We know that Texas loves racing & certainly loves speed. We've seen the fastest woman to ever drive a race car come from El Paso, Texas & we've certainly seen some of the insane speed records broken in Texas. However New Mexico can certainly claim this one: the man who claims the title of King of Speed. That man is Kenny Bernstein from Clovis, New Mexico.

Kenny Bernstein
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Who is Kenny Bernstein?

Born on September 6th, 1944, the Clovis native would start his racing career at a young age by racing a 1930s Ford Model A as a teen. His racing career would start in the 80s in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) where he would become a champion competitor. He would also be nicknamed "The Bud King" for his sponsorship with Budweiser & the success he would have in his career.

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Let's look at Kenny Bernstein's accomplishments.

  • In 1984 he would be the first person to put a funny car in the wind tunnel (a practice that would become essential for creating the fastest & most aerodynamic car in the sport)
  • He would be the first driver to break the 270 mph barrier & 5.50 second barrier at the same time.
  • But his biggest accomplishment came on March 20th, 1992 where Kenny would be the first driver to ever break the 300 mph barrier, giving him the title of "The King of Speed".

Kenny would also have a hand in other racing leagues.

Kenny would found his own racing team called King Racing; a team that would run in NASCAR from 1986 to 1995. It would also be the team to give Brett Bodine his only win in 1990 & Ricky Rudd 2 wins (1988 & 1989).

Is Kenny Bernstein still racing?

As of November 2022, Kenny has retired from drag racing. But Kenny would forever solidified his legacy in the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009.

Even though Kenny has hung up the racing suit, today Kenny is regarded as one of the racers in the NHRA & for good reason... he IS The King of Speed after all.

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