California Lightning Sprints

Home Page
Latest News
Race Results
Point Standings
Race Schedule
Photo Gallery
Video Clips
Race Tracks
CLS Rules
Racer Information
CLS Awards
CLS Race Gear
Pit Chatter
Racing Links
Contact Us


(Placentia, CA, April 23, 2013) Northern California star Doug Nunes led the final 15-laps to score the victory in round #2 of the “King of California Mini Sprint Challenge Series” at the Bakersfield Speedway last Saturday night.

The 20-lap main event, which was the first of 2013 for the California Lightning Sprint Car Series without wings on the cars, took three tries to get underway. After two yellows on the original goes, “The World Famous” Tom Downing raced into the lead from the pole position. The Lakewood driver was chased by Anaheim veteran Dale Gamer on the start. By the second lap, Nunes, who resides in Kingsburg, was knocking on Gamer’s door and relieved him of the runner-up position before the lap was over.

Nunes, who was fast qualifier on the night, wasted little time in hunting down the leader Downing and the battle quickly ensued for the lead. A racer in the SCRA 410 Series in the 1990’s, Downing managed to hold Nunes and his potent #2 car back until turn two on the fifth circuit when Nunes raced around the outside of him for a lead he would not relinquish.

Once Nunes took the lead, he built up a five-car length advantage over Downing who was then passed by 2012 CLS champion Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita. Nunes reached lapped traffic on the ninth go around and maintained his advantage over Michnowicz as they prepared to slice their way through the back markers. Behind the lead duo, Downing had gotten into a war for third with Northern California’s Craig Dillard.

Just as Michnowicz started putting a dent into Nunes’ lead on lap 12, he got a big break when the yellow flag came out. Suddenly all of Nunes advantage was gone, but he got a great restart when the green came back on and immediately put Michnowicz five-lengths down once again. Dillard, after a long battle with Downing, finally managed to claw his was to third on lap 13, but by that time, Nunes and Michnowicz had checked out.

Nunes looked like a sure winner as he pulled away from Michnowicz for a comfortable lead, but with two laps to go, Michnowicz closed dramatically. At the white flag he was on the leader’s tail. He attempted to get to the outside of Nunes coming off turn two on the last lap, but the track was slick and he bobbled. Nunes jumped to a two car length lead, but Michnowicz was all over him again as they roared into turn three the final time. Michnowicz only had one place to try and that was to the outside. When he went there he bobbled again allowing Nunes to beat him to the checkered flag by two car lengths in the crowd pleasing race. Dillard took the third place spot chased by 2013 CLS point leader Steve Limon of Corona. Hemet teenager Alex Bissett picked up an extra $100.00 for being the “Hard Charger” when he came all the way from 17th to finish fifth.

“I was taking her easy,” the happy Nunes told the crowd when asked why Michnowicz closed so much at the end. “She is pretty slick out here right now. I was just trying to keep the car straight and not spin the tires so much. It is about time I won here.”

Nunes, Corona’s Darren Hillberg and Murrieta’s Zach Zauss won the three heat races earlier in the program. Nunes out qualified the 25-car field with a lap of 14.139. That puts him in the driver’s seat for the $500.00 “Fast Time Challenge” (sponsored by Cold Fire West, T-Shirts by Timeless, Inland Empire Performance, Superior Machining and Damon’s Home Services) that will be decided at Bakersfield on May 11th.

Limon comes away from the Bakersfield race having advanced his lead in the point standings to 41 over Placentia’s Dan Hillberg. Downing, Michnowicz and Anaheim’s Guy Maresch round out the top five in points.

With one round remaining in the “King of California Mini Sprint Challenge,” Michnowicz leads Dillard by 22-points. Limon, Ripon’s Brian Corso and Dan Hillberg close out the top five in challenge series points.

Up next on the schedule for the CLS will be this Saturday night, April 27th, at the newly clayed over Orange Show Speedway quarter-mile in San Bernardino.

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:

Bakersfield Speedway Main Event Results (with starting positions): 1. Doug Nunes (10th), 2. Bobby Michnowicz (7th), 3. Craig Dillard (14th), 4. Steve Limon (5th), 5. Alex (17th), 6. Tom Downing (2nd), 7. Brian Corso (9th), 8. Darren Hillberg (3rd), 9. Dan Hillberg (6th), 10. Alex Grigoreas (15th), 11. Guy Maresch (11th), 12. Damon Arnett (4th), 13. Dale Gamer (1st), 14. Zach Zauss (12th), 15. Steve Brown (15), 16. Jeff Dyer (13th), 17. Dakota Albright (8th), 18. Billy Lawless (16th)

2013 10 in California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Steve Limon – Corona – 883
2. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 842
3. Tom Downing – Lakewood – 761
4. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita – 738
5. Guy Maresch - Anaheim – 731
6. Zach Zauss - Murrieta – 721
7. Alex Bissett – Hemet - 707
8. Dale Gamer - Anaheim – 677
9. Damon Arnett – San Diego – 661
10. Jeff Dyer – Silver Lake – 550

2013 King of California Mini Sprint Challenge Top 10 in Points
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 222
2. Craig Dillard – 200
3. Steve Limon – Corona – 197
4. Brian Corso – Ripon – 184
5. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 182
6. Tom Downing – Lakewood – 168
7. Doug Nunes – Kingsburg – 167
8. Dakota Albright – Turlock – 155
9. Zach Zauss – Murrieta – 127
10. Jeff Dyer – Silver Lake - 125

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 – Bobby Michnowicz
March 30 Ventura Raceway Winged – Steve Limon
April 13 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Jarrett Kramer
April 20 Bakersfield Speedway Non Wing – King of California Mini Sprint Challenge – Doug Nunes
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