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 WINS THIRD CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT MAIN OF 2016!
(Torrance, CA, August 17, 2016) Madera’s Charlie Caraccilo continued his mastery in the California Lightning Sprint Car Series last Saturday night at the Santa Maria Raceway when he outdistanced the regulars for his third win of the season. Even though he is an infrequent competitor in the series, the victory tied him for the series lead with CLS regulars Alex Grigoreas and Bobby Michnowicz.
Sixteen cars showed up for the last CLS race of the year at Santa Maria. Caraccilo out qualified the group with a lap 13.898 around the semi banked clay oval. Kingsburg resident Doug Nunes was second and was the only other car in the 13’s with a time of 13.964. CLS point leader Grigoreas, of Upland, timed in third at 14.335. Nunes and rookie Aiden Lange of Lakewood won the two eight-lap heat races that proceeded the main event.
Lange, who has been opening a lot of eyes in the second half of the season, started on the pole in the 20-lap main. Placentia’s Dan Hillberg was outside of him with Ventura’s Bruce Douglass and Grigoreas in the second row. Nunes and Caraccilo comprised row three.
Lange got the jump on the start over Hillberg for the initial lead. Hillberg’s stay in second did not last long as Grigoreas passed him in turn four on the opener. A yellow halted the proceedings on lap two when something broke on the Triple Z racing #29 driven by three-time series champ Bobby Michnowicz and he slid to a stop in turn four.
When the green flag flew again, Lange and Grigoreas got a great restart and moved away from the field. Wiley veteran Grigoreas took a look to the outside coming off of turn two, but the rookie would have none of it. He pulled the point leader down the back chute and into turn three. At the same time Caraccilo drove into third, but he was nearly a half straight behind the lead duo.
Lange got everybody’s attention when he not only held off the point leader, but he started to pull away from him as well. By the end of lap eight, he had nearly a half straight away lead. However, that big lead was about to disappear.
On the ninth lap, Lange hit lapped traffic. Not only lapped traffic, but two lapped cars battling side by side for last as the leaders approached. Grigoreas caught Lange and when the youngster drifted a little off the inside line behind the lappers in turn four, the veteran took full opportunity and zipped underneath him for the top spot.
Not wanting to wait around, Grigoreas risked it all and split the lappers going into turn one on the 10th circuit. They gave him room and he moved by with no problem. As soon as Grigoreas went by, the lappers resumed their battle and that let Caraccilo take the second spot away from Lange.
Nunes, who won earlier in the year at Perris Auto Speedway, broke into the top three on lap 15, but he was a long way behind the two leaders. Soon thereafter he ended up flipping in the turn one and came to halt at the crashwall. He was fine, but his car was not and his hopes of a second CLS win this year were dashed.
The main restarted with four laps to go with Grigoreas leading Caraccilo, Lange, Kiwi Alexander, who started dead last, and series leading rookie Cody Nigh of Camarillo. Grigoreas got a great restart and pulled away to a big advantage. With his fourth win of the year within his grasp, his clutch let go coming off of turn four with only two laps remaining. That handed the lead to Caraccilo as Grigoreas coasted to the infield.
Caraccilo led the final two laps in his Jasper Engines & Transmissions/Sterling Auto Repair/Tom’s Truck Repair/Campus Automotive/Fast Lane Cycles/DLX/2006 Suzuki GSXR 1000, for his third win. Lange posted his CLS best finish with a second followed by Alexander. Nigh took the fourth place with Douglass, who turned 65 on the day, fifth. Last to third saw easily made Alexander the race “Hard Charger.”
Amazingly the top four in the point standings coming in, Grigoreas, Pat Kelley of Chino, James Heling of San Bernardino and Michnowicz, all had problems on the night. Grigoreas, Heling and Michnowicz did not finish the main and Kelley did not start it. Heading into the September 3rd race at Ventura, Grigoreas leads Heling by 65-points. Kelley’s DNS dropped him to third in the standings and he is 103 behind Grigoreas. Michnowicz is fourth. Rookie Nigh took over fifth.
In addition to the September 3rd race at Ventura, the CLS has one more race in the month. It will be at the Bakersfield Speedway on the 17th. It will be the series fourth and final appearance there of the year at the Kern County oval.
Ventura Results (with starting positions)
1. Charlie Caraccilo – 6th – Madera
2. Aiden Lange – 1st – Lakewood
3. Kiwi Alexander – 13th
4. Cody Nigh – 7th – Camarillo
5. Bruce Douglass – 3rd – Ventura
6. Dale Gamer – 11th – Anaheim
7. Jon Robertson – 8th – Torrance
8. Alex Grigoreas – 4th – Upland
9. Doug Nunes – 5th – Kingsburg
10. Wyatt Downing – 12th – Lakewood
11. Dan Hillberg – 2nd – Placentia
12. James Heling – 9th – San Bernardino
13. Bobby Michnowicz – 10th – Lomita
California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Alex Grigoreas – Upland 1276
2. James Heling – San Bernardino - 1211
3. Pat Kelley – Chino - 1173
4. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita - 1107
5. Cody Nigh – Camarillo - 1072
6. Dale Gamer - Anaheim – 1058
7. Jon Robertson – Torrance - 1046
8. Aiden Lange - Lakewood – 1007
9. Jeff Dyer - Victorville - 994
10. Wyatt Downing - Lakewood – 948
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 – Charlie Carracilo
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