From Peterson Media
Making his long awaited return to the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, CA to take part in the Peter Murphy Classic with the USAC West Coast 360’s, Ryan Bernal did not disappoint as he won the opening night feature event, before opting to give up his pole position on Saturday night to take the Peter Murphy Challenge and come from the 11th starting position to finish second.
“We had an awesome racecar all weekend long, and it was great to get back to the Thunderbowl,” Ryan Bernal said. “My guys really had the No. 56 working well, and it was a really fun weekend.”
Earning quick time during time trials on Friday night, Bernal would make two big time moves on the final lap of the Dash For Cash to pocket a cash bonus to kick the night off for the Metal Works/Keizer Wheels/S&S Automotive backed No. 56 machine.
Running second in his heat race, the Hollister, CA driver would line up in the second row for the 30-lap Peter Murphy Classic Preliminary feature event. Working his way into the second spot when the race came to life, Bernal would battle with Brody Roa as he looked for the race lead.
On the 10th lap, Bernal would get by Roa and quickly open up a sizeable lead. As he has done 10 previous times over the course of his career, Bernal would have his elbows up as he tamed Tulare, CA to claim the PMC opener and mark his 11th career series win at the Thunderbowl Raceway.
Locked into the Saturday night feature event and Pole Shuffle, Bernal would win the Pole Shuffle to earn the right to start on the front row of the feature event. During his interview, Bernal would be presented with a challenge that would offer him a bonus should he win from the 11th starting spot. With no real hesitation, Bernal would accept that challenge.
“Peter Murphy put this race on for the fans, and I wanted to give them a show,” Bernal said in regards to the challenge. “We had a great car all weekend, and I thought we could do it, and we nearly did.”
Lining up in the sixth row for the 30-lapper, Bernal would patiently work the bottom of the speedway as he rode back in the 10th spot during the early goings of the feature event.
As the race went on, Bernal would begin banging the boards and working his way forward. Executing a picture perfect diamond off of turn two on a couple of occasions, Bernal would find himself up in the third spot under yellow with just a few laps to go.
The restart would see Bernal race his way past Bud Kaeding as he closed in on Troy Rutherford. Making it close at the end, Bernal would close his weekend out with a second place finish.
“I really wanted to get it done from the 11th spot, but I was happy with how we ran, and to get a win on Friday,” Bernal said. “I know my guys wanted the win the finale as bad as I did, but I think the fans enjoyed the show we put on. Again, I really want to thank my guys for their hard work and giving me such an awesome car to drive.”
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.