Force, Bernstein enjoy HOF opening reception

(from left) Kenny Bernstein, Richard Childress and John Force pose with their respective Hall of Fame induction portraits

On the eve of their induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 15-time Funny Car champion John Force and six-time Top Fuel and Funny Car champion Kenny Bernstein enjoyed an evening at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. The NHRA duo were joined by NASCAR team owner and fellow inductee Richard Childress along with over 80 Hall of Fame dignitaries for a reception and dinner to recognize their lifetime of motorsports achievement.

“The last time I was in Birmingham and Talladega was 1996 when I was Driver of the Year. To come back as a Hall of Fame inductee with Kenny and Richard Childress is pretty amazing. The museum was unbelievable. They had hundreds of motorcycles on the walls, on the floor and in display cases for five stories. They also had a killer display of Lotuses," said Force.

“I was really happy to have my wife Laurie and daughter Courtney here. Brittany will be flying in tomorrow. This is a big deal and I am happy to be sharing it with legends like Kenny and Richard."

The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is a unique facility, offering motorsport enthusiasts an opportunity to view over 1,200 motorcycles as well as a number of specialty cars. The five floors of displays represent a history of motorsports that is beautifully designed and is an architectural wonder. Guests from all over the world are amazed when they enter the museum by it sheer size and splendor.

“The festivities surrounding the International Motorsports Hall of Fame are fabulous and we couldn’t be any more proud and honored to now be a member of this elite group of motorsports luminaries," said Bernstein.

(from left) John Force regales Kenny Bernstein,'s Rick Green and NHRA announcer Bob Frey with a story from his early days

“If you had asked me in 1979 where we saw ourselves in 33 years, we never would have guessed our paths would have led us here. John has been a good friend for all these years and we’re pleased to have reached this destination together," added Bernstein. “It’s also an honor to share the stage with Richard Childress. We were first introduced in 1980 by R.J. Reynolds motorsports boss Ralph Seagraves when Richard and Dale Earnhardt sewed up a championship at Riverside International Raceway. When we began fielding a NASCAR team several years later, Richard was the man who was always available to help me and give me direction and for that we have been eternally grateful."

Tomorrow all three inductees will participate in a press conference at the Wynfrey Hotel at 11 a.m. CT followed by the Hall of Fame banquet and ceremony at 7 p.m. at the Speed Dome.

For additional information contact Elon Werner, 214-244-1184 or Dave Densmore, 214-244-0008.

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