Bernie was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and began pursuing an automotive oriented life by taking automotive classes while in high school and later earning certification as an automotive technician at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. While still in high school Bernie was spending his weekends hanging out with the local Capital City Hot Rod Association guys.
It was while he was learning his trade at NAIT that he teamed up with another Canadian, Terry Capp the two of them began racing first gas coupes thing gas dragsters. In the early 1960s they joined yet another Canadian Wes Van Dusen in an AA/Fuel dragster venture. The trio raced mainly in the Western Canada area with an occasional trip across the border to the states and began to build a name for themselves within that arena. In 1980, the “Wheeler Dealer” team opened the door to the upper regions of the AA/Fuel dragster world by winning the NHRA US Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their past success along with the Indy win led them to make a decision to run the entire NHRA national event series in 1981. While the team notched a runner-up position at Baton Rouge, Louisiana that year and earned enough points to finish seventh in the race for the NHRA Championship; funding was tight and the team decided to park their operation with Bernie going to work for Larry Minor Racing as Gary Beck’s crew chief.
Over the next three years with Bernie as crew chief, Beck won seven NHRA national events, was runner-up at five more events, and became the first to break both of 5.50 and the 5.40 second ET barriers. Beside their impressive win streak, the team earned a place on the 1983 Car Craft Magazine All-Star Racing Team as its Person(s) of the year and in 1983 won the NHRA Top Fuel Championship.
In 1985, Bernie moved from the dragster team to Minor’s funny car team with Ed “Ace” McCulloch driving. The team had an impressive win record of 12 NHRA national events prior to parting ways in early 1992.
Bernie was immediately hired by John Force where he was made Co-Crew Chief on forces AA/Funny Car with Austin Coil. Bernie was a part of John Force Racing from 1992-2013 and participated in the teams outstanding success in various positions and titles. Through the 2010 seasons end, Bernie had been a part of 1336 NHRA national tour wins while John Force Racing marked its 16th funny car championship. Bernie was inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1996.