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 HIS SECOND LIGHTNING SPRINT MAIN OF 2016!
(Torrance, CA, July 7, 2016) Performing before the largest crowd of the season, three-time California Lightning Sprint Car Champion Bobby Michnowicz won the 20-lap main event last Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway. It was the second win of the season for the veteran driver.
For the main, veteran Michnowicz was starting inside the fifth row along with fast qualifier Chris Dickey of Temecula. Once the green flag flew to start the race, rookie Cody Nigh of Camarillo blasted from inside of row two and into the lead. Nigh, who is a student at San Diego State, led until Victorville’s Jeff Dyer, who will be leaving for the California Highway Patrol Academy in Sacramento in August, flew by in turn four on the opening circuit.
The race did not stay under green conditions for long. In turn one on lap two, Kramer and Dickey tangled with Kramer tipping over against the crashwall bringing out the red flag. Dickey stopped farther up the track with the front wing ripped off of his car. Kramer was not injured, but his car was and he was done for the night while Dickey would restart at the back.
While the cars were stopped for the red flag, CLS officials penalized Nigh two spots on the restart for jumping the initial start.
For the restart, the top three featured Dyer, his former teammate and current point leader Alex Grigoreas of Upland and Placentia’s Dan Hillberg. Dyer built up a good size lead, but that all went down the tubes when his chain snapped entering turn three on lap seven and he coasted silently back to the pits with a frustrating 15th place finish.
Dyer’s misfortune handed the lead to Grigoreas, who is not only the CLS point leader, but who also leads the series with three wins in 2016. However, while Grigoreas was the leader, he had Michnowicz hot on his tale. Things did not stay like that for long as the three-time champ raced by for first and pulled away to establish a huge advantage.
Grigoreas stayed in second until disaster struck when one of his wing panels sailed off and landed on the track. That necessitated a yellow flag and Grigoreas being deemed the cause of the yellow, had to go to the back of the pack. Unfortunately, Grigoreas’ main event woes were not done. On the restart he fouled a plug and pulled into the pits with a frustrating, point costing 14th place finish.
Hillberg had a heart break when he broke on the last lap while running second, but even if he had not broken, he, and anybody else, was not going to touch Michnowicz. The Lomita racer had things fully in his control and after missing the first race at Perris due to an engine issue, he was a half straight in front of the pack when he took the checkered in his T-Shirts by Timeless/Rosson Racing/Pflum & Wagner Racing/Fuel Safe Racing Cells/Keizer Wheels/Circle Track DLX Chassis/Kawasaki ZX10 #21k. Nigh, who is Michnowicz’ nephew, notched a career best CLS second place finish. Despite missing his nose wing, Dickey drove back through the pack to place third with Chino’s Pat Kelley and James Heling of San Bernardino rounding out the top five.
Heling, who came all the way from 15th to finish fifth, was the main event “Hard Charger.”
Seventeen CLS teams showed up for the holiday weekend show. Dickey, who will soon be moving back to his native Indiana, started out the proceedings when he went faster than the other 16 cars in qualifying with a lap of 18.257. Michnowicz was a tick off and second fastest with a time of 18.288. 2010 champion Jarrett Kramer was third fastest when he timed in at 18.567. Dyer and Michnowicz wrapped up the preliminaries with wins in the two six lap heat races.
Grigoreas’ main event misfortune let Kelley chop a huge chunk off of his point lead. Heading into this Saturday’s race at Ventura, Kelley is a mere 19-points behind the leader. Heling is third and is the only other driver besides Kelley within 100-points of the top spot. Anaheim racer Dale Gamer and “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance are fourth and fifth.
Nigh’s second place finish propelled him to the “Rookie of The Year” point lead. Lakewood’s Wyatt Downing is only 3-points behind the leader. Fellow Lakewood driver Aiden Lange is third.
The CLS has its quickest turnaround of 2016 when it gets back in action this Saturday night at the Ventura Raceway. Gates will open at 3:00 PM with racing at 5:30. The VRA Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, Focus Midgets and Dwarf Cars will also be in action.
Perris Main Event Results (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 9th
2. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 3rd
3. Chris Dickey – Temecula – 10th
4. Pat Kelley – Chino – 2nd
5. James Heling – San Bernardino – 15th
6. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 13th
7. James Squire III – Lakeside – 16th
8. Jon Squire – El Cajon – 1st
9. Wyatt Downing – Lakeside – 11th
10. Jon Robertson – Torrance – 14th
11. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 16th
12. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 7th
13. Guy Maresch – Anaheim – 5th
14. Alex Grigoreas – Upland – 6th
15. Jeff Dyer – Victorville – 4th
16. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 8th
California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Alex Grigoreas – Upland 1001
2. Pat Kelly – Chino - 982
3. James Heling – San Bernardino - 922
4. Dale Gamer - Anaheim - 811
5. Jon Robertson - Torrance - 801
6. Jeff Dyer - Victorville – 779
7. Darren Hillberg - Corona - 764
8. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita – 762
9. Cody Nigh – Camarillo - 750
10. Wyatt Downing - Lakewood - 747
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
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