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Apr 07, 2013 - 07:49 AM
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2013 NHRA: Bernstein Hoping Luck Is On His Side In Vegas Eliminations
Posted by: newsla on Apr 07, 2013 - 07:46 AM
2013 NHRA: Bernstein Hoping Luck Is On His Side In Vegas Eliminations

Brandon Bernstein and the ProtectTheHarvest.com/MAVTV Top Fuel team will be hoping that Sin City lives up to its reputation of being a place where long shots have their day.


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After four qualifying sessions trying to work out the kinks in the new clutch assembly for the ProtectTheHarvest.com car, Bernstein will start Sunday's eliminations at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals from the No. 16 spot. His qualifying was punctuated by a flaming engine failure during the fourth and final session on Saturday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"We're going to be the long shot for sure," Bernstein said. "It's unfortunate for the team because they have a lot of work ahead of them tonight to fix this thing. It pretty much destroyed the whole motor. The manifold is in a couple of pieces, the blower, the injector. Everything but the clutch is pretty messed up. But we're in and have the chance to go some rounds tomorrow if we can get past that No. 1 qualifier."

Bernstein qualified with a best of 4.862 at 165.56 mph and will face Antron Brown, who recorded a 3.780 at 320.43 mph.

"My crew chief Joe Barlam warned us we might go through some growing pains with this new clutch program," Bernstein said. "That's what's going on right now. We're trying to make changes for the long haul."

Bernstein said the destructive end to Saturday isn't getting the ProtectTheHarvest team down.

"When you get in the race you always have a shot to win," Bernstein said. "It's not a fun way to get into the race but we'll go to battle tomorrow.

"The first round tomorrow is going to be the least pressure we've felt all weekend. We're the No. 16 qualifier and we can do or try whatever we want to see if we can get this thing to get down the track and run a good number. When there's nothing else to lose is when this team seems to rise up."

Eliminations for Sunday's SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals get under way at 11 a.m. PST from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. ESPN2 will air the eliminations show Sunday at 8 p.m. PST.

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