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MICHNOWICZ BEATS HILLBERG IN LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR THRILLER!
(Placentia, CA, September 19, 2013)
In one of the most exciting California Lightning Sprint Car main events finishes in the clubs 20-season history, Bobby Michnowicz edged Dan Hillberg to the checkered flag last Saturday night at “The Southern California Home of Major League Sprint Car Racing,” Perris Auto Speedway. The victory was Michnowicz third in a row at the Riverside County speed plant and his series leading sixth win in 2013.

When the green flag waved over the 13-car field at the outset of the 20-lap main, Lakewood’s Tom Downing led the pack into turn one, but by the time it screamed into turn three, “The Flyin’ Jew,” Zach Zauss, jockeyed into the point position. Just behind him, Hillberg, who started seventh, was slipping into the third spot. One lap later, Hillberg advanced past Downing and took aim at the leader.

The caution flew on lap four when San Clemente’s Ronnie Hancock clipped Silver Lake’s Jeff Dyer on the front straight. Both cars were too damaged to return and were done for the night. Once festivities heated up again, Zauss, who calls Murrieta home, resumed his lead with Hillberg second. Charging towards the front was Lomita’s Michnowicz, series point leader Stephen Limon of Corona and Guy Maresch of Anaheim Hills who started 10th. In fact Michnowicz zoomed into the third spot once the green flickered on.

Out front, Zauss maintained the point position until he lost some momentum coming off the second corner on the sixth circuit. Placentia’s Hillberg pounced on the opportunity and by the time they hit turn three, he had went around the outside of Zauss’ white car and snatched the top spot.

Meanwhile Downing, who was on another good run early on, had a left side wing mount break and a nerf bar come loose making the car hard to drive and his hopes of a top three finish slid back to sixth.

Hillberg built about a five-car length lead, but Zauss was still running a strong second when disaster struck on lap 29. Coming off of the second corner, something broke on the car and he whacked the crash wall. That brought out a yellow flag and an end to Zauss’ impressive run.

Unfortunately for Hillberg, the yellow flag made his lead disappear. For the restart with two laps to go Michnowicz was all over Hillberg’s tail tank. The green light came back on and Michnowicz glued the front end of the black #21k to the inside line. As they reached the white flag, Hillberg had a three-quarter car length lead, but Michnowicz inched ahead going into turn one. Stuck in right behind them and ready to swoop if they bobbled was Limon.

Hillberg did not give up and stayed wide coming off turn two and down the back chute. As they drove turn three the final time, Hillberg pulled even and it looked as though he may have the momentum to pull off the win. They were still side-by-side coming off of turn four, but Michnowicz got the better drive and narrowly beat Hillberg to the checkered flag in the crowd pleasing event. Limon was right behind the lead duo to finish third with San Diego’s Damon Arnett, who was sporting a new engine, fourth. Maresch finished fifth.

In qualifying, Michnowicz bested Jarret Kramer’s nearly five-year-old track record with a lap of 17.33. He also won the Oil Twins Amsoil Hard Charger Award going from seventh to first in the main.

Hancock and Hillberg won the two CLS heat races.

Hillberg knocked 14-points off of Limon’s advantage heading into the next race at the Bakersfield Speedway on September 28th. It could have been even more as Limon’s steering wheel came off during their heat race and he narrowly kept the car from clobbering the wall.

Michnowicz strengthened his grip on third in the standings. Downing and Arnett round out the top five in the championship standings.

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: http://www.calightningsprints.com/index.html

Perris Main Event (with starting positions): 1. Bobby Michnowicz (10th), 2. Dan Hillberg (9th), 3. Stephen Limon (5th), 4. Damon Arnett (6th), 5. Guy Maresch (10th), Tom Downing (1st), 7. Dale Gamer (2nd), 8. James Squire III (11th), 9. Jon Squire (12th), 10. Zach Zauss (3rd), 11. Chance Sheffield (14th), 12. Ronnie Hancock (3rd), 13. Jeff Dyer (9th)

2013 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Steve Limon - Corona – 2126
2. Dan Hillberg – Placentia - 2064
3. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita – 1841
4. Tom Downing – Lakewood – 1802
5. Damon Arnett – San Diego – 1669
6. Zach Zauss - Murrieta – 1636
7. Jeff Dyer - Silver Lake - 1581
8. Guy Maresch – Anaheim Hills – 1562
9. Dale Gamer - Anaheim – 1539
10. Darren Hillberg – Corona - 1203

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 Stadium Winged – Bobby Michnowicz
May 11 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – King of California Mini Sprint Challenge – Bobby Michnowicz
May 25 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Kevin Michnowicz
June 29 Orange Show Stadium Winged – Steve Limon
July 4 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Bobby Michnowicz
August 10 Santa Maria Speedway Winged – Doug Nunes
August 17 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Bobby Michnowicz
September 14 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Bobby Michnowicz
September 28 Bakersfield Speedway Winged
October 19 Ventura Raceway Winged
November 2 Perris Auto Speedway Winged
November 3 Perris Auto Speedway Winged

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

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