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To: flattorney
Kenny Bernstein Racing
NHRA No. 6 Greatest | 2009 Inductee, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
2007 Inducted, International Drag Racing Hall of Fame | 2006 Induced, Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame
NHRA: Top Fuel World Champion 1996, 2001 ~ Funny Car World Champion 1985, '86, '87, '88
KBR Top Fuel Driver: Brandon Bernstein

      FlA Says: Over the decades, Kenny has always been one of my favorites. Not only is he a great driver and team owner, he has a great attitude, style, and level of professionalism. He also surrounds himself with excellent talent. Crew chiefs Dale Armstrong, Lee Beard, and Tim Richards are some of the best in NHRA history. Another big plus was during his early NHRA years and world championships, Kenny and his racing operations were based out of Dallas, Texas. His mentor, good friend, and 3-time NHRA World Funny Car Champion, 1979-81, Raymond Beadle was also based out of North Dallas, and still lives there. Texas became a major market for NHRA drag racing, second only to California. Kenny became involved in NASCAR Winston Cup team ownership several years after Raymond Beadle did where Raymond and driver Rusty Wallace won the 1989 Winston Cup. For a period of time, Kenny also owned a CART (open wheel Indy cars) racing team.
      For the 2009 season, Kenny had to disband his NHRA Funny Car program due to sponsorship loss. He’s still running his legendary Budweiser sponsored Top Fuel dragster with son Brandon driving (since 2003). Despite not having the best 2008 season, finished 7th, Brandon is an impressive driver and individual. I definitely would like to see KBR make a solid run for the 2009 NHRA Top Fuel championship.
10.13.08: Legend crew chief Tim Richards and wife Kim retire from NHRA and Kenny Bernstein Racing
- - Tim Richards, 65 years old, has a career total of 81 race wins and six NHRA Top Fuel championships. Kim has partnered with Tim for 50 of those victories. She began her racing career working with her father Dick LaHaie(“The Man” - fla) on his Top Fuel car, helping tune him to his 1987 NHRA Top Fuel championship.

Kenny: 1981 T/F Funny Car, Gatornationals, Gainesville; 1996 Top Fuel, Mile-High Nationals, Denver; 2001 NHRA Finals, Pomona. The late ‘70’s – early 80’s Funny Cars are my all-time favorites. - fla

02.04.09: NHRA legend Kenny Bernstein Celebrates 30 years of Sponorship by Anheuser-Busch
      In an era where racing teams struggle to either retain existing sponsors or create ways to land new ones, six-time NHRA World Champion Kenny Bernstein remains the model in the industry. This year will mark the 30th anniversary of Kenny Bernstein Racing’s(“KBR”) alliance with St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch(“AB”). It's the longest standing relationship between a racer and sponsor - two years longer than Richard Petty enjoyed with STP. Bernstein’s success also extends into NASCAR and CART, making him the only owner to win in all three U.S. racing series.
      Kenny has never sold himself short, but he never expected his initial meeting with AB officials to turn into a 30-year relationship. Then again, brewery officials couldn't help acknowledging Bernstein's moxie and determination. In 1979, Bernstein packed his funny car trailer and made the trip to St. Louis to promote himself and his race team. The idea was hatched by Austin, Texas AB wholesaler Don Brown, who encouraged his fellow Texan to make the sales pitch. In a parking lot early in the morning, Bernstein greeted AB employees with a display that created interest in not just his team, but in the sport. It was basic business advice that Bernstein learned from his father and honed through his own business career. Says Bernstein, "In the beginning, they (AB officials) were just interested in seeing what NHRA was about. They warmed up as time progressed and it took more meetings to make it happen. They finally realized what a great marketplace drag racing was for their product." "Looking back thirty years, my racing success would not have been possible with any other sponsor. Even with the exact same people and equipment in our racing organization”.
      There is no great secret to Bernstein's success. In fact, the approach is very simplistic. "Our position from day one has been to help Budweiser wholesalers sell beer," said Bernstein. For 30 years, Bernstein has developed a relationship with wholesalers on the NHRA tour. Currently, he and his son Brandon - who since 2003 drives KBR’s Top Fuel dragster - promotes AB’s product and, in turn, the wholesalers tell St. Louis how effective they are and how much they appreciate it. There are numerous activities before each of the NHRA national events, whether it's playing golf with customers of the wholesalers, doing personal appearances, or mingling with race fans. "It means the world to me," said Brandon, who has 17 Top Fuel wins in the red Budweiser dragster. "Looking back at the history of my father and the Busch family, I'm proud to be a part of the family. It's an honor. It's nice to know there's a 30-year legacy." Kenny Bernstein was also one of the first to create a hospitality area, at his NHRA pit, that has become so commonplace for big sponsors of the sport. Under Bernstein's original plan, it was an area where wholesalers could entertain their customers and be close to the racing team.
      While Budweiser remains one of the world's top-selling beers and AB is tops in U.S. sports marketing and sponsorships, the company's acquisition last summer by Belguim based InBev (Name is now ABInBev - fla) has posed questions about its future presence. The company has a reputation for cost and price-cutting, and motor sports marketing is among the platforms being examined. Bernstein's deal with Budweiser ends after the 2009 season (2006-9 four year sponsorship contract -fla). "They're going through cuts and changes," said Bernstein. "We'll sit down with them and see where we're at." For now, the focus is solely on Brandon's Top Fuel prospects. The dragster team will break in crew chief Rob Flynn and assistant Mike Guger, who succeed the retired Tim and Kim Richards. Brandon, who finished seventh in points after the first winless season of his career, comes in with a new perspective after getting married in the off-season.
-- Compilation from two articles with edits and additions. Images courtesy KBR ~ fla

2009 Winternationals, Pomona. KBR celebrates 30 years sponsored by Budweiser

24 posted on 03/14/2009 5:25:41 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
2009 American Motorsports Awards News - NHRA

02.14.09:NHRA legend Kenny Bernstein to be inducted into Motorsports Hall Of Fame of America
      Kenny Bernstein was named as one of seven who will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in its annual ceremony Wednesday, Aug. 12 at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit. “We are very honored to have been chosen to join the elite members of the motorsports fraternity known as the Heroes of Horsepower,” said Bernstein. “We have been fortunate through the years to have some success on the racetrack and to be inducted into this prestigious Hall of Fame is icing on the cake.”
      Bernstein, a six-time NHRA World champion, was the first to break drag racing’s 300 mph barrier, and the first to win championships in Funny Car and Top Fuel. He holds the unique distinction of being the first and only race team owner to have collected wins in each of America’s three major motorsports series: NHRA drag racing, NASCAR, and CART (now IndyCar Series).
      In addition to Bernstein, this year’s inductees include David Hobbs, Scott Parker, Les Richter, Al Unser, Jr., H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler and the late Joe Weatherly.
      Eligibility for induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame is extended to any person who has driven, piloted, owned, designed, built, supported, maintained, prepared or promoted motorized vehicles in pursuit of speed, distance or other records. An inductee must have been retired for at least three years or must have been engaged at the top level of his or her area of motorsports for at least 20 years. Inductees are characterized by their desire to win, mastery of their field and the courage to innovate. A panel of historians, retired competitors, journalists, and prior living inductees vote for the final selections. Each inductee receives the Hall of Fame’s prestigious “Horsepower” award – an original bronze statuette created by Ann Arbor, Michigan sculptor Michael Curtis.

The Justice Brothers Shav Glick Award
      01.28.09: Walker Evans, Frank Kurtis, NHRA’s Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen, and Malcolm Smith have been nominated for the 10th Annual Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award which recognizes those who have made distinguished contributions to motorsports in California. Named in honor of Shav Glick, who passed away in 2007. Glick was a long-time motorsports writer for the Los Angeles Times and a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
      During Walker Evans career he has accumulated 142 total victories and 21 championship titles in off-road desert and short course racing. In 2004, he was inducted into the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame. For a period of time he was also a driver and owner of a NASCAR Craftsman Truck. Frank Kurtis designed and built midgets, quarter-midgets, sports cars, sprint cars and Indy cars. In his career he created 120 Indianapolis 500 cars, including five winners. He has been inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame. He was the originator of the Indy Roadster.
      Rated #16 on NHRA’s Top 50 drivers list, Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen, is one of thirteen drivers to win a national event in both Funny Car and Top Fuel. In his thirty-five plus year career he not only generated a lot publicity but also won five NHRA Nationals. He and Don “the Snake” Prudhomme were the famous Hot Wheels team of “the Snake and Mongoose”.
      A pioneer in off-road motorcycling, Malcolm Smith, gained fame for his accomplishments in the International Six Day Enduro competitions and the Baja 1000. Smith was also known for his role in the 1970’s motorcycle movie “On Any Sunday”, which launched the popularity of off-road motorcycling in America. Smith was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.
      The motor racing legend winner will be picked by a judging panel that includes National and California motorsports writers. Previous winners of the prestigious Shav Glick Award are Rick Mears, Carroll Shelby, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Wally Parks, Parnelli Jones, and last year’s winner John Force among others. The award will be given out during the pre-race ceremonies at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500, February 22nd, at the Auto Club Speedway.
02.26.09: Frank Kurtis Wins 2009 Justice Brothers Shav Glick Award -- Famous innovator and race car designer Frank Kurtis has won the prestigious Justice Brothers - Shav Glick Award for 2009, which was accepted by his son Arlen. The 9th Annual Justice Brothers sponsored award was presented during the pre-race ceremonies at the NASCAR Auto Club 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. This coveted award is named in honor of Shav Glick, a long-time motorsports writer for the Los Angeles Times and a member of the Motorsports Hall Of Fame. Frank Kurtis, who passed away in 1987, was born in 1908 and fell in love with racing and the Indianapolis 500 as a young man. He devoted his life to innovative racecar theory and design, resulting in the supercharged V8 powered, front-wheel-drive Novi Governor Special, which set a new track record of 133.944-mph at Indy in 1946. Another racecar designed by his company Kurtis Kraft, broke that record in 1950. Also in 1950, a Kurtis-built rear-drive racer with independent front suspension and driven by Johnnie Parsons, won the Indy 500. Many design innovations were to follow, including his ‘52 Indy roadster, in which the driver sat beside the drive shaft instead of over it. Kurtis cars won five Indianapolis victories in six years. The ’52 Indy pole position was won by the Kurtis designed Cummins Diesel powered racecar. For 1953, 24 of the 33 Indy starters were Kurtis designed/built cars. Frank Kurtis retired in 1968 and Arlen took over the business, which developed parts for the SR-71, manufactured parts for drag racing and performance boating as well as “start carts” for the SR-71.

International Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Plans Finalized
      Talladega Ala. January 27, 2009: Tickets are now available for the 2009 International Motorsports Hall of Fame (IMHOF) Induction Ceremony, scheduled for April 23, 2009 at the SPEED Channel Dome in Talladega, Ala. This year’s black-tie optional ceremony begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and the banquet and awards ceremony immediately following. The five inductees being honored are: J.C. Agajanian, Donnie Allison, Jerry Cook, Bud Moore and Raymond Parks.
      In addition to the five inductees, NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher will be on hand to accept his award as the 2008 Driver of the Year and 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Justin Allgaier will also be recognized during the ceremony.
      “This is a very special group of inductees and honorees,” said Talladega Superspeedway President and IMHOF Executive Director Rick Humphrey. “Each of the inductees are legends in the motorsports world. Though their careers ended years ago, their legacies continue on to this day. Our special honorees, Tony Schumacher and Justin Allgaier, were both champions in 2008 and are creating their own legacies. The Induction Ceremony is the opportunity to see a blend of racing generations.” About the Inductees
25 posted on 03/14/2009 5:27:16 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
Since I rarely drink alcohol I don't care what ABInBev does. Well . . .
as long as they don't get rid of the Bud Girls at NHRA events. - fla

26 posted on 03/14/2009 5:28:43 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
The Sponsorship Carnage Continues. . . . .

Historic Budweiser and Kenny Bernstein Racing Deal to End. NHRA also gets the boot.

03.16.09: Belguim based InBev, the owners of Anheuser-Busch ("ABInBev"), announced today that the longest running sponsorship in auto racing will come to a close when Budweiser ends its 30-year relationship with Kenny Bernstein Racing's("KBR") NHRA team after the 2009 season. In their announcement, ABInBev also stated that 2009 will be the last year for Budweiser as the official beer sponsor of the NHRA. Budweiser has sponsored the NHRA since the early 1980s and is celebrating its 30th season with Kenny Bernstein Racing.
      Budweiser was with Bernstein through all six of his NHRA championships, including four consecutive Funny Car titles from 1985-88 and his two Top Fuel crowns in 1996 and 2001. The relationship continued after Bernstein retired and handed over the driving duties to his son, Brandon Bernstein, in 2003. KBR will began its process of finding a new sponsor for the 2010 season. "Budweiser provided us the opportunity to make a career of doing what we love," Kenny Bernstein said. "We owe a debt of gratitude to all the Anheuser-Busch employees and wholesalers we've worked with, as well as the fans and friends who've followed and supported us all these years." The Budweiser deal made history last season when it surpassed the 28-year relationship STP had with Richard Petty to become the longest sponsorship agreement in racing. "The NHRA and Kenny Bernstein Racing have been world class partners and we're proud of everything we've accomplished together," said Dan McHugh, vice president of Anheuser-Busch. "For three decades, Budweiser helped grow the sport."
      InBev, a Belgian beer company, purchased Anheuser-Busch for $49.9 billion last July. The purchase of the U.S. beer giant brought speculation over how the sale would affect Budweiser's sponsorship programs in sports. Budweiser continues to sponsor the No. 9 Dodge that Kasey Kahne drives for Richard Petty Motorsports in the Sprint Cup series.

03.16.09, Kenny Bernstein Racing Press Release: Lake Forest, CA - Kenny's Statement: “While we are disappointed by the news, the 30 years we’ve spent with Budweiser have been memorable and we’ve had experiences because of that relationship we’ll will never forget. “We owe a debt of gratitude to all the Budweiser employees and wholesalers we’ve worked with through the years, as well as the fans and friends who have followed and supported us beginning with the Funny Car era. “The Budweiser sponsorship has provided us the opportunity to make a career in the sport that we love while fielding championship-caliber teams through the years. It has been a wonderful win-win relationship for three decades.
      “As a driver, Brandon has 17 career victories to his credit and to this date holds the distinguished record of having the most successful career launch of any Funny Car or Top Fuel driver in NHRA history. “We’re passionate about the sport of NHRA drag racing and plan to continue if we can secure sponsorship. We are moving forward with the search for a replacement so that we can field an NHRA team in 2010 with Brandon as the driver.
      “We are proud of our long-term sponsorships, not only with Budweiser, but we’re also celebrating our 31st season with LaPaz party mixes, 22nd anniversary with Mac Tools, and our seventh season with Lucas Oil. We believe that taking a proactive role in initiating programs and promotions that help sell product and build brand awareness has been an integral part of retaining our sponsorship associations through the years. Coupled with the success we’ve had on the racetrack while flying the Budweiser colors, including six NHRA championships and 85 national event victories between Brandon and me, then it’s a very attractive opportunity for another sponsor.
      “We pride ourselves on ethics and integrity. We recognize you can’t have success without good people, and we have a skilled staff that offers the opportunity for a turn-key program that is inclusive from marketing and sales to public relations, highlighted by a race team that is professional and capable of winning on Sunday.”

031609-1315 FlA Says: Glad this wasn't publicly announced until after the Gatornationals. I heard the rumor last Friday in the pits. The worst part of this news is we will be losing the Bud Girls at the end of the season *lol*. Seriously, the total withdraw of Budweiser from NHRA drag racing is more bad sponsorship news. Many foreign corporations don't give a [beep] about our American heritage and what we enjoy. They only care about how much money they can suck out of American consumers at the lowest possible cost. Further, ABInBev is drowning in a sea of acquisition debt. Bottom-line is that Kenny is a class act and the best marketer in NHRA. Brandon is also first class and a great individual. They will survive without Budweiser. The only reason ABInBev didn't pull the plug on Richard Petty is because it's a low dollar sponsorship. It's peanuts compared to Budweiser's previous sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr. And, let's be honest, Richard is "The King" but RPM hasn't done squat, for many years, as to fielding a championship NASCAR team. Many fans don't know Richard is still involved in NASCAR except for his racing schools.
      On a positive note, we had a fantastic three days at Gainesville. Much better than last year's Gatornationals. I will post more later this week, or weekend, when I get unburied here at work. Thanks all!

TAB UPDATE: 03.16.09: Anheuser-Busch InBev Looking to Sell Assets to Pay Off Creditors
- - It’s an awkward position, to be sure. Fresh off a $52 billion debt-fueled deal to create the world’s biggest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev looks to sell assets to pay off its creditors. But the most likely buyer for brewing assets turns out to be…its fiercest rival. Cash-stocked SABMiller of London, the world’s second-largest brewer, may be interested in swooping in and purchasing Anheuser-Busch InBev’s assets in Germany and Russia. The game of global beer-industry consolidation may be entering a new phase. The world’s largest brewers, including Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMiller, Carlsberg and Heineken, fattened up in recent years through acquisitions, including purchases of smaller brewers in emerging economies. Now, these giants might start selling assets to each other out of necessity. Nowhere is this better seen than in Anheuser-Busch InBev’s desire to sell $7 billion of assets to help repay debt from the tide-shifting $52 billion deal that created the company last November. Depending on how things play out, Anheuser, the world’s biggest brewer by sales, may find itself in the odd position of selling operations to its next-largest rival, SABMiller.

FR 2009 NHRA Drag Racing Thread Related Posts:
Kenny Bernstein Racing
    Kenny Bernstein to be inducted into Motorsports Hall Of Fame of America
    The Hot NHRA event Bud Girls

Brandon Bernstein

ABInBev should change their logo to the Eagle flying head first straight into the ground


63 posted on 03/16/2009 4:53:35 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
05.26.09 Newport Beach, Calif.: Legendary Kenny Bernstein undergoes back surgery -- Doctors at Hoag Hospital performed back surgery today on six-time NHRA champion Kenny Bernstein to relieve stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal canal. The Budweiser/Lucas Oil team owner had been suffering from pain in his lower back and numbness in his legs. After undergoing a battery of tests, doctors determined surgery was needed to correct the trauma and inflammation that was causing the pain. As part of the recuperative process, travel has been precluded for the next few weeks. It is expected that in addition to the Topeka event, he will miss Chicago and Englishtown. "It seems that the years of driving race cars have taken a bit of a toll on my back," Bernstein said. "This isn’t unusual as many drivers suffer from back ailments after years of absorbing vibration from these 8,000-horsepower engines. "We’ll get this turned around and we’ll be back out with the team soon.

Prayers from all of us for a speedy recovery King. ~ fla

P.S. Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit, Kenny will be inducted into Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

FR '09 NHRA: Kenny Bernstein Racing (#24)

301 posted on 06/11/2009 9:32:55 AM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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