CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CARS
22126 South Vermont, Unit A
Torrance, CA 90502
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bobby Michnowicz (310) 320-5569
For Immediate Release
CARACCILO GETS FIRST CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR WIN!
(Torrance, CA, May 4, 2016) Madera, California’s Charlie Caraccilo scored his first ever win in the California Lightning Sprint Car Series last Saturday night when he bested 17 other drivers at the Bakersfield Speedway. The win made him the third different winner in the first five races of the 2016 season in the CLS.
Kingsburg, California’s Doug Nunes started the festivities off by posting the fastest qualifying lap with a time of 12.927 on the banked 1/3 of a mile clay oval. He then followed his quick time with a win in the first 8-lap heat race win. Veteran Dan Hillberg of Placentia won the second heat and series leading rookie Wyatt Downing of Lakewood notched his first ever CLS heat win in heat three.
For the main event, multi-time Perris Auto Speedway Senior Sprint Car Series champ Bruce Douglass of Ventura was on the pole with Caraccilo on the outside. Upland’s Alex Grigoreas, who came in as the point leader and who had won three of the season’s first four races, was on the inside of row two with Santa Maria second place finisher Craig Dillard of Oakdale alongside. The third row was comprised of three-time CLS champion Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita and fast qualifier Nunes.
Douglass got the jump on the start and led the first lap over Carcaccilo and Michnowicz who relegated Grigoreas to fourth coming off of turn four. Michnowicz, who has been the top CLS winner at Bakersfield the past few years, took second from Caraccilo on lap three and it was only a matter of time before he would get to leader Douglass.
Lapped traffic proved to be the downfall for Douglass as both Michnowicz and Caraccillo gobbled him up at the same time as they approached the slower traffic. When Michnowicz gets the lead at Bakersfield the promoter can just about start writing his name on the winner’s check. That is the way everyone must have thought it was going to go as this one, but a funny thing happened in traffic when Caraccilo blew by him for the lead in his white #87. Victorville’s Jeff Dyer and Grigoreas also passed Michnowicz who less than a lap later pulled off the track and back into the pits as dirt had clogged his fuel system.
Caraccilo then had Grigoreas to deal with and the series point leader was playing hardball as he was after his fourth win of the young season. Manning the inside line, Caraccilo managed to hold Grigoreas at bay and was still at the point when a red flew with three laps to go. Little did anyone know that when the red came out, Grigoreas’ challenge for the win was about to expire.
When the green flag flew for the restart, Grigoreas car did not take off and quickly was passed by Dyer for second. Grigoreas’ car then began to smoke and it blew sending him to the infield and a 14th place finish. That gives him three wins and two DNF’s in 2016 and those two DNF’s have come the two times the series has visited Bakersfield.
Caraccilo held the lead the remainder of the way and had a comfortable advantage when he zoomed past the checkered flag. Giving chase in second was Dyer, who will soon be chasing cars for the California Highway Patrol. Pole sitter Douglass came home third with Nunes fourth. Anaheim’s Dale Game took fifth and was the “Hard Charger” picking up sox spots in the main event.
Heading into the next race at Ventura on May 14th, Grigoreas holds a 24-point lead over Corona’s Dan Hillberg in the championship standings. James Heling of San Bernardino is third with Pat Kelley of Chino and Gamer rounding out the top five.
Downing advanced his lead in the “Rookie of the Year” standings to 46-points over second place Aiden Lange.
Bakersfield Main Event (with starting positions)
1. Charlie Caraccilo – 2nd – Madera
2. Jeff Dyer – 7th – Victorville
3. Bruce Douglass – 1st – Ventura
4. Doug Nunes – 6th – Kingsburg
5. Dale Gamer – 11th – Anaheim
6. Darren Hillberg – 9th – Corona
7. Dan Hillberg – 10th – Placentia
8. Wyatt Downing – 8th – Lakewood
9. Zach Zauss – 14th – Murrieta
10. James Heling – 12th – San Bernardino
11. Steve Roza – 16th – Clovis
12. Jon Robertson – 18th – Torrance
13. Aiden Lange – 17th
14. Alex Grigoreas – 3rd – Upland
15. Pat Kelley – 15th – Chino
16. Craig Dillard – 4th – Oakdale
17. Chris Dickey – 13th – San Diego
18. Bobby Michnowicz – 5th - Lomita
California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Alex Grigoreas – -Upland - 590
2. Darren Hillberg – Corona - 566
3. James Heling – San Bernardino - 535
4. Pat Kelly – Chino - 521
5. Dale Gamer - Anaheim - 490
6. Jeff Dyer – Victorville – 450
7. Jon Robertson - Torrance - 449
8. Zach Zauss – Murrieta – 436
9. Wyatt Downing - Lakewood – 403
10. Bobby Michnowicz - 362
The California Lightning Sprint Car Series would like to thank the following sponsors for helping make the 2016 season possible: Christian Stover Foundation, Circle Track Performance, Cold Fire West, DK Fabrication, Extreme Muffler, Fast Undercar, Hoosier Tire, Keizer Wheels, Lucas Oil, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Rosson Racing, Saldana Race Products, Sander Engineering, Speedmart, Speed Partz, Surf N’ Sprint, Super Shocks, T Shirts by Timeless, Woodland Auto Display.
If you or your company would like to become part of the series for the 2016 season, please call Bobby Michnowicz at: (310) 320-5569.
To keep up with the CLS on line, please visit the web site at: http://www.calightningsprints.com/index.html
2016 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule
March 5: Imperial Valley Raceway - El Centro, CA – Alex Grigoreas
March 19: Bakersfield Speedway - Bakersfield, CA – Bobby Michnowicz
April 2: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA – Alex Grigoreas
April 16: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA – Alex Grigoreas
April 30: Bakersfield Raceway - Bakersfield, CA – Charlie Caricillo
May 14: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA
May 28: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Salute To Indy)
June 11: Bakersfield Raceway - Bakersfield, CA (BoD & General Membership Meeting)
July 2: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Firecracker)
July 9: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA
August 3: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (Ventura County Fair)
August 20: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA
September 3: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (BoD & General Membership Meeting)
September 17: Bakersfield Raceway - Bakersfield, CA
October 1: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA
October 15: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA
October 29: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA
November 13: **General Membership Meeting / 2017 Rules Meeting
November 19: **Imperial Valley Raceway - El Centro, CA
This schedule is subject to change.
Civil War Dates TBD
PAST CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS
1994 Tony Everhart
1995 Gary Sexton
1996 Rob Sczymczak
1997 Jon Rahe
1998 Chris Rahe
1999 Brent Sexton
2000 Greg Bragg
2001 Greg Bragg
2002 Greg Bragg
2003 David Cardey
2004 Keith Janca
2005 Johnny Bates
2006 Donny Gansen
2007 Shane Rossen
2008 Brent Sexton
2009 Stuart Hielschier Sr.
2010 Jarrett Kramer
2011 Tim Brown
2012 Bobby Michnowicz
2013 Stephen Limon
2014 Bobby Michnowicz
2015 Bobby Michnowicz
This press release was produced by Scott Daloisio Sports (909) 226-7768