CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CARS
22126 South Vermont, Unit A
Torrance, CA 90502
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bobby Michnowicz (310) 320-5569
For Immediate Release
KELLEY POSTS FIRST CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT WIN - HILLBERG TAKES POINTS LEAD!
(Torrance, CA, May 17, 2016) 2015 California Lightning Sprint Car Series “Rookie of the Year,” Pat Kelley of Chino, won his first ever CLS main event leading every single lap at the Ventura Raceway last Saturday night. While Kelley was winning the 20-lapper, Corona’s Darren Hillberg was busy taking the overall lead in the championship standings.
To say Kelley’s win was an emotional one is an understatement. In addition to it being his first, he took the victory in a car previously owned and driven by CLS driver Damon Arnett who was fatally injured while working on his work truck over the winter.
Three-time CLS champion Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita was the fastest qualifier when he turned a lap of 11.928 on the track located mere feet from the Pacific Ocean. Victorville’s Jeff Dyer won the first eight-lap heat and “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance won his first ever CLS heat in the second eight-lapper.
Main event drama in the pits started before the cars hit the track when quick qualifier Michnowicz was forced to park his #21k due to fuel system problems in the heat race. He jumped into the Zach Zauss #29 and started last in the main event.
Robertson, who finished second to Kelley in last years “Rookie of the Year” points, was on the inside of the front row for the main with Kelley, in the Arnett dedicated #7, on the outside. Kelley got a great jump on the start and had a three car length lead by the end of the first go round while Robertson and Hillberg fought side by side for second.
On a track that was proving to be hard to pass on, the fight for second allowed Arnett to build his lead. Robertson held veteran Hilberg at bay for several laps before slipping back to fourth when the latter and rookie Cody Nigh of Camarillo both got past his #42.
While Kelley was cruising out front and Hillberg was comfortably in second, rookie Nigh was busy trying to hold off Bruce Douglass of Ventura for third. Douglass, a multi-time Senior Sprint Car champion, used a lapped car to set a pick and snatched the third spot from Nigh with five-laps to go. When the checkered ended the main, Kelley, who was virtually unchallenged the entire distance in the Wire Tex/Baselite Corporation/Custom Comfort Mattress/Zer03 Motorsports/Public Enemy Inc/Henchcraft/Yamaha R1 #7, had nearly a full straightaway advantage over second place Hillberg. Douglass finished third and was all over Hillberg at the checkered flag. Nigh stayed in fourth for the duration with Victorville’s Jeff Dyer fifth.
Michnowicz was the main event “Hard Charger” coming home sixth after starting 15th.
Hillberg’s second place allowed him to take the point lead from Upland’s Alex Grigoreas, who finished eighth. Grigoreas, who is the only driver in the CLS with more than one win this year (he has three), now finds himself 5-points out of the lead. Kelley’s win allowed him to move from fourth to third in the championship chase and he is only 40 behind Hillberg. San Bernardino’s James Heling, who has been in the top five all year long, is fourth with Dyer completing the top five.
After taking this Saturday off, the CLS will return to its former home track, Perris Auto Speedway, for the annual “Salute to Indy” on May 28th.
Ventura Results (with main event starting positions)
1. Pat Kelley (2nd) – Chino
2. Darren Hillberg (4th) – Corona
3. Bruce Douglass (7th) – Ventura
4. Cody Nigh (3rd) – Camarillo
5. Jeff Dyer (6th) – Victorville
6. Bobby Michnowicz (13th) – Lomita
7. Dan Hillberg (5th) – Placentia
8. Alex Grigoreas (8th) – Upland
9. James Heling (9th) – San Bernardino
10. Wyatt Downing (11th) – Lakewood
11. Jon Robertson (1st) - Torrance
12. Aiden Lange (10th)
13. Dale Gamer (12th) - Anaheim
California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Darren Hillberg – Corona - 692
2. Alex Grigoreas – Upland - 687
3. Pat Kelly – Chino - 652
4. James Heling – San Bernardino - 627
5. Jeff Dyer – Victorville - 574
6. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 562
7. Jon Robertson - Torrance - 540
8. Wyatt Downing - Lakewood – 488
9. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 478
10. Bruce Douglass – Ventura - 471
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 Cariccilo
May 14: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA – Pat Kelley
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