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


(Torrance, CA, October 1, 2017) Veteran Bobby Michnowicz continued his reign of terror over the USAC/California Lightning Sprint Car Series by winning his fourth straight main event on September 23rd at the Bakersfield Speedway. The victory, which was his series leading seventh of the year, allowed the four-time champ to close to within 29-points of point leader Jarrett Kramer with only three races remaining in the 2017 season. They will square off this Saturday night, October 7th, in the “North vs South Civil War Challenge” at the Ventura Raceway.

Bobby Michnowicz won his series leading 7th California Lightning Sprint Car main event of the season and now is only 29-points behind series leader Jarrett Kramer. Photo courtesy of Lance Jennings.

Madera’s Charlie Carracilo, who won the CLS main event at Bakersfield in June, opened the night when he out qualified the 21-car field with a lap of 12.565 around the Kern County oval. Ventura’s Bruce Douglass timed in second at 12.596 and Michnowicz was third when he stopped the clocks at 12.686.

Drama hit the night of action on lap seven of the first heat race. Spring Valley’s Jarrett Kramer, who quailed fourth fastest and who has led the points standings all season long, saw his engine let go in a ball of flames putting the car out for the evening. Chino’s Pat Kelley won that heat with Dan Hillberg and Douglass winning the other two.

“Rockstar” John Robertson of Torrance and Dale Gamer of Anaheim were on the front row for the 20-lap main event. Sophomore CLS driver Wyatt Downing and Kelley made up row two. Placentia’s Dan Hillberg and Michnowicz’ son Kevin started in the third row with the elder Michnowicz and Douglass in row four.

Robertson got the jump on the start to lead over Gamer, but the driver with the best start was Kevin Michnowicz. The young driver stayed wide at the drop of the green and quickly disposed of Gamer and passed Robertson for the lead heading into turn two on the second lap. Soon after the proceedings were slowed when Kramer came to a stop against the wall in turn four in his borrowed ride. He was done and his night of disappointment was over. Hillberg returned to the pits at the same time.

When the green light flashed back on, Kevin Michnowicz streaked away from the field. Soon there after the man he calls, “dad” moved into second, but a yellow came out on lap three and the big lead evaporated. As a small reprieve, scoring went back to the last lap and Robertson was elevated back to second, sandwiched between the Michnowicz family.

Bobby Michnowicz, in his familiar 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/2011 Kawasaki ZX10 #21, spent little time getting past Robertson on the restart and immediately set his sights on his youngest kid. The kid held a comfortable lead until lap 12 when the father closed in going into turn three. Less than a lap later the kid pulled back away from his dad. However, the guy who has been racing for more than 40-years, wasted no time once the opportunity presented itself to pass his son for the lead. It happened going into turn three on the 16-lap amidst three lapped cars. Kevin left the bottom open and his dad seized the opportunity and drove by for the lead.

The kid and Caraccilo were not done though. Heavy lapped traffic reared its ugly head allowing Kevin and Caraccilo to close back in on the new leader. Bobby “M” then momentarily parked it in turn one on lap 17. He quickly recovered, but in the process, Kevin had to take evasive action and momentarily bobbled. They recovered and raced on, but there was no stopping the four-time champ from that point on. He again won by nearly a half straight over his son, Douglass, Camarillo’s Cody Nigh and Caraccilo. Caracillo had crossed the line third behind the Michnowicz duo, but was docked two spots for jumping a restart. Nigh, who started 13th, was the main event “Hard Charger.”

After the race, the happy winner talked about racing against his son when interviewed on the front straightaway.

“Poor Kevin, he got trapped behind lapped cars,” the four-time CLS champ said. “They were racing two abreast. I did not want to drive him, but he slipped up. I knew if I did not drive by him somebody was going to drive by me. It was only his second race of the year and I could not have caught him if it was not for the lapped traffic.”

A month ago, it seemed like Michnowicz had no chance of winning his fifth CLS championship, but after four straight wins and Kramer’s misfortune on Saturday, the fight is on. Kramer’s lead, which at one time was over 100-points, will only be 29 points over Michnowicz when the series swings back into action. Lakewood’s Aiden Lange, who came in tied with Michnowicz for second in the standings, is third followed and can still strike if the lead duo bobble. Nigh and Palmdale’s Eric Greco round out the top five.

In addition to the “North vs South Civil War” race against the BCRA (Bay Cities Racing Association) this Saturday at Ventura, the Senior Sprint Cars, Dwarfs and Focus Midgets will also be racing. Spectator gates will open at 3:00 P.M. with racing at 5:30. The Ventura Raceway is located at 10 West Harbor Boulevard in Ventura (93001). The phone number is: (805) 648-RACE and the track website is available at the following link:

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 the 2017 season, please call Bobby Michnowicz at: (310) 320-5569.

To keep up with the CLS online, please visit the website at:


Bakersfield Main Event Results (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 7th
2. Kevin Michnowicz – Lomita – 6th
3. Bruce Douglass – Ventura – 8th
4. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 13th
5. Charlie Caraccilo – Madera – 9th
6. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena – 12th
7. Jon Robertson – Torrance – 1st
8. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 2nd
9. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 16th
10. Robb Pelmear – Ventura – 11th
11. Wyatt Downing – Lakewood – 3rd
12. Pat Kelley – Chino – 4th
13. Robert Dalby – Anaheim – 10th
14. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 5th
15. Gage Cheek – Santa Clarita – 15th
16. Jarrett Kramer – 17th

California Lightning Sprints Championship Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 1710
2. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 1681
2. Aiden Lange - Lakewood – 1633
4. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 1504
5. Eric Greco - Palmdale - 1312
6. Chris Dickey - Murrieta – 1247
7. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena - 1201
8. Brent Sexton - Lakewood - 1158
9. Wyatt Downing Lakewood – 1087
10. Dan Hillberg - Placentia – 1063

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
October 28: Ventura Raceway – USAC National
November 18: Bakersfield Speedway – Western States Lightning Championship USAC National
**=Proposed Date.
This schedule is subject to change.

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.

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