CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CARS
22126 South Vermont, Unit A
Torrance, CA 90502
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bobby Michnowicz (310) 320-5569
For Immediate Release
DOUGLASS GETS FIRST CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT WIN AT VENTURA!
(Torrance, CA, October 6, 2016) Local racer Bruce Douglass, a multi-time Senior Sprint Car Series champion, scored an upset win in the California Lightning Sprint Car main event last Saturday night at the Ventura Raceway. The victory was the first ever in a Lightning Sprint for the affable driver.
Another fine field of 18-cars turned up at the CLS home track which is located on the beach at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Visiting Northern California driver Craig Dillard of Oakdale fired the first salvo of show when he topped the charts in qualifying with a sizzling lap of 12.752. Current series points leader Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita stopped the clocks second fastest with a time of 12.810 and 2010 CLS champ Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley was third at 12.875.
Before the cars could get on with the main event war, three eight-lap heat races took place. Kevin Michnowicz of Lomita, who was making a rare 2016 appearance, won the first eight-lapper. Camarillo’s Cody Nigh, the current leader in the “Rookie of the Year” standings, took the second heat with veteran Jon Squire of Lakeside collecting the Kris Kornder checkered flag in the final heat.
San Bernardino’s James Heling, who has been in the fight for the point lead all season long, was on the pole for the main at the ocean side oval. Placentia’s Dan Hillberg was on the outside of the front row. The second row was made up of Douglass and Lakewood rookie Aiden Lange, with Bobby Michnowicz and Dillard in row three. Cousins Kevin Michnowicz and Nigh were in the fourth row for the start.
Heling got the jump at the green and led the field into turn one. Douglass also got a tremendous start and was by Hillberg for second as they came off of turn two on the opening go around. Hillberg, Lange and Dillard rounded out the top five at the end of the first lap in the 20-lap race.
Teenager Lange, who is trying to overhaul Nigh in the battle for Rookie of the Year, clawed his way to second on lap two with fast qualifier Dillard, who earlier in the night finished second in the Senior Sprint main, knifing his way inside of Hillberg for fourth one lap later. Nigh, the 2015 So Cal Oval Karters Open Class champ, found his way into the top five before the race reached the quarter point.
Heling, who was looking for his first ever CLS main event win, kept up the pace and maintained a slim advantage over Douglass until he opened up the inside coming off of turn two on the ninth lap. That is all seasoned veteran Douglass needed. He quickly jumped at the opportunity, dove to the inside and became the new leader at the end of the lap. Turn two gave Heling a momentary problem on the next lap and Dillard, who had taken the second spot from Lange a lap earlier, raced by Heling and set his aim on leader Douglass.
Douglass, a 65-year-old resident of Ventura, hit the lapped traffic on lap 11, hut he and the other leaders were having no problems getting through the back markers. Things changed on lap 12 when Lange, who was trying to navigate around a lapped car in turn three, spun and was clobbered by Hillberg. The hard charging teenager’s front axle and steering were damaged in the tangle. He tried to restart, but the car spun at the drop of the green. That brought the yellow back out and Lange was done for the night.
For the restart Douglass had a cushion as there was a lapped car between himself and second place Dillard. The veteran racer used the lapper to his advantage and rocketed away from the field when the green light flashed back o. By the end of the next lap, he was nearly a half straight clear of second place. Douglass, in the #31 Lucas Oil/Fast Under Car/T Shirts by Timeless/Henchcraft/2000 Suzuki ZK-12, kept the wide margin between himself and the field of challengers until the very end when he was slowed by a big pack of lapped cars. However, with the lead he had established, there room to spare and the chasing cars were only able to close and not challenge and Douglass became the seventh different winner of the season in the CLS. Dillard took the second place spot just ahead of Kramer, Kevin and Bobby Michnowicz.
Coming from his 13th place starting spot to finish third, Kramer was easily the main event “Hard Charger.”
Heading into the final two races of the season, the championship is still up for grabs. Bobby Michnowicz is 29-points in front of Heling. Chino’s Pat Kelley is 85-points behind the leader and Michnowicz nephew Nigh is 102-points out of the top spot.
Nigh’s fourth place combined with Lange’s DNF has allowed the San Diego State student to open up a 119-advantage in the race for “Rookie of the Year.” Lakewood’s Wyatt Downing is third and is 137-points behind Lange.
Round #16 of the CLS Championship Series will be back at Ventura on October 15th.
Ventura Main Event Results (with starting positions)
1. Bruce Douglass – Ventura – 3rd
2. Craig Dillard – Oakdale – 6th
3. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 13th
4. Kevin Michnowicz – Lomita – 7th
5. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 5th
6. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 8th
7. James Heling – San Bernardino – 1st
8. Jon Squire – El Cajon – 10th
9. Pat Kelley – Chino – 14th
10. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 2nd
11. Wyatt Downing – Lakewood – 15th
12. Eric Greco – Palmdale – 17th
13. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 16th
14. James Squire III – Lakeside – 11th
15. Jon Robertson – Torrance – 9th
16. Daniel Foster – Sacramento – 12th
17. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 4th
California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita - 1522
2. James Heling – San Bernardino - 1491
3. Pat Kelley – Chino - 1437
4. Cody Nigh – Camarillo - 1420
5. Dale Gamer – Anaheim - 1309
6. Aiden Lange - Lakewood – 1301
6. Alex Grigoreas - Upland - 1276
8. Jon Robertson – Torrance – 1266
9. Wyatt Downing - Lakewood - 1164
10. Dan Hillberg - Placentia – 1118
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 – Bobby Michnowicz
August 20: Santa Maria Raceway - Santa Maria, CA – Charlie Carracilo
September 3: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA – Bobby Michnowicz
September 17: Bakersfield Raceway - Bakersfield, CA – Bobby Michnowicz
October 1: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA – Bruce Douglass
October 15: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA
October 29: Ventura Raceway - Ventura, CA
November 13: **General Membership Meeting / 2017 Rules Meeting
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
This press release was produced by Scott Daloisio Sports (909) 226-7768