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 BOUNCES BACK FOR CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR WIN!
(Torrance, CA, June 21, 2017) Charlie Caraccilo bounced back from a big disappointment two weeks prior at the Ventura Raceway to win the California Lightning Sprint Car Series/USAC main event last Saturday night at the Bakersfield Speedway. The victory was Caraccilo’s first with the CLS since August of last year at the Santa Maria Raceway.
Two weeks earlier at Ventura, Caraccilo was on fire. He out qualified the field, won his heat race and was a good bet to win the main event to score the clean sweep on the night. Then it all unraveled in a hurry when he was involved in a tangle in turn one on the first lap of the main. His car had some damage, but he still he made the restart. However,, he did not get in two laps before retiring for the night.
Things were much different at Bakersfield last Saturday. While he won his heat race once again, Caraccilo only qualified 7th fastest in the 21-car field. But, when it mattered the most, he performed to perfection and won the main.
The Madera based veteran started on the outside of the second row in the 25-lapper. He was behind front row starters Ken Coulston Bermuda Dunes and always fast two-time CLS champion Brent Sexton of Lakeside. When the green flag finally flew for the main on the scorching day that saw the thermometer blast into three-digits, rookie Coulston surprised everyone by getting the jump and leading veteran Sexton and Caracillo, who was in the white Jaspar Engines & Transmission/Sterling Auto Repair/Tom’s Truck Repair/Campus Automotive/Fast Line Cycles/DLX/2006 Suzuki GSXR 1000 #87.
Coulston did will holding off all the seasoned veterans until the end of the fourth circuit when Caraccilo claimed the top sport with an inside pass. By that time, Placentia’s Dan Hillberg, who started fifth, had found his way past Sexton and was running third.
Once out front Caracillo established a comfortable lead. He and his pursuers got into the lapped traffic at the end of the sixth go round. Four-time series champ Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita, who won at Bakersfield in April, took the low road around one of the lappers with Hillberg going high in turn one. Michnowicz beat Hillberg off turn two to take third and less than a lap later, he stole second away from Coulston.
Michnowicz’ past prowess over the years at Bakersfield saw him looking good in the eyes of veteran CLS watchers. However, just as fast he took second from Coulston, he slowed and pulled to the infield with mechanical ills at the end of lap seven.
Michnowicz misfortune gave Caraccilo a half straight away lead and handed second back to Coulston. The rookie driver maintained the second-place spot until Hillberg raced around for the position at the end of lap nine.
The first yellow in the main event came out on lap 10 when Sexton went around in turn two. That wiped out Caraccilo’s big advantage and moved Hillberg onto his tail for the restart. Coulston, Dickey and point Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley made up the rest of the top five.
Carracilo got a great restart and by the time the field roared off turn two, he was four car lengths ahead of Hillberg. Kramer got a good restart as well and used the inside to take fourth away from Indiana native Dickey. Kramer continued his march towards the front one lap later when he took the third place from Coulston.
By the time there were only 10-laps to go, Carracilo was gone once again and had a very comfortable lead over Hillberg who now had his hands full with Kramer who was charging in the #14. Kramer’s persistence paid off and he took second from Hillberg at the stripe on lap 18. Less than three laps later, Hillberg, who refused to quit digging, returned the favor and raced around the outside of Kramer to reclaim second.
By the time Hillberg got back into second, Caraccilo had opened nearly a full straight away lead and the only thing that slowed him was a massive pack of lapped cars. Still when the checkered waved, he was a half straight in front of second place Hillberg. Kramer stayed in third and was followed across the line by Lakewood teen Aiden Lange and Coulston.
Rookie Robb Pelmear of Ventura was the race “Hard Charger” moving from 18th to 12th in the main.
Earlier in the night Lange picked up his second ever CLS fast time when he out qualified the 21-car field with a lap of 13.258. Michnowicz was second quick at 13.276 and Bruce Douglass of Ventura, who did not start the main event, was third fast at 13.290.
Besides Caraccilo, Michnowicz and Lakewood’s Wyatt Downing, who was using a car he and his father recently put together, won the other two heat races.
Kramer maintained his position at the top of the championship standings, but he now has a new pursuer in second. Impressive teen Lange moved up into the second spot for the first time in his CLS career. He trails Kramer by 71-points. 2016 Rookie of the Year Cody Nigh is third and is only 8-points behind Lange. Michnowicz and Palmdale’s Eric Greco round out the top five.
There is no rest for the CLS as this Saturday they journey to the Santa Maria Raceway for the only time in 2017. Joining the CLS will be the Racesavers Winged Sprint Cars, Santa Maria Dwarf Cars, Mini Stocks, NMRA Three-Quarter Midgets and Mini Dwarfs.
The Santa Maria Raceway is located at 1900 Hutton Road in Nippomo (93444). The track phone number is: (805) 922-2232. Fans can visit the track website by clicking on the following link: http://www.santamariaraceway.com/
The California Lightning Sprint Car Series would like to thank the following sponsors for helping make the 2017 season possible: Christian Stover Foundation, Circle Track Performance, Cold Fire West, DK Fabrication, Extreme Muffler, Fast Undercar, Hoosier Tire, Keizer Wheels, Outlaw Wings, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Saldana Race Products, Sander Engineering, Speedmart, Speed Partz, Super Shocks, T Shirts by Timeless, Woodland Auto Display.
If you or your company would like to become part of the series for the 2017 season, please call Bobby Michnowicz at: (310) 320-5569.
To keep up with the CLS online, please visit the website at: http://racecls.com/
Bakersfield Results (with starting positions)
1. Charlie Carracilo – Madera – 4th
2. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 5th
3. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 7th
4. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 9th
5. Ken Coulston – Bermuda Dunes – 1st
6. Chris Dickey – Murrieta – 3rd
7. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 6th
8. Brent Sexton – Lakeside – 2nd
9. Wyatt Downing – Lakewood – 10th
10. James Turnbull – Indio – 14th
11. Eric Greco – Palmdale – 12th
12. Robb Pelmear – Ventura – 18th
13. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena – 13th
14. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 15th
15. Frank Ditmar – Lakewood - 19th
16. James Heling – San Bernardino – 11th
17. Bobby Michnowicz – 8th
18. Pat Kelley – Chino – 17th
19. Jon Robertson – Torrance – 16th
California Lightning Sprints Championship Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 1067
2. Aiden Lange - Lakewood – 996
3. Cody Nigh - Camarillo – 988
4. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 912
5. Eric Greco – Palmdale - 848
6. Brent Sexton - Lakeside – 812
7. Wyatt Downing Lakewood - 738
8. Chris Dickey - Murrieta - 734
9. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 687
10. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena – 599
2017 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule
March 11: Imperial Valley Raceway – California Midwinter Fair – Jarrett Kramer
March 12: Imperial Valley Raceway – California Midwinter Fair – Bobby Michnowicz
March 25: Bakersfield Speedway – Civil War with BCRA – Jarrett Kramer
April 8: Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Rained Out
April 22: Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
May 5: Silver Dollar Speedway – Civil War w/BCRA – Chris Dickey
May 6: Placerville Speedway – Civil War w/BCRA – Zach Keefe
May 27: Perris Auto Speedway – Salute to Indy - USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
June 3: Ventura Raceway – USAC National – A.J. Bender
June 17: Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National – Charlie Caraccilo
June 24: Santa Maria Raceway – USAC National
July 8: Ventura Raceway – USAC National
August 2: Ventura Raceway – Fair Race - USAC National
August 26: Perris Auto Speedway – Hall of Fame Race– USAC National
September 2: Ventura Raceway – USAC National
September 23: Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National
October 7: Ventura Raceway – Civil War w/BCRA
October 28: Ventura Raceway – USAC National
This schedule is subject to change.
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
2016 Bobby Michnowicz
This press release was produced by Scott Daloisio Sports (909) 226-7768