Author: Bernstein, Brandon
Date published: May 18, 2012
We've been gearing up for another kid in our lives, a boy this time. We're really excited about having a boy. Landon Russell is going to be his name.
Right now, we're trying to sort out which room to put him in. Obviously, my wife's going to try to paint everything, so she's deciding on what to do. When she starts talking about painting and colors, I'm like, "Whatever." Tracey's in charge of all that. She just tells me where to be, what to do, and what the cost is going to be. Then I'll say, "Well, that's probably a little too much. Let's go a little lower."
No, she's pretty frugal about the cost, she really is. She handles all that, and I just sit back and let her do it. I don't do any painting. Heck, I don't do any manual labor anymore. I don't even own a lawn mower. I'm not into any of that kind of stuff. I don't enjoy that like some people do, in which it's a release for them. That's not my release. I don't like to mow lawns or do any kind of yard work, painting in the house, or any type of home improvement. I don't do any of that myself. I pay somebody else to do it, or I'll have good friends come over and do it for me.
One of my best handymen is Mike Domagala, Clay Millican's crew chief. We're excellent friends, and any time I have any handyman work, I'll call him, and he'll come over and take care of it. I give him beer for his work.
When Landon grows up, he'll have to ask the neighbors how to use a lawn mower. He'll know to get a lawn boy, like I've got, you know? We also have the dynamic of my daughter, Lyla, being 2. She realizes there's a baby coming, that mommy's got a baby in her tummy. But I don't think she really realizes yet what it's going to be like when he gets here - and that Landon's going to be a boy! It's going to be interesting to see how that dynamic works in the family. We're really excited. It's going to be a good thing.
And that's it; we're done after that. We've got our one boy and one girl, and that's fine. I'm going in and getting snipped, man. It's over. I think we're going to have to be a little stricter on the boy just because he's going to be a hell-raiser - I just know he will be. We're also going to have to be a little strict on him just because he's a boy, give him a little bit of tough love. Boys are just so much different than girls growing up, from what I've heard.
Lyla's such a little sweetie. She's got a great personality, and I hope Landon's going to have a great personality, too, which I'm sure he will. But being a boy, I know he's going to be all out, full throttle, and wide open - I was when I was a boy. If Landon wants to drag race, I'll go about it just like my father did. I wasn't pressured into this, so if this is something he wants to do, we'll look into it and see. I'm not going to be one of those fathers who has to have everything right there for my son and tell him he's got to do it. No way. If he wants to get into racing one day, then we'll see.
I'm sure he'll play sports, just like I did growing up and my dad did as a kid. The Bernstein gene is pretty dominant, so I think he's going to be just like us, no matter what. You look at Bert, my grandfather; my dad; and me - we all look identical. It's ridiculous how identical we look, and we all act the same. It's pretty wild.
My dad was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala., and that was amazing. I had never been there, and just to walk through those halls and see all the names of those who were inducted was pretty amazing. To have Dad's name in there, it was awesome to see and experience. He did a terrific job with his speech, and Bob Frey did an awesome job inducting him. It was just a fun evening. We were with my stepmom, Sheryl, and our PR girl, Susie Arnold, and I had one of my buddies from Indianapolis with me.
Seeing my dad being inducted was something special. You never forget those moments; those moments are really precious. Dad was really proud, and he's always been so humble. But the induction was not just for him, it was for all the employees and crew chiefs over the years, especially Sheryl. She walked hand in hand with Dad all those years in NASCAR, IndyCar, and sports marketing; that was all Sheryl and my dad.
At the induction, we had the perfect table. Larry McReynolds and his wife, Linda, were with us. He's a real close, personal friend of Dad's, starting back in the NASCAR days when he was Dad's crew chief. It was great to spend some time with him. Larry's a big-time announcer with Fox, so it was good to talk with him a little bit and catch up on his life. It was great having them there.
We didn't talk about racing that much; we talked about other stuff. Sometimes we trade stories about racing because Larry was with Dad for so many years in NASCAR. It's funny to hear some of that stuff. The conversations are mainly about what we're doing in our lives now. They all have kids, so we talked about kids. They have grandparents, so we talked about having grandkids, too.
Larry's son is also named Brandon, but I guess that was just a coincidence. Brandon McReynolds won an ARCA race in Talladega the day after the induction. Larry told us about how his son almost won in Daytona Beach, Fla., but he ran out of gas. Then, Brandon goes out and wins the next day. No pressure on me to win now, is there? ND
Brandon Bernstein is the driver of the MavTV/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster.