PETERSEN MEDIA- Making just his second start at the famed Trophy Cup, Ryan Bernal would turn in a nice showing that saw him finish 12th in the Saturday night feature event and 15th in the final points run down.
“With not a whole lot of laps with a wing at Thunderbowl Raceway, I was pretty happy with our performance,” Ryan Bernal said. “We were pretty fast each time we hit the track I thought.”
Opening the busy three-day stretch up on Thursday night, Bernal would time in 17th fastest in his qualifying flight. Picking up the win during his heat race, the Hollister, CA driver would punch his ticket to the feature event.
When heat races and ‘B’ mains were done, Bernal would sit 17th in points and find himself in the ninth row of the opening night feature event. On an extremely slick Thunderbowl Raceway, Bernal would seemingly get better lap after lap.
With cars going every which direction for 30-laps, Bernal was able to work his way forward as he flirted with the Top-10 late in the race. Battling with Terry McCarl and Sean Becker, Bernal would close the opener out with an 11th place finish.
Back at it on Friday night, Bernal would improve on his qualifying effort as he would time in ninth fastest on this night. Another nice run during his heat race would see him finish in the second spot, but as fate would have it, he would not earn the direct transfer to the feature, and found himself in the third row of the night’s first ‘B’ Main.
Moving up to the fourth spot, Bernal would look to chase after Willie Croft and Steven Tiner who ran just ahead of him. On the 13th lap Willie Croft would get tangled with a lapped car and with nowhere to go Bernal would make contact and bring his night to an early end.
On the strength of his opening night performance, Bernal would sit in the 17th spot in Trophy Cup points when the field returned to action for the Trophy Cup finale on Saturday night. From the third row of his heat race, Bernal would work his way forward and pick up valuable points as he finished in the third spot despite losing an engine and coasting to the finish line.
Sitting 15th in points heading into the inverted 50-lap feature event, Bernal would grid the field from the sixth position. Running in the fourth spot during the opening laps, Bernal would fall out of the top-five following a lap seven restart.
Finding himself back in the ninth spot, Bernal would hang in the Top-10 until the yellow flag flew on lap 35 and allowed teams to work on their cars. Getting back up into the sixth spot when the racing resumed, Bernal would slowly fall outside the Top-10 during the final 15 laps of the feature event, as he would finish in the 12th spot, which put him 15th in the final standings.
“We lost and engine during our heat race on Saturday night, and I have to thank all of the drivers and teams that helped us get a fresh one in the car for the feature,” Bernal added. “I have to thank my guys for always giving me a great car.”
Bernal and the Mike Phulps Motorsports team would like to thank Keizer Wheels, DMI, S&S Automotive, King Racing Products, Metal Works, Hoosier Racing Tires, Core Power, ART Chassis, Tri-L Mandarin Ranch, Tel-Tac, Willwood, Joe Hunt Magnetos, Permatex, Alan Kaiser Construction, Outlaw Graphics, BR Motorsports, FK Rod Ends, STIDA, Rockwell Security, ButlerBuilt, GoScope, 4 Alarm Promotions, and Dean Dealy Motorsports for their support during the 2016 season.
2016 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-26, Wins-3, Top 5’s-16, Top 10’s-19.
ON TAP: The Mike Phulps Motorsports team and Ryan Bernal will be in action on Friday night at Placerville Speedway.
STAY CONNECTED: To stay updated on Ryan Bernal and the team, make sure to follow @bernal_ryan on Twitter.
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