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 7TH CLS MAIN EVENT OF THE YEAR AT SANTA MARIA!
(Torrance, CA, September 4, 2015) The story is starting to sound very familiar. Two-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series champion Bobby Michnowicz won the main event for the seventh time in 11 races in 2015 when the series visited the Santa Maria Raceway last Saturday night. Not only did the talented Lomita based driver win the main event, but he also swept the show by setting the fast qualifying time and winning his heat race. In doing so, Michnowicz increased his massive advantage in the championship point standings.
Michnowicz quick qualifying time was 13.764. Upland’s Alex Grigoreas, who dropped out of the previous race at Perris Auto Speedway with engine problems, was second quick with a lap of 14.075. A.J. Bender, a regular in the USAC/CRA Series, timed in third with a lap of 14.203 in a Zach Zauss owned car.
After taking the checkered flag in qualifying, Grigoreas noticed his car was not running right. Engine problems again and the car was done for the night, but not the second place in the standings driver. Grigoreas was pitted next to Kingsburg star Doug Nunes, who has two CLS wins this season, and Nunes graciously stepped aside and put Grigoreas in the seat so he could continue on with his championship aspirations.
After Michnowicz took top honors in the first heat race of the night, Torrance rookie “Rockstar” Jon Robertson picked up his first ever CLS heat race win in heat two.
For the main event, Placentia’s Dan Hillberg and Fort Irwin’s Jeff Dyer occupied the first row. The second row was comprised of Zauss and teammate Bender with Michnowicz and Anaheim Hills veteran Guy Maresch in the row three.
Hillberg, who has been racing since the 1970’s, grabbed the lead on the opening lap with Dyer, Bender and Zauss right behind. Bender drove around Dyer on the third circuit for second. Hillberg and Bender then proceeded to move away from the rest of the pack before a yellow slowed the proceedings on the sixth lap. Grigoreas, who started 10th and who was up to sixth, had engines problems in the Nunes car and the car costed to a stop in turn four. This time the likeable driver was done for the night.
By the time that yellow came out, Bender had used the wide line to race around Hillberg for the lead. So, on the restart, he was on the point with Hillberg and Michnowicz in second and third. Once the green flag flew, Michnowicz wasted little time in making his intentions known that he was determined to win the main event. He got to the outside of Hillberg on the back straight and then threaded the needle and dove to the inside in turn four. He split Hillberg and Bender and by the time the green had been back out for one lap, he had put the T-Shirts by Timeless/Rosson Racing/Pflum & Wagner Racing/Fuel Safe Racing Cells/Keizer Wheels/DLX Chassis/Kawasaki ZX10 #21k into the lead and he was not looking back.
From that point on, nobody could touch Michnowicz and not even the lapped traffic could slow him down. He took win #7 with room to spare. Hillberg clawed his way back to finish second with Madera’s Charlie Caraccilo, who recently won BCRA mains at Antioch and Placerville, coming home third. Dyer, who took the second spot in the point standings away from Grigoreas, finished fourth with Bender rounding out the top five. Rookie Don Kuener of Perris was the “Hard Charger” in the main event after starting 13th and finishing 8th.
With only four races remaining on the 2015 schedule, Michnowicz can almost coast to his record tying third CLS Championship. He has a massive 237-point advantage over Dyer heading into the final CLS appearance at Perris Auto Speedway on September 19th. Dyer is only 7-points in front of Grigoreas in the current fight for second. Hillberg and Anaheim’s Dale Gamer wrap up the top five.
Pat Kelley of Chino and Robertson continue to fight it out for the “Rookie of the Year” crown. Kelley is only 6-points ahead of Robertson as the season hits the homestretch Kuener is third overall in the “Rookie of the Year” standings.
Santa Maria Main Event (with starting spots): 1: Bobby Michnowicz (5th), 2. Dan Hillberg (1st), 3. Charlie Caraccilio (7th), 4. Jeff Dyer (2nd), 5. A.J. Bender (4th), 6. Zach Zauss (3rd), 7. Darren Hillberg (11th). 8. Don Kuener (13th), 9. Guy Maresch (6th), 10. Pat Kelley (12th), 11. Jon Robertson (8th), 12. James Heling (9th), 13. Dale Gamer (14th), 14. Alex Grigoreas (10th)
2015 CLS Pont Standings
1. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita - 2267
2. Jeff Dyer - Fort Irwin - 2030
3. Alex Grigoreas - Upland - 2023
4. Dan Hillberg - Placentia - 1877
5. Dale Gamer - Anaheim - 1733
6. James Heling - San Bernardino - 1683
7. Pat Kelley - Chino - 1658
8. Jon Robertson - Torrance - 1652
9. Don Kuener - Perris - 1265
10. Cori Andrews - Murrieta - 1186
If you or your company would like to become part of the series for the 2015 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
2015 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule
March 7: Imperial Valley Raceway (El Centro) 1/4 Mile - Bobby Michnowicz
March 21: Bakersfield Speedway 1/3 Mile - Bobby Michnowicz (Civil War CLS vs BCRA)
April 11: Ventura Raceway 1/5 Mile - Doug Nunes
April 25: Bakersfield Speedway 1/3 Mile - Doug Nunes
May 9: Santa Maria Raceway 1/4 Mile - Alex Grigoreas
May 23: Perris Auto Speedway 1/2 Mile (Salute To Indy) - Bobby Michnowicz
June 6: Ventura Raceway 1/5 Mile - Bobby Michnowicz
June 20: Bakersfield Speedway 1/3 Mile - Bobby Michnowicz
July 4: Perris Auto Speedway 1/2 Mile (Firecracker) - Jarrett Kramer
July 18: Ventura Raceway 1/5 Mile - Rained Out
August 1: Merced (Civil War CLS vs BCRA) - Canceled
August 15: Perris Auto Speedway 1/2 Mile - Bobby Michnowicz
August 29: Santa Maria Raceway 1/4 Mile - Bobby Michnowicz
September 19: Perris Auto Speedway 1/2 Mile
September 26: Bakersfield Speedway 1/3 Mile (Civil War CLS vs BCRA)
October 17: Ventura Raceway 1/5 Mile
November 21: Imperial Valley Raceway (El Centro) 1/4 Mile - 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
This press release was produced by Scott Daloisio Sports (909) 226-7768