King Racing was the name of famed NHRA champion Kenny Bernstein's racing team which fielded cars in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series as well as in CART and the Indianapolis 500.

King Racing
Owner(s)Kenny Bernstein
BaseHuntersville, North Carolina (NASCAR), Indianapolis, Indiana (CART)
SeriesWinston Cup
CART
Race driversJoe Ruttman, Morgan Shepherd, Ricky Rudd, Brett Bodine, Dick Trickle, Steve Kinser, Hut Stricklin
SponsorsQuaker State
ManufacturerBuick, Ford
Opened1986
Closed1995
Career
Drivers' Championships0
Race victories3

NASCAREdit

For its entire run in NASCAR’s top series, King Racing fielded a car numbered 26 and carrying sponsorship from Quaker State Motor Oil. Bernstein fielded Buick Regals until General Motors pulled the brand from NASCAR following the 1991 season; after that, the team competed with Ford Thunderbirds.

King’s first season was 1985 with the 26 being driven by Joe Ruttman with Larry McReynolds, who had begun working in the sport nearly ten years earlier, as crew chief. In 1986 Ruttman was replaced with Morgan Shepherd, and for 1987 Ricky Rudd joined the team.

The team won its first Cup Series race in 1988 with Rudd at The Budweiser at the Glen. Rudd also won the Banquet Frozen Foods 300 at Sears Point Raceway in 1989 on his way to an eighth place points finish.

Rudd left King Racing to take over for Geoff Bodine at Hendrick Motorsports following the 1989 season, and for 1990 Geoff’s brother Brett Bodine took over the 26. He won the First Union 400 at North Wilkesboro, which proved to be the team’s final victory.

Partway through the 1991 season, Robert Yates Racing signed McReynolds away from the 26 to replace Jake Elder as the crew chief to Davey Allison. Bodine, meanwhile, recorded six top tens, including two top five finishes at Martinsville, on his way to a 19th place finish in the points.

Bodine would stay on with King for three more seasons, competing in a total of 158 races for the team. 1992 saw him finish 15th in the standings with thirteen top ten finishes and two top fives. He recorded nine top tens and three top fives, finishing 20th despite missing the fall race at Dover due to injury. Then, in 1994, Bodine managed a second place finish in the inaugural Brickyard 400, scoring his last career top five finish. He followed this up with two more top tens, the last at Charlotte in the fall, and finished 19th in points.

In 1995, Bodine left to join Junior Johnson & Associates as the replacement for Bill Elliott following his decision to become an owner-driver (something Bodine would do a year later), and Steve Kinser was signed away from the World of Outlaws sprint car series to take over. The multiple time world champion had trouble adjusting to the world of stock car racing, and after he finished 40th or worse three times in five starts and failed to qualify for two other races, Kinser was released from the team. Hut Stricklin was brought in to finish the season and recorded two top five finishes and five total top tens.

After a 34th place finish in points, Bernstein sold his team at the end of 1995 and returned to focusing strictly on drag racing.

Indy carsEdit

1988Edit

King Racing made their debut during the 1988 season, fielding the No. 15 and 17 Mac Tools Lola T8700-Buick V6 at the Indianapolis 500 with Jim Crawford in No. 15 and Johnny Rutherford in No. 17. Both qualified mid-pack. Crawford led for eight laps (the only laps not led by a Team Penske driver). Crawford was running in second place late in the race. Crawford then ran too low on the track, getting into the grass, and dropped to 6th place during a pit stop to change the damaged tire.

1989–1991Edit

For the 1989 season, the team fielded Crawford again in the No. 15 Mac Tools Lola T8700-Buick V6 at the Indianapolis 500 and qualified in 4th place. Crawford suffered a practice crash. The car was repaired in time to race. Crawford retired with mechanical problems. King Racing did not compete in 1990. They made a return during the 1991 season with Crawford driving the No. 26 Quaker State Lola T9100-Buick V6 and would qualify in 8th place. Crawford would retire with mechanical problems.

1992Edit

For 1992 season King Racing would compete in their first race besides the Indianapolis 500 when Roberto Guerrero drove the No. 36 Quaker State Lola T9100-Buick V6 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on the streets of Long Beach; he was however off the pace due to CART ruling not giving V6 engines as much boost. However at the Indianapolis 500 King Racing ran a pair of Quaker State Lola T9200-Buick V6 with Guerrero in No. 36 and Crawford in No. 26. The USAC (who sanctioned the Indianapolis 500) regulations for V6 engines gave them more boost. As a result, Guerrero would qualify on the pole position setting new one-lap and 4-lap records with a 4-lap average of 232 mph and one lap at 233 mph. Crawford was also fast but had mechanical problems on pole day and recovered to qualify. Guerrero would spin out during the parade lap and would fail to start as a result. Crawford was running in the top 10 when he spun into the wall, collecting Rick Mears. Mears' teammate Emerson Fittipaldi also spun and crashed on the same lap.

1993Edit

For 1993 King Racing would expand to a full-time team with Guerrero driving the No. 40 Budweiser King Lola T9300-Ilmor-Chevrolet Indy V8. Jim Crawford would drive No. 80 and Al Unser Sr. in No. 60. At the Indianapolis 500, Guerrero was involved in a crash with Jeff Andretti. Unser led early on but dropped to 13th. Crawford would spin out early on and would not recover. Guerrero would get a best finish of 4th at the New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway but was replaced by Eddie Cheever for the last few races of the season. Guerrero would finish 14th in points.

1994Edit

For 1994 Scott Goodyear would drive the No. 40 Budweiser King Lola T9400-Ford-Cosworth XB. At the Indianapolis 500 the team hired Davy Jones to drive a spare car numbered 40T (it would be changed to 60 on race day). Goodyear would fail to qualify while Jones would qualify. So Goodyear would replace Jones on race day but retired with mechanical problems early on. Goodyear gave King Racing their only CART win when he drove to victory at the Marlboro 500 at Michigan International Speedway. Goodyear finished 12th in points (King Racing's highest CART position in points).

The 1994 season was the last in CART for King Racing, as Bernstein opted to shut the team down.

Driver historyEdit

CART IndyCarEdit

NASCAREdit

Racing resultsEdit

Complete CART Indy Car World Series resultsEdit

(key)

Year Chassis Engine Drivers No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
1988 PHX LBH INDY MIL POR CLE TOR MEA MCH POC MDO ROA NAZ LAG MIA
Lola T87/00 Buick 3300 V6t   Jim Crawford 15 6
  Johnny Rutherford 17 22
1989 PHX LBH INDY MIL DET POR CLE MEA TOR MCH POC MDO ROA NAZ LAG
Lola T87/00 Buick 3300 V6t   Jim Crawford 15 19
1991 SFR LBH PHX INDY MIL DET POR CLE MEA TOR MCH DEN VAN MDO ROA NAZ LAG
Lola T91/00 Buick 3300 V6t   Jim Crawford 26 26
  Roberto Guerrero 15 19 18
1992 SFR PHX LBH INDY DET POR MIL NHA TOR MCH CLE ROA VAN MDO NAZ LAG
Lola T92/00 Buick 3300 V6t   Jim Crawford 26 25
Lola T91/00   Roberto Guerrero 13
Lola T92/00 36 33
1993 SFR PHX LBH INDY MIL DET POR CLE TOR MCH NHA ROA VAN MDO NAZ LAG
Lola T93/00 Chevrolet 265C V8t   Roberto Guerrero 40 19 15 5 28 7 26 24 29 10 7 4 23 11
  Eddie Cheever 28 10 14
  Jim Crawford 60 24
  Al Unser 80 12
1994 SFR PHX LBH INDY MIL DET POR CLE TOR MCH MDO NHA VAN ROA NAZ LAG
Lola T94/00 Ford XB V8t   Scott Goodyear 40 10 11 19 30 22 11 28 14 10 1 22 11 4 7 8 27
  Andrea Montermini 60 16 7

IndyCar winEdit

# Season Date Sanction Track / Race No. Winning Driver Chassis Engine Tire Grid Laps Led
1 1994 July 31 CART Michigan 500 (O) 40   Scott Goodyear Lola T94/00 Ford XB V8t Goodyear 12 26

Complete NASCAR Winston Cup Series resultsEdit

Year Driver No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Owners Pts
1986 Joe Ruttman 26 Buick DAY
28
RCH
2
CAR
33
ATL
42
BRI
19
DAR
21
NWS
5
MAR
2
TAL
17
DOV
11
CLT
32
RSD
42
POC
7
MCH
9
DAY
7
POC
38
TAL
8
GLN
33
MCH
30
BRI
17
DAR
38
RCH
6
DOV
6
MAR
5
NWS
6
CLT
25
CAR
9
ATL
9
RSD
5
15th 3295
1987 Morgan Shepherd DAY
16
CAR
5
RCH
31
ATL
10
DAR
22
NWS
27
BRI
8
MAR
17
TAL
10
CLT
2
DOV
32
POC
31
RSD
35
MCH
25
DAY
5
POC
36
TAL
39
GLN
22
MCH
3
BRI
24
DAR
9
RCH
30
DOV
40
MAR
5
NWS
4
CLT
20
CAR
5
RSD
25
ATL
39
17th 3099
1988 Ricky Rudd DAY
17
RCH
2
CAR
17
ATL
24
DAR
30
BRI
20
NWS
2
MAR
18
TAL
29
CLT
7
DOV
19
RSD
3
POC
30
MCH
11
DAY
22
POC
12
TAL
41
GLN
1
MCH
16
BRI
16
DAR
10
RCH
26
DOV
10
MAR
24*
CLT
8
NWS
7*
CAR
2
PHO
26*
ATL
4
11th 3547
1989 DAY
19
CAR
32
ATL
24
RCH
4
DAR
12
BRI
8
NWS
6
MAR
23
TAL
31
CLT
10
DOV
6
SON
1*
POC
20
MCH
4
DAY
9
POC
31
TAL
17
GLN
29
MCH
8
BRI
3
DAR
3
RCH
4
DOV
5
MAR
8
CLT
21
NWS
9
CAR
28
PHO
29
ATL
14
8th 3608
1990 Brett Bodine DAY
17
RCH
8
CAR
25
ATL
11
DAR
8
BRI
22
NWS
1*
MAR
12
TAL
12
CLT
29
DOV
18
SON
41
POC
4
MCH
14
DAY
22
POC
16
TAL
33
GLN
3
MCH
17
BRI
25
DAR
10
RCH
31
DOV
20
MAR
4
NWS
3
CLT
8
CAR
17
PHO
15
ATL
18
12th 3440
1991 DAY
22
RCH
24
CAR
13
ATL
15
DAR
16
BRI
22
NWS
30*
MAR
4
TAL
11
CLT
28
DOV
33
SON
11
POC
33
MCH
36
DAY
36
POC
8
TAL
32
GLN
25
MCH
37
BRI
10
DAR
14
RCH
18
DOV
32
MAR
2
NWS
7
CLT
8
CAR
30
PHO
14
ATL
29
19th 2980
1992 Ford DAY
41
CAR
8
RCH
33
ATL
20
DAR
6
BRI
11
NWS
10
MAR
8
TAL
16
CLT
20
DOV
30
SON
15
POC
8
MCH
19
DAY
12
POC
8
TAL
10
GLN
10
MCH
12
BRI
9
DAR
4
RCH
18
DOV
22
MAR
3
NWS
7
CLT
28
CAR
7
PHO
12
ATL
40
15th 3491
1993 DAY
17
CAR
22
RCH
32
ATL
8
DAR
12
BRI
9
NWS
17
MAR
7
TAL
30
SON
24
CLT
41
DOV
16
POC
29
MCH
39
DAY
19
NHA
13
POC
5
TAL
9
GLN
20
MCH
14
BRI
7
DAR
2
RCH
5
MAR
6
NWS
21
CLT
15
CAR
35
PHO
28
ATL
40
20th 3183
Dick Trickle DOV
25
1994 Brett Bodine DAY
32
CAR
6
RCH
8
ATL
31
DAR
36
BRI
13
NWS
23
MAR
24
TAL
17
SON
13
CLT
42
DOV
32
POC
8
MCH
32
DAY
16
NHA
12
POC
35
TAL
17
IND
2
GLN
28
MCH
12
BRI
14
DAR
29
RCH
8
DOV
26
MAR
30
NWS
33
CLT
6
CAR
18
PHO
13
ATL
36
19th 3159
1995 Steve Kinser DAY
40
CAR
27
RCH
28
ATL
41
DAR
40
BRI
DNQ
NWS
DNQ
34th 2369
Hut Stricklin MAR
33
TAL
24
SON
33
CLT
7
DOV
4
POC
5
MCH
37
DAY
16
NHA
27
POC
41
TAL
36
IND
22
GLN
40
MCH
10
BRI
33
DAR
7
RCH
32
DOV
38
MAR
36
NWS
25
CLT
18
CAR
28
PHO
35
ATL
38

External linksEdit