CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CARS
22126 South Vermont, Unit A
Torrance, CA 90502
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bobby Michnowicz (310) 320-5569
For Immediate Release
INDIANA’S BRADLEY GETS SEASON ENDING CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR WIN – MICHNOWICZ GETS 5TH CHAMPIONSHIP!
(Torrance, CA, November 27, 2017) Visiting Indiana driver Andy Bradley liked what he saw on his first trip to the Bakersfield Speedway for the “USAC Western States Lightning Sprint Car Championship” last Saturday night as he won the history making main event and pocketed $1,000.00 in the process. While Bradley won the main event, Bobby Michnowicz won a hard fought, season long battle for his fifth California Lightning Sprint Car Series Championship.
With extra money up for grabs and the most prestigious Lightning Sprint Car race ever staged in California, the show drew the biggest field of the year when 34-drivers signed into the pits at the long time Kern County oval. At the end of time trials, Carson City, Nevada’s Brandon Leedy, who is more well known as a speedway motorcycle racer, surprised everyone when he out qualified the competition, with a lap of 13.385 around the 1/3 of a mile oval. Michnowicz was second fastest with a time of 13.601 and third fastest driver in qualifying was Placerville’s Terry Bergstrom who timed in at 13.625.
In the four heat races, USAC/CRA Sprint Car regular A.J. Bender of Ramona, CHP officer Jeff Dyer of Bermuda Dunes, Placerville’s Hunter Kinney and Lomita’s Michnowicz, emerged as the winners.
Young Aiden Lange of Lakewood, Leedy, Eric Greco of Palmdale, Upland’s Alex Grigoreas who was racing for the first time in over a year, Dakota Albright of Rutherford and rookie Dominic Del Monte of Gardena took the transfers from the semi to the A main event.
Bender won the eight-car dash to start on the pole for the main event with Oakdale’s Craig Dillard alongside. The second row featured Bradley, who resides in Bloomington, Indiana, on the inside with Madera’s Charlie Caracillo alongside. Michnowicz, who owns the car Bradley was driving, was on the inside of row three and was joined by Bergstrom, with infrequent competitor Wink Schweitzer of Bakersfield and Chino’s Pat Kelley in row four.
Disaster struck even before the green flag waved to start the 25-lap main event. Rising star Aiden Lange of Lakewood, who came into the night third in points and who was one of only three drivers with a chance at the 2017 championship, lost a left rear on one of the pace laps. The youngster barely got it back on the track before the green flag came out and started last. However, he only got one lap in before the left rear decided to vacate the car again forcing his championship aspirations to wait until 2018.
Bender beat Dillard into turn one on the start and led the first circuit over the latter, Bradley and Michnowicz. The first yellow stopped the race on lap two and that is when Lange also stopped when he lost his left rear for the second time. Once the green flag came back out, Bradley immediately went on the attack of the leader. At the same time Michnowicz, who had won five of the last six CLS main events, raced past Dillard and into third. Caracillo also got by Dillard for fourth on the following go around.
CLS “Rookie of the Year” Dominic Del Monte brought out the second and final yellow of the race when he stopped on the front straight on lap four. That bunched the leaders up one more time. Once the green light came back on, Bender, who was seeking his second CLS win of the year despite a limited schedule driving for Zach Zauss, got a good restart and put a couple of car lengths between himself and visiting Hoosier state star Bradley. The lead duo also opened some space between themselves and third place Michnowicz.
Bradley started experimenting with a wider line in turns three and four around the eighth lap and that is just about the time himself and leader Bender were closing in on the first lapper. Once past the first lapped car, Bender started to build on his small, precarious advantage. By the time the leaders had reached lapped traffic again, Bender had increased his lead to about five-car lengths, but disaster hit on lap 15. Bender had kept his car glued to the pole in turns one and two over the first 14-laps. However, the 15th time he came in a little higher and hit some ruts in the middle of the track. That upset the car and opened up the inside line for Bradley, who immediately pounced on the opportunity and put the Bobby Michnowicz owned 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 Kawasaki ZX10 #1, into the point position.
Even though he had never seen the track before, Bradley immediately opened up a sizable advantage over Bender. Michnowicz, who could by then smell his fifth CLS title, moved into second when he went to the inside of Bender in turn two on lap 17. However, by that time, Bradley had established a half-straight lead and he was slicing through traffic like a world-renowned surgeon. Eight laps later, Bradley raced under the checkered flag with a full straightaway lead and $1,000.00 more than he came to the track with in his wallet. Michnowicz maintained second and earned another CLS crown. Dyer, raced home in third. Fourth spot went to Spring Valley’s Jarrett Kramer, who led the early part of the championship standings and finished second overall to Michnowicz in the eight-month long championship chase. Bender ended up fifth.
Grigoreas was the main event “Hard Charger” coming from 22nd all the way to finish seventh.
Michnowicz took his fifth CLS title with a 79-point lead over Kramer. Lange took third overall and was followed by 2016 CLS “Rookie of the Year” Cody Nigh of Camarillo and Del Monte.
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 its historic 25th season in 2018, please call Bobby Michnowicz at: (310) 320-5569.
To keep up with the CLS online, please visit the website at: http://racecls.com/
Bakersfield Speedway Results (with starting positions)
1. Andy Bradley – Bloomington, IN – 3rd
2. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 5th
3. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 9th
4. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 13th
5. A.J. Bender – Ramona, CA – 1st
6. Wink Schweitzer – Bakersfield, CA – 7th
7. Alex Grigoreas – Upland, CA – 22nd
8. Dakota Albright – Waterford, CA – 20th
9. Pat Kelley – Chino, CA – 8th
10. Scott Kinney – Placerville, CA – 10th
11. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 19th
12. Brad Dillard – Oakdale, CA – 11th
13. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 17th
14. Jon Squire – El Cajon, CA
15. Charlie Caracillo – Madera, CA – 4th
16. James Turnbull – Indio, CA – 16th
17. Craig Dillard – Oakdale, CA – 2nd
18. Terry Bergstrom – Placerville, CA – 6th
19. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 18th
20. Steve Brown – 12th
21. Hunter Kinney – Placerville, CA – 21st
22. Robb Pelmear – Ventura, CA – 14th
California Lightning Sprints Championship Point Standings
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 2092
2. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 2013
3. Aiden Lange - Lakewood – 1930
4. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 1757
5. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena - 1455
6. Eric Greco - Palmdale – 1434
7. Pat Kelley – Chino - 1302
8. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA - 1263
9. Chris Dickey - Murrieta - 1247
10. Jon Robertson – Torrance - 1224
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– USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
September 2: Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
September 23: Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
October 7: Ventura Raceway – Civil War w/BCRA – Bobby Michnowicz
October 28: Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Bruce Douglass
November 18: Bakersfield Speedway – Western States Lightning Championship USAC National – Andy Bradley
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
2017 Bobby Michnowicz
This press release was produced by Scott Daloisio Sports (909) 226-7768