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, May 29, 2013) Teenage racer Kevin Michnowicz scored a narrow and exciting victory in the California Lightning Sprint Car Series portion of the annual “Salute to Indy” last Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway. The victory was the first of the 2013 campaign for the Lomita based racer.

Before another large crowd at the “Southern California Home to Major League Sprint Car Racing,” Michnowicz started the main on the outside of the fourth row, but he was not there for long. When the Kevin Winters’ green flag signaled the start of the 20-lap race, Lakewood’s Tom Downing led Army demolitions expert Jeff Dyer for the early lead. Corona’s Darren Hillberg was third at the outset. Dyer, who resides in Silver Lake, did not stay in the runner-up spot for long as he lifted the lead from the veteran Downing just before the end of the first circuit. Michnowicz, who was making quick work of the competition in his T-Shirts by Timeless, Bondio Fabrication, Doug’s Auto Body, Ron Bach Construction, Supershocks, Power by Performance Kawaski ZX12, spectacularly swept around the outside to go from fourth to second as he exited turn four on the opener.

Once Michnowicz took the second spot, he quickly chased down Dyer and gassed it on the outside exiting turn four on the second lap for the lead. From that point on, Michnowicz led every inch of the way, but it was going to be anything but easy later in the race on the multi-groove half-mile clay oval. Upland’s Alex Grigoreas, teammate to Dyer in a Frank Baldozier tuned car and a past 410 sprint car competitor, raced into third when he passed Darren Hillberg moments after Michnowicz secured the point position. However, a few moments later in turn four, Hillberg body checked Grigoreas out of the way and reclaimed the third spot and sent Grigoreas all the way back to fifth.

Michnowicz raced away to a huge lead, but that was wiped out when a yellow came on lap seven for a turn four tangle involving San Diego’s Damon Arnett and the “Flying Jew,” Zach Zauss of Murrieta.

When racing resumed, Michnowicz raced away for a comfortable advantage. The same time the race restarted, there was one thing clear to everyone in the crowd. The #4F of Corona’s Steve Limon looked like the fastest car on the track. The 2011 Rookie of the Year was coming towards the front in a big hurry from his 10th starting spot. He blew by every car that he encountered including Grigoreas for second on the 16th lap.

Once by Grigoreas, Limon who has one win this year and who led the points for the first six races, quickly chopped down Michnowicz lead and pulled to his rear push bar. Catching the fast flying teen was one thing. Passing him proved to be another. Limon stayed on the low line while Michnowicz kept it wide. Two times lapped cars down low slowed Limon’s progress. He was still able to catch Michnowicz in the corners, but the teenager would pull away down the straight away. On the last lap, they were nearly side by side off of the second corner, but Michnowicz raced away on the back straight and moments later crossed under the checkers about four lengths in front of Limon. Grigoreas scored his best ever CLS finish with a third followed by point’s leader Dan Hillberg of Placentia and Darren Hillberg.

Limon was over a half second faster than any other car in the 18-car field when he posted a time of 17:666 in qualifying. Grigoreas and Darren Hillberg won the two six lap heat races. Limon won the Oil Twins/Amsoil Hard Charger Award by going from his 10th starting spot to second in the main event.

Dan Hillberg came into the night with a 12-point lead over Limon in the championship standings, but Limon closed the gap to a mere 3-points heading into the next race on July 4th at The PAS. Downing, who placed seventh in the main, jumped from sixth to third in the standings. Guy Maresch of Anaheim Hills, moved up one spot from fifth to fourth, Maresch – aka “Zoom Guy” - and is only two-points behind Downing. Bobby Michnowicz, who sat out Saturday’s race to crew chief for his son Kevin, slid from third to fifth in the standings.

The originally scheduled CLS portion of this Saturday’s (June 1st) race at the Orange Show Stadium in San Bernardino has been cancelled.

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:

Salute To Indy Finish (with starting positions). 1. Kevin Muchnowicz (8th), 2. Steve Limon (10th), 3. Alex Grigoreas (3rd), 4. Dan Hillberg (9th), 5. Darren Hillberg (4th), 6. Jeff Dyer (2nd), 7. Tom Downing (1st), 8. Damon Arnett (11th), 9. Guy Maresch (6th), 10. Zach Zauss (7th), 11. Jim Squire (12th), 12. James McCauley (13th), 13. Ryan Sherman (16th), 14. Dale Gamer (14th), 15. Chris Hoffman (16th), 16. Alex Bissett (5th)

2013 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 1299
2. Steve Limon - Corona – 1296
3. Tom Downing - Lakewood – 1092
4. Guy Maresch – Anaheim Hills – 1090
5. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita – 1078
6. Alex Bissett - Hemet – 1060
7. Zach Zauss - Murrieta - 1018
8. Damon Arnett – San Diego – 986
9. Jeff Dyer – Silver Lake – 983
10. Dale Gamer - Anaheim – 947

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 – Bobby Michnowicz
May 11 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – King of California Mini Sprint Challenge – Bobby Michnowicz
May 25 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Kevin Michnowicz
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