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(Placentia, CA, March 13, 2013)
Placentia, California racing veteran Dan Hillberg kicked off the California Lightning Sprint Car Series 20th anniversary season with a convincing main event win last Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway. 

An all-day Friday rain threatened the show, but Saturday dawned partly sunny and cold and the race was on. Twelve CLS cars took the Kevin Winters’ green flag to start at the 20-lap main and Murrieta’s Zach Zauss flew into the early lead over Nuevo’s Mike Kotlinski and Hillberg. Starting inside the third row, Hillberg, who began racing open wheel cars in the 1970’s, steered his Kawasaki ZX10 powered car by both Kotlinski and Zauss before the end of the first circuit for the lead. 

One he commandeered the lead, the former USAC/CRA Sprint Car racer never looked back and charged away for a huge lead. Corona’s Steve Limon, who finished second in the championship point standings in 2012, took Hemet’s Alexander Bissett fort third on lap four and then became embroiled in a great battle with Zauss for second. Driving the best race of his career to date, Zauss managed to hold Limon back until the 11th go around before the Limon got past. By the time Limon took the second spot, Hillberg had built up nearly a three-quarter of length straightaway lead. 

Lomita teenager Kevin Michnowicz was the next driver to get locked up with Zauss and that was in a fight for third. The kid eventually got by Zauss, who had a car that was slowing, on the 17th lap. After his best ever run, Zauss had to pull it in with engine problems and ended up eighth. 

As Hillberg had built up such a huge lead, Limon, who was nursing an overheating car, had to hope for a yellow flag, but that never came. Hillberg, who was also fighting heating issues, won the green to checkered affair by a half straight. Limon maintained second followed by Michnowicz, Bissett and San Clemente rookie Ronny Hancock. 

Hancock won the “Amsoil “Hard Charger Award” coming from 12th to finish fifth. Veteran Guy Maresch of Anaheim Hills barely missed out on the “Hard Charger” tally when he came from 11th to 6th. 

Michnowicz and Limon scored the two heat race wins. Michnowicz began the night as the fast qualifier with a lap of 17:704, which was over a half second faster than second place Limon.

After the first race, Limon leads Michnowicz by three-points in the championship standings. Hillberg is another five-points behind. Bissett and Hancock round out the top five.

This Saturday night, March 16, the CLS will journey to the Bakersfield Speedway for round #1 of the “King of California Mini Sprint Challenge.” Spectator gates will open at 4:00 PM and racing will commence at 6:00. For more information, visit the Bakersfield Speedway website at: Bakersfield Speedway 

For 2013, cars in the CLS will be carrying transponders and they will qualify at all events. The driver with the most fast qualifying times at the end of the season will win the “Cold Fire West Qualifying Championship” and will pocket an extra $500.00. Another new sponsor to the series this season is Extreme Muffler. They will sponsor the “Extreme Muffler Heat Race Championship” and the driver with the most heat race wins will collect a $500.00 check.

The California Lightning Sprint Car Series would like to thank series sponsors Christian Stover Foundation, Rod End Supply, Cold Fire West, Sander Engineering, Saldana Race Products, DK Machining and Fabrication, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Hoosier Racing Tires, Circle Track Performance, Extreme Muffler, Performance by Rosson Racing, Electro Tech Powder Coating, Oil Twins Amsoil and Haul Ass Fuel. If you or your company would like to become part of the California Lightning Series for the 2013 season, please call Dan Hillberg at: (714) 719-0295.

To keep up with the CLS on line, please visit the web site at: 

2013 Point Standings
Steve Limon – Corona – 141 
Kevin Michnowicz – Lomita - 138 
Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 133 
Alexander Bissett – Hemet – 120 
Ronny Hancock – San Clemente – 119 
Guy Maresch – Anaheim Hills – 107 
Tom Downing – Lakewood – 103 
Zach Zauss – Murrieta – 97 
Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 90 
James McCauley - 86

2013 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule
March 9 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Dan Hillberg
March 16 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – King of California Mini Sprint Challenge
March 30 Ventura Raceway Winged
April 13 Perris Auto Speedway Winged
April 20 Bakersfield Speedway Non Wing – King of California Mini Sprint Challenge
April 27 Orange Show Speedway Winged
May 11 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – King of California Mini Sprint Challenge
May 25 Perris Auto Speedway Winged
June 1 Orange Show Speedway Non Wing
July 4 Perris Auto Speedway Winged
July 27 Route 66 Motorplex Winged
August 10 Santa Maria Speedway Winged
August 17 Perris Auto Speedway Winged
September 14 Perris Auto Speedway Winged
September 28 Bakersfield Speedway Winged
October 19 Ventura Raceway Winged
November 2 Perris Auto Speedway Winged
November 3 Perris Auto Speedway Winged

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

This press release was produced by Scott Daloisio Sports (909) 226-7768