Bernstein To Miss NHRA Two Races Brandon Bernstein will undergo a procedure to repair a herniated disc in his back following this weekend’s Toyota NHRA Summernationals and will miss the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events in Bristol, Tenn., and Epping, N.H.
Bernstein, who will race in Englishtown, will be replaced in the ProtectTheHarvest.com/MAVTV dragster by six-time national event winner J.R. Todd.
“It’s a real bummer to have Brandon sit out for a couple of races,” Morgan Lucas Racing team owner Morgan Lucas said. “But first and foremost is his health, and his long-term health is the biggest priority to us as a team. We see everyone on our team as family, and Brandon is a key element to the family. We want to preserve his health and make sure he is capable of staying healthy for himself and his family.”
Bernstein has been bothered by the herniated disc since the race in Atlanta, where he posted a runner-up finish. He will have an outpatient procedure performed by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Terry Trammell of Indianapolis sometime next week.
“The bottom line is when my doctors told me my right foot could completely go numb and I could not have any feeling in my foot ever, that was when a red flag was raised: ‘OK, I’ve got to do this now,’” Bernstein said. “Honestly I would love to drive the rest of the season like this because I can deal with the pain, but when they told me that about my foot I thought, ‘That’s not just my career; that’s my quality of life.’
“Morgan told me, ‘You’ve got to do whatever is needed to get healthy because you’ve got a family.’ I thought the same thing.”
Bernstein currently sits seventh in the Top Fuel standings and hopes to return to the race car in time for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
“It’s a tough deal for me,” Bernstein said. “It was a hard decision because I really feel my team is everything to me and I let them down because of this. It’s unfortunate it happened but we’ve got to get it done now. Hopefully two races don’t kill us for the Countdown and we’ll be good to go.”