Nationals.

"Phoenix is a great track for me," Bernstein said. "I've had some success there, in fact I got my first win in Top Fuel there. I always seem to run well at Firebird and you always tend to have a little more confidence at a track where you have won before."

Last year in Phoenix, Bernstein was brand new to Morgan Lucas Racing and was still getting on the same page with crew chief Joe Barlam and the rest of the crew. With a full season under their belts, Bernstein said confidence is high and the sky is the limit on the team's potential.

"With us having a full year together it seems we're really jelling," Bernstein said. "The first part of last season was a tricky time. I was coming over from another team, Joe was calling the shots himself for the first time and you had crew guys doing new jobs for a new boss.

"This year, as you can see how we ran 3.70s (elapsed times) consistently in Pomona, not only has everyone adjusted to their roles but we're comfortable and confident."

After his finish in Pomona last week, Bernstein is in fifth place in the points after one race, just seven points behind fourth-place Antron Brown, the defending series champion. Bernstein, who qualified No. 2 in the season opener, said he's looking forward to what the weekend holds, especially if the desert weather cooperates.

"It's a little bit different in Arizona," Bernstein said. "Just because you are out there in the desert makes everything a little bit different. Depending on what the weather conditions are, you can see some really good times over there. It should be another good weekend if the weather cooperates."

Qualifying for the NHRA Arizona Nationals gets under way at 2 p.m. PST Friday from Firebird International Raceway with two sessions on tap. Qualifying continues on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. with Sunday's eliminations under way at 11 a.m. ESPN2 will air the qualifying show at 1 a.m. EST on Sunday and the eliminations show at 8 p.m. Sunday.