PETERSEN MEDIA- With tremendous success in non-winged sprint cars, Ryan Bernal was final able to do a wing dance on Friday night, as the Hollister, CA driver parked his Mike Phulps Motorsports No. 56 machine in victory lane a the Keller Auto Speedway as he earned his first career winged sprint car victory.
“My guys deserve this, and I am so happy to finally get them a win with the winged car,” Bernal said. “We have been getting better every time out, and it was a blast to get up on the wing and celebrate.”
Bernal had an overall good night, as he kicked things off by timing the Metal Works/Keizer Wheels/A.R.T. No. 56 fastest in time trials, giving himself quick time honors.
Lining up sixth in his heat race, Bernal would race his way to a third place finish and earn a spot in the night’s feature event inversion, where the six-pill would line him up in the third row.
On a very racy Keller Auto Speedway, Bernal wasted no time getting to the front, as he used the bottom of the speedway to work into the third spot on the third lap, before taking over the second spot from Craig Stidham on fifth lap.
In the second position, Bernal would begin his pursuit of race leader, DJ Netto, who had broken away from the field. With lapped traffic coming into play, Bernal was able to erase Netto’s advantage and begin making a bid for the lead.
On the 15th lap, Bernal would get Netto at the flag stand to take command of the race just before the caution flag flew, giving him clear track ahead.
Out front, Bernal was very strong as he would quickly leave the field in his wake, and open up a sizeable lead on a pair of occasions, as caution flags would slow his pace.
With the checkered flag in the air, Bernal would drive under it first as he claimed his first ever winged sprint car feature event victory.
Saturday night, Bernal was back in familiar territory as he traveled to the Ventura Raceway with his MPM team as they took on the USAC/CRA series.
With a very healthy car count of 50 cars on hand for the event, Bernal would go out midway through the qualifying session, and time his machine in 16th fastest before picking up a second place finish in his heat race.
Finding it difficult to move forward, Bernal would try numerous things to get his machine moving through the field, but would ultimately call it a night on the 27th lap, as he was credited with an 18th place finish.
“We had a good Friday night, but Saturday night wasn’t too much fun,” he said. “It is awesome to get it done in a winged car, and hopefully we can get to Tulare, CA this weekend and have good runs in both cars.”
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 2014 season.
2015 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-17, Wins-6, Top 5’s-8, Top 10’s-10.
ON TAP: Bernal and the MPM team be in action on Saturday night at the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, CA with both the USAC West Coast 360’s and the King of the West Series.
STAY CONNECTED: For more information on the event be sure to follow Ryan Bernal on Twitter @Bernal_Ryan.
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