Kenny Bernstein: The King of Speed

On March 22,1992 at the Motorcraft Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, Kenny Bernstein became the first driver to break 300 miles per hour with a speed of 301.7 becoming the King of Speed. Photo courtesy NHRA.
On March 22,1992 at the Motorcraft Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, Kenny Bernstein became the first driver to break 300 miles per hour with a speed of 301.7 becoming the King of Speed. Photo courtesy NHRA.
On March 22,1992 at the Motorcraft Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, Kenny Bernstein became the first driver to break 300 miles per hour with a speed of 301.7 becoming the King of Speed. Photo courtesy NHRA.

Speed is the ultimate goal of drag racing, going faster than the driver in the other lane for just a few brief seconds. There have always been arbitrary goals along the way and speeds that once upon a time seemed impossible are now regularly hit and surpassed. But one fine day back in 1992, Kenny Bernstein was the fastest ever.

Along the way, all the race teams were striving to break the 300 mile per hour barrier. The NHRA was even offering a $50,000 bonus to the team that made it there first. At the 1992 Motorcraft Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway Kenny Bernstein’s King Budweiser team got the job done. Throwing down a 301.7 mph run in a short 4.82 seconds in Friday qualifying, the barrier was shattered. Kenny Bernstein, earning the nickname King of Speed, still counts this as one of his greatest racing achievements in a long list of them.

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