CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CARS
22126 South Vermont, Unit A
Torrance, CA 90502
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bobby Michnowicz (310) 320-5569
For Immediate Release
MICHNOWICZ WINS VENTURA COUNTY FAIR LIGHTNING SPRINT RACE!
(Torrance, CA, August 9, 2016) Three-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series champion Bobby Michnowicz scored his third win of the season in front of a packed house on opening night of the Ventura County Fair. The win ties him with Alex Grigoreas on top of the 2016 main event win list.
A fine field of 21-cars showed up for the weeknight show. USAC/CRA Sprint Car regular A.J. Bender of San Marcos out qualified the field with a time of 13.081. Grigoreas and Michnowicz were second and third fast.
Three eight-lap heat races proceeded the main event before the festive crowd. Rookie Aiden Lange of Lakewood scored his second heat race win of the year in heat one. Upland’s Grigoreas took the second heat and 2010 series champ Jarrett Kramer won the third heat, which was the fastest of the night.
Veterans Jon Squire of El Cajon and Anaheim’s Dale Gamer occupied the front row for the main event. Squire led Gamer and Placentia veteran Dan Hillberg through the first two laps, but the yellow flew in turn one on lap three when fast qualifier Bender got turned around while running seventh.
Things did not get far on the restart as a massive turn two tangle, that resembled a restrictor plate crash at Talladega or Daytona, brought out the red flag. Several cars were involved and several more stopped to avoid the mess making that end of the racetrack look like a sprint car parking lot. Rookie Eric Greco of Palmdale, in only his second CLS race, tipped over. Every driver emerged uninjured, but six cars did not and they were done for the night.
Once the wrecked cars were taken off of the track and all of the parts were picked up, there was still 23-laps to go. The top five for the restart was Squire, Gamer, Hillberg, Jeff Dyer of Victorville and Michnowicz. Squire led until the middle of the back chute on lap four when Hillberg, who had already used the outside to go past Gamer for second, continued on the wide line to take the lead. However, that did not even last a half a lap as Hillberg parked it big time in turn four and handed the top spot back to Squire. One lap later, Hillberg refined his turn four form and raced by Squire for the top spot.
Soon after Hillberg laid claim on the point position, Michnowicz, who started seventh in the main, was up to second when another yellow came out for a car stopped in turn two. Once racing resumed, Michnowicz, in his T-Shirts by Timeless/Rosson Racing/Pflum & Wagner Racing/Fuel Safe Racing Cells/Keizer Wheels/Circle Track DLX Chassis/Kawasaki ZX10 #1k, made quick work of Hillberg and was essentially gone for the remainder of the race with the exception of when a couple of lapped cars decided to race side by side back in the pack right in front of him.
Behind first and second, Dyer, who won the last race at Ventura on July 9th, and Grigoreas hooked up in a crowd pleasing, no holds barred battle for third. That went on until lap 15 when Dyer, who was contesting his last race before leaving for the California Highway Patrol Academy in Sacramento, had his air box come off and coasted into the infield.
The last yellow flew on lap 15 and when the green came back out for the final 10-laps, Michnowicz ran away for his third win of the campaign. Hillberg crossed the line second followed by Kramer, Grigoreas and series leading rookie Cody Nigh of Camarillo. However, Grigoreas did not go to tech after the race and was disqualified. That moved Nigh up to fourth and newcomer Jonathon Conley of Oxnard to fifth. Conley, who is a regular at Ventura in the VRA Dwarf Cars, was the “Hard Charger” moving up a whopping 13 spots after starting 18th.
Grigoreas’ post-race faux pas cost him dearly in the championship point standings. He came in with a 76-point lead over Pat Kelley, who finished seventh in the main. However, the miscue sees that commanding lead whittled down to a mere 19-points. San Bernardino’s James Heling, who placed sixth in the main, is only 39-makers behind Grigoreas. Michnowicz and Dyer are fourth and fifth.
Nigh advanced his lead in the “Rookie of the Year” standings to 80-points over Lange. Lakewood’s Wyatt Downing is third and is only 9-points behind Lange.
The CLS will take this Saturday night off before heading to the Santa Maria Raceway for the final time in 2016 on August 20th.
Ventura Main Event (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 7th
2. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 4th
3. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 11th
4. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 12th
5. Jonathon Conley – Oxnard – 18th
6. James Heling – San Bernardino – 14th
7. Pat Kelley – Chino – 3rd
8. Jon Squire – El Cajon – 1st
9. James Squire III – Lakeside – 15th
10. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 2nd
11. A.J. Bender – San Marcos – 9th
12. Jeff Dyer – Victorville – 6th
13. Jon Simms – Carlsbad – 19th
14. Darren Hillberg – Corona – 16th
15. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 5th
16. Jon Robertson – Torrance – 10th
17. Wyatt Downing – Lakewood – 13th
18. Eric Greco – Palmdale - 17th
19. John Nelson – Norco – 21st
20. Don Kuehner – Perris - 20th
DQ Alex Grigoreas - Upland
California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Alex Grigoreas – Upland 1172
2. Pat Kelly – Chino - 1153
3. James Heling – San Bernardino - 1133
4. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita - 1030
5. Jeff Dyer – Victorville - 994
6. Dale Gamer - Anaheim – 953
7. Cody Nigh – Camarillo - 952
8. Jon Robertson – Torrance – 945
9. Darren Hillberg - Corona - 894
10. Aiden Lange - Lakewood – 872
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 Caraccilo
May 14: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA – Pat Kelley
May 28: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Salute To Indy) – Doug Nunes
June 11: Bakersfield Raceway - Bakersfield, CA – Charlie Caraccilo
July 2: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Firecracker) – Bobby Michnowicz
July 9: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA – Jeff Dyer
August 3: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA (Ventura County Fair) – Bobby Michnowicz
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