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(Torrance, CA, October 11, 2017) Four-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series Champion Bobby Michnowicz scored his fifth straight main event victory at the “North vs South Civil War Challenge” at the Ventura Raceway last Saturday night. The win propelled Michnowicz to the top of the heap in the point standings and put him in the driver’s seat in the championship chase with only two races to go in the 2017 season.

Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita won his fifth straight CLS main event last Saturday at the Ventura Raceway and took over the series point lead. Photo courtesy of Doug Allen.

The final “North vs South Civil War Challenge” race pulled a great field of 30-cars to the famous track located on the beach at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Madera’s Charlie Caraccilo, who won the main event at Ventura on July 8th, turned in the fastest lap in qualifying when he timed in at 12.035. USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series regular Alec Bender, who won at Ventura on June 3rd, was second quick at 12.061 and sophomore CLS driver Aiden Lange was third when stopped the clocks with a time of 12.114.

Cody Nigh of Camarillo, Oakdale’s Craig Dillard, Hunter Kinney of Rocklin and Bender won the four, eight lap heat races. The eight fastest qualifiers contested a six-lap trophy dash that saw second year CLS driver Nigh lead green to checkered to earn the pole position for the main event. Hickman’s Steve Brown finished second with Michnowicz third in the dash. “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance closed the preliminaries when he bested Chino’s Pat Kelley in the 10-lap B-main.

The front row for the 22-car, 25-lap main was comprised of Nigh and Brown. Michnowicz and Ventura’s Bruce Douglass were in row two with point leader Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley and Caraccilo in the third row.

Nigh got the jump when the green flag flew and his uncle, Michnowicz, tore into second by the time the field exited turn two on the first go round. Brown, Douglass and Kramer rounded out the top five after the first lap.

It did not take long for Michnowicz, who resides in Lomita, to steer the 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 #21K to the front. Showing no family love, the soon to be 54-year-old was dead even with his nephew as they crossed the stripe to finish lap two, and snatched the lead away in turn one on the third circuit. From that point on, Michnowicz led every inch of the way.

Nigh stayed close to his uncle for a few laps, but the leader eventually pulled away and by lap six was approaching lapped traffic. A couple laps later, he was threading his way through the lappers with no problems. However, his wide advantage was trashed when Hunter Kinney ended up on his lid in turn one on the 12th lap bringing out the red flag. The unhappy Kinney was uninjured and walked off the track under his own power, but his car was done for the night.

For the restart with 14-laps remaining, Michnowicz had a lapped car between himself and Nigh. Likewise, Nigh had a lapper between himself and third place Douglass. Nigh quickly got past the lapped car in front of him on the start, but within two laps, Michnowicz had stretched his advantage to more than half a straightaway.

Things proceeded until a yellow slowed everybody down after 19-laps. It was during the yellow flag period that the whole CLS season dramatically changed. Kramer, who had led the championship standings the entire season, coasted into the infield with his car belching smoke. That pretty much assured that as soon as the checkered came down six laps later Michnowicz, if he did not drop out, would take over the point lead.

Predictably when the green light turned back on, Michnowicz ran away and hid from the field. The fans switched their attention to a good battle between Nigh, Douglass and Caraccilo for second. Eventually with a little more than two laps to go, Caraccilo finally won that battle with an inside pass of Douglass, but by that time, Michnowicz was almost a half track in front and cruised it to his fifth main win in a row and his eighth of the season. Caraccilo drove his white #87 across the line in second with Douglass, Nigh and Lange rounding out the top five. Kelley was the main event “Hard Charger” coming from 18th to finish ninth.

“We are getting pretty lucky and we are on a role, so we are pretty happy,” the winner told infield announcer Tami Velasquez after the race. “The car was pretty nice. The track was narrow, but it was fast. You had to get cars early because once everybody got up to speed, it was hard to pass.”

While Michnowicz was taking over the point lead, Waterford’s Dakota Albright finished sixth in the main event and that was enough to make him the 2017 “North vs South Civil War Challenge Champion.” Fellow BCRA driver Craig Dillard of Oakdale was second in points in the four-race series. CLS drivers Nigh, Lange and Michnowicz placed third through fifth in Civil War points.

With only two races left in the CLS campaign – October 28th at Ventura and November 18th at Bakersfield – Michnowicz leads Kramer by 45-points in the championship standings. Lange remains in the title picture and only trails the leader by 66-points. Nigh and Palmdale’s Eric Greco round out the top five.

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:


Ventura Main Event Results (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 3rd
2. Charlie Caraccilo – Madera – 6th
3. Bruce Douglass – Ventura – 4th
4. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 1st
5. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 7th
6. Dakota Albright – Waterford – 11th
7. Steve Brown – Hickman – 2nd
8. Pat Kelley – Chino – 18th
9. Brent Sexton – Lakeside – 10th
10. Brad Dillard – Oakdale – 13th
11. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena – 16th
12. Robb Pelmear – Ventura – 20th
13. James Squire III – Lakeside – 22nd
14. Jon Squire – El Cajon – 19th
15. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 21st
16. Jon Robertson – Torrance – 17th
17. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 5th
18. Alec Bender – Ramona – 8th
19. Kevin Michnowicz – Lomita – 12th
20. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 9th
21. Craig Dillard – Oakdale – 15th
22. Hunter Kinney – Rocklin – 14th

California Lightning Sprints Championship Point Standings
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 1816
2. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 1171
3. Aiden Lange - Lakewood – 1750
4. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 1629
5. Eric Greco - Palmdale - 1332
6. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena – 1284
7. Brent Sexton - Lakewood - 1253
8. Chris Dickey - Murrieta - 1247
9. Dan Hillberg - Placentia – 1120
10. Pat Kelley – Chino – 1105

Final “BCRA vs CLS Civil War Challenge Series” standings
1. Dakota Albright – BCRA – 485
2. Craig Dillard – BCRA – 440
3. Cody Nigh – CLS – 432
4. Aiden Lange – CLS – 423
5. Bobby Michnowicz – CLS – 387
6. Brent Sexton – CLS – 361
7. Jarrett Kramer – CLS – 348
8. Pat Kelley – CLS – 302
9. Eric Greco – CLS – 299
10. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena - 252

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 – Bobby Michnowicz
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