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(Torrance, CA, August 7)
Five-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series champion Bobby Michnowicz got the monkey off his back when he won the USAC/California Lightning Sprint Car Series main event at the Ventura Raceway on the opening night of the Ventura County Fair. The victory ended a rare, nearly three month long, seven-race winless streak for the 54-year-old racing star.

Bobby Michnowicz won CLS main event on opening night of the Ventura County Fair. Please give photo credit to Doug Allen.

Michnowicz opened the night by recording the fastest lap in qualifying when he timed in at 12.286. Sheldon Creed, the current point leader in the ARCA Stock Car Series, was second fast with a lap of 12.494 and Jeff Dyer of Bermuda Dunes, who was driving Michnowicz’ team car, was third fast at 12.593.

With 17-cars on hand for the mid-week race, there were only two heat races. Lakewood’s Aiden Lange, who leads the series with three main event wins this year, captured the first one ahead of Chino’s Pat Kelley and Brent Sexton of Lakeside. Ventura local Bruce Douglass, winner of the June 16 race at Bakersfield, won the second heat in front of Camarillo’s Cody Nigh and Lakeside’s Grant Sexton.

For the 25-lap main event, Brent Sexton was on the pole with Palmdale’s Eric Greco alongside. Kelley and Douglass made up row two with Dyer and teammate Michnowicz in the third row.

In front of a packed house, Brent Sexton grabbed the lead on the start with Greco, Douglass, Kelley and Michnowicz chasing from behind. Michnowicz, in the T Shirts by Timeless/Pflum Wagner Racing/Fuel Safe/Cold Fire West/Fabozzi Metal Works/Outlaw Wings/Kaiser Wheels/Circle Track Performance/Super Shox/DLX/2001 Kawasaki ZX10, started his march to the front when he went around Kelley for the fourth-place spot on the opening circuit. A four-car tangle in turn one on the second lap brought out the yellow flag and sent among others Kelley and Creed to the back for the restart.

The subsequent green flag condition was short lived when a multi-car tangle coming out of turn four saw series point leader Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley stopped on the track for another yellow flag. This time when the green flew it stayed on for a bit and it saw Michnowicz, who was under attack from Lange before the last yellow, quickly relegating Douglass back to fourth. A couple laps later, he drove around the outside of Greco for second and he then took dead aim on leader Sexton.

Seven CLS championships were represented at the front of the pack with leader Sexton just ahead of Michnowicz. Sexton managed to hold his challenger at bay until turn one on the ninth lap when Michnowicz stuck his nose inside the race long leader in turn one and proceeded to complete the pass for the lead coming off turn two.

The annoying yellow flag slowed the action again on lap ten. This time Kramer, who had to come from the back after his lap two stoppage, tagged the back of Dyer. Dyer spun to face traffic and was clobbered nearly-head on by Lange with Grant Sexton sliding into the fray. Rookie Sexton was the only one able to continue, but when officials noticed he was missing a shock, they black flagged him. The crash lingered through the next day when Lange took a trip a precautionary to the doctor to have a sore knee looked at.

For the restart, it was Michnowicz followed by Sexton, Greco, Douglass and Kramer. This time when the race restarted, it was vintage Michnowicz as he quickly pulled out to a half straight lead. Sexton did likewise in the battle for third that now featured Greco, Douglass, Kramer, Creed and Nigh. Creed, who finished third in the ARCA race at Daytona in February, came all the way from the back after his early race incident and drove around Greco for third with five laps to go. Kramer also got by Greco for fourth.

When the checkered came out, the slump was over. Michnowicz hammered out an impressive win and was a full straightaway ahead of Sexton. Creed crossed the line third with Kramer and Greco fourth and fifth.

After the race ended, officials deemed that Creed went into the infield to pass a car and he was penalized two positions. The change moved Kramer up to third, Greco up to fourth and sent Creed back to fifth.

Kramer was the “Italian Stallion Hard Charger” award winner finishing third after starting 10th,

“We have had a horrible year,” Michnowicz told the crowd after the race. “We won opening night here (Ventura) and we have been junk ever since. I have just been sleep walking this year and I finally woke up. It is too much competition not to run hard. You have to run hard every time.”

The race at Ventura put the CLS halfway through the 2018 campaign and point leader Kramer has his biggest advantage thus far. Going into the next race, the annual “California Racer’s Hall of Fame Night” at Perris Auto Speedway on August 18th, Kramer leads Lange by 168-points in the championship standings. Lange only leads fifth place Dominic Del Monte of Gardena by 52-points. Sandwiched in between them is third place Nigh and fourth place Sexton.

Ventura County Fair Main Event Results (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita, CA – 6th
2. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 1st
3. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 10th
4. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 2nd
5. Sheldon Creed – Alpine, CA – 11th
6. Bruce Douglass – Ventura, CA – 4th
7. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 9th
8. Pat Kelley – Chino, CA – 3rd
9. Robb Pelmear – Ventura, CA – 14th
10. Dale Gamer – Anaheim, CA – 16th
11. Frank Ditmar – Lakewood, CA – 15th
12. Jeffrey Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 5th
13. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 8th
14. Grant Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 7th
15. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 13th
16. Wink Schweitzer – Bakersfield, CA – 12th
17. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 17th

2018 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA - 1128
2. Aiden Lange - Lakewood, CA – 960
3. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 930
4. Brent Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 927
5. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena, CA – 908
6. Pat Kelley - Chino, CA – 845
7. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 829
8. Eric Grec0 - Palmdale, CA – 779
9. Jeffrey Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 730
10. Grant Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 680

2018 Civil War Standings (CLS vs BCRA)
1. Jarrett Kramer – CLS – 227
2. Cody Nigh – CLS – 214
3. Kiwi Alexander – BCRA – 199
4. Doug Nunes – CLS – 192
5. Dominic Del Monte – CLS – 175
6. Bobby Michnowicz – CLS – 174
7. Scott Kinney – BCRA – 156
8. Eric Greco – CLS – 155
8. Dan Hillberg – CLS – 155
10. Aiden Lange – CLS - 149

March 17 – Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National – Rained Out
March 24 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Rained Out
April 14 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
April 21 – Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National – Aiden Lange
May 5 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Aiden Lange
May 19th – Barona Speedway – Jim Squire Memorial – Cody Nigh
May 26 – Perris Auto Speedway – USAC National – Salute to Indy – Jarrett Kramer
June 16 – Bakersfield Speedway – Civil War vs BCRA – Bruce Douglass
July 7 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Aiden Lange
July 21 – Santa Maria Raceway – Civil War vs BCRA – Doug Nunes
August 1 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Ventura County Fair – Bobby Michnowicz
August 18 – Perris Auto Speedway – USAC National – California Racer’s Hall of Fame Night
August 25 – Barona Speedway
September 8 – Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National
September 21 – Placerville Speedway – Civil War vs BCRA
September 22 – Placerville Speedway – Civil War vs BCRA
October 6 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National
October 20 – Barona Speedway
October 27 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National
November 17- Bakersfield Speedway USAC National with USAC National and Western Midgets

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 its historic 25th season in 2018, please call Bobby Michnowicz at (310) 320-5569.

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


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, 2017 Bobby Michnowicz.

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