A special treat for fans at the Tucson Dragway Reunion will be the appearance of the first Budweiser-sponsored funny car of World Champion Kenny Bernstein. In 1979 Bernstein parlayed a race postponement into the Budweiser sponsorship that he proudly carried for more than 20 years. When rain delayed the running of the NHRA Cajun Nationals at Baton Rouge, LA, he quickly concocted an opportunity for a sponsorship pitch to Anheuser-Busch management at their headquarters in St. Louis, MO. He hustled his race transporter from Louisiana to Missouri to have his car and trailer proudly on display when the brewer’s employees reported to work on Monday morning. Bernstein’s bold maneuver, and the accompanying presentation, rewarded him with Budweiser sponsorship for the 1980 season and launched the first “Budweiser King” Funny Car.
The car was retired from racing in 1982 and stored until it was purchased by Wayne and Carolyn Galligan in 2004 who then began a painstaking 3 year restoration of this historic race car. Wayne has raced a number of different drag race cars and moved to Arizona in 1978 where he opened a successful custom motorcycle shop. The Bud King has been shown at a number of major events. It will be on display and making noise at the Tucson Dragway Reunion on May 18th.
For more info on the Reunion go to the event website at
http://tucsondragway.net/ and the event Facebook page at