WEST COAST SPRINTS “OFF” UNTIL AUGUST 8 AT OCEAN;
BERNAL NOW ON 5-RACE VICTORY STREAK
Ryan Bernal is riding a 5-race victory wave which has him on the verge of joining some elite USAC company.
The Hollister, Calif. driver has already set a West Coast Sprint record for consecutive wins. Damion Gardner’s four 2005 wins are the record for USAC/CRA, while Rick Ziehl won four straight in the Southwest Sprints in 2006 and Jimmy Wysong won four straight in the 2003 Rocky Mountain Sprints.
In terms of USAC all-time records, only Larry Dickson’s six straight Nationals in 1968 are better in Sprint cars. Only four others have topped Bernal’s streak of five in USAC’s 59-year history. Michael Lang won six in a row in the 1996 Speedrome Midgets, Billy Vukovich III put together seven straight in the 1987 National Supermodifieds, A.J. Foyt won seven straight to start the 1964 National Champ (Indy Car) series and Billy Boat’s 11 straight Western Midget wins in 1995 top the list.
Ryan Bernal caught Matt Mitchell on lap 12 Saturday night at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. and led the final 19 laps for the win over Mitchell, Richard Vander Weerd, Dennis Howell and Troy Rutherford. The win vaulted him to ninth in the new series standings.
Bernal will try for a sixth straight series win August 8 when the West Coast Sprints resume racing at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif. A win there would set up a chance for number seven the next night at Chowchilla, Calif.