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 CLS VENTURA FAIR RACE FOR 2ND YEAR IN A ROW!
(Torrance, CA, August 8, 2017) Last Wednesday night, for the second year in a row, four-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series Champion Bobby Michnowicz won the main event at the Ventura County Fair race. The victory was the fourth of the year for the Lomita based veteran and it propelled him to third in the 2017 CLS championship standings.
After qualifying third fastest in the 21-car field, Michnowicz started the sixth in the main event. Two-time series champion Brent Sexton of Lakeside was on the pole with Jeffrey “Ponch” Dyer of Bermuda Dunes alongside. Row two had Lakewood teenager Wyatt Downing on the inside of Ventura local Bruce Douglass and current point leader Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley was on the inside of Michnowicz in the third row.
The action did not get far on the initial start when pole sitter Sexton spun in turn two. Miraculously everyone missed the veteran driver and he was able to restart at the back.
Sexton’s misfortune moved Downing up to the pole for the restart. The second time Kris Kornder waved his green flag, Dyer looked like he was chasing a speeder on the freeway. He got the jump on the start and led the first lap over Douglass, Kramer, Michnowicz and Downing.
Dyer set a sizzling pace and slowly inched away from second place Douglass. Michnowicz broke into the top three for the first time in the race when he went around Kramer on lap four.
Things proceeded smoothly until the sixth lap when Ventura’s Robb Pelmear flipped down the back chute. He landed on his side and was then clobbered by second place running Douglass to bring out a rare red flag for the CLS. Both drivers were okay, but the tangle took them out for the duration. Palmdale teen Eric Greco, who is having an excellent sophomore season and who entered the night fifth in points, also exited the action at that time.
While crews were clearing the wrecked cars off the track, the large opening night fair crowd switched its attention to where news crews had been swirling above and the fire department rescued a fair goer who was trapped when a bungee jump ride malfunctioned just beyond the back straight crashwall.
Douglass, Pelmear and Greco’s misfortune, was also misfortune for Dyer who would have multi-time champ Michnowicz camped on his rear bumper for the restart with 20-laps to go. Kramer, Murrieta’s Chris Dickey and Charlie Caracillo of Madera rounded out the top five for the restart.
Dyers misfortune compounded when the green light flashed back and he went wide into turn one opening up the bottom of the track for Michnowicz, who took full advantage of the situation and raced into the lead as they came off turn two. Michnowicz pulled away for a comfortable lead and on lap 11, he started putting back markers a lap down. Kramer had fought off a brief challenge from Caracillo for third with the latter then hooking up in a battle with Dickey for the fourth-place spot.
Michnowicz was having no problem with the lappers and was slicing his way through the field in the Tshirts By Timeless/Pflum Wagner Racing/Fuel Safe Racing Cells/Cold Fire West/Fabozzi Metal Works/Outlaw Wings/Kaiser Wheels/Circle Track Performance/Super Shox/DLX/2011 Kawasaki ZX10 #21. At the same time, Kramer was reeling in second place Dyer. However, disaster struck for the 2010 CLS champ in turn one on lap 16. He made light contact with Dyer and spun. That brought out another Kris Kornder yellow and earned Kramer an automatic trip to the back for the restart.
For the restart with 10-laps remaining, Dyer was on Michnowicz rear push bar with Caracillo, Dickey and Downing shoved in right behind. Michnowicz flew away again leaving everyone else to scrap for whatever they could get. Things did not stay green long before Downing, who had been fifth, spun in turn one.
Another restart and it was almost an exact replay of the last one with Michnowicz streaking away, but only two more laps were put in the books when the yellow came out again when Dyer broke his right front shock and slowed. Downing spun to avoid running into him. A few laps earlier it looked like they would both have top five finishes, but that was now all out the window and they finished 15th and 16th.
The final six-laps went without another yellow and Michnowicz blew the competition off to win by nearly a full straight. Caracillo fought off Dickey for second. Anaheim’s Robert Dalby, a regular with the USAC Western Midgets Series, came home fourth with Aiden Lange fifth.
“It is awesome to break our bad luck string,” the happy winner told infield announcer Tami Velasquez after the race. “It has been a while (May 27th at Perris was his last win). Thanks to all the fans who are here tonight and hope to see you back.”
In addition to finishing fifth in his CLS debut, Dalby was also the “Hard Charger” after starting 13th.
Earlier in the night, Dickey, who will soon be moving back to his native Indiana, out qualified the field with a lap of 12.381. Caraccilo was second quick at 12.427 and Michnowicz was third at 12.536. Caracillo, Sexton and rookie Dominic Del Monte of Gardena won the three heat races.
Even though he finished seventh in the main after restarting at the back, Kramer now has a 58-point lead over Lange in the championship standings. Michnowicz took third in the standings from his nephew Cody Nigh of Camarillo, who put a hole in his engine during the preliminaries. Dickey’s third place finish, parlayed with Greco’s early exit from the main, saw him to move into fifth.
The CLS is off until it joins the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars and The PAS Senior & Young Gun Sprints at the Annual California Racer’s Hall of Fame Night at Perris Auto Speedway on August 26th.
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/
Ventura Main Event (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 6th
2. Charlie Carracilo – Madera – 7th
3. Chris Dickey – Murrieta – 8th
4. Robert Dalby – Anaheim – 13th
5. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 11th
6. James Turnbull – Indio – 12th
7. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 5th
8. Pat Kelley – Chino – 16th
9. Brent Sexton – Lakeside – 1st
10. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena – 9th
11. Jackson Dukes – Clovis 19th
12. Jon Robertson – Torrance – 17th
13. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 10th
14. John Nelson – Norco – 18th
15. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes – 2nd
16. Wyatt Downing – Lakewood – 3rd
17. Bruce Douglass – Ventura – 4th
18. Robb Pelmear – Ventura – 15th
19. Eric Greco – Palmdale – 14th
California Lightning Sprints Championship Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 1404
2. Aiden Lange - Lakewood – 1346
3. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 1255
4. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 1239
5. Chris Dickey – Murrieta - 1116
6. Eric Greco - Palmdale – 1102
7. Wyatt Downing Lakewood - 953
8. Brent Sexton – Lakeside - 912
9. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena – 896
10. Jon Robertson - Torrance – 861
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 - Chris Dickey
July 8: Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Charlie Caraccilo
August 2: Ventura Raceway – Fair Race - USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
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
November 18: Bakersfield Speedway – Western States Lightning Championship 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