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MICHNOWICZ WINS CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT RACE AT BARONA!
(Torrance, CA, August 30) Five-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series champion Bobby Michnowicz appears to have awakened from his slumber as he scored his third win in his last four starts last Saturday night at the Barona Speedway. Two of those wins have come in CLS competition (the other was in Northern California with BCRA) and he now leads the series with four wins on the year.



5-Time series champion Bobby Michnowicz won his fourth CLS main of the year at Barona. Photo courtesy of Pit Princess Photography.

The night started out with youngsters showing the veterans the quick way around the San Diego County clay oval. Teenagers Dominic Del Monte of Gardena and Dalton Sexton of Lakeside turned in the two fastest qualifying times in the 19-car field with laps of 14.923 and 14.924 respectively. Brent Sexton, Dalton’s father, was third quick with a time 15.013.

Two heat races proceeded the 25-lap main event. El Cajon veteran Jon Squire, racing on his home track, captured the first one. Grant Sexton, Dalton’s 14-year-old younger brother, smoked the field in the second heat race, but it was Dalton who got all the attention. Coming off turn two late in the event, the rookie flipped hard. However, when the car landed on all four wheels, he drove it away before track safety officials could arrive on the scene. The flip knocked him out of the dash, but the team was able to get the car repaired for the main event.

The dash went to Spring Valley’s Jarrett Kramer over Camarillo’s Cody Nigh and Brent Sexton.

For the main event, Kyle Dodd started on the inside of the front row with Palmdale teen Eric Greco alongside. Row two was made up of Nigh and Kramer with Michnowicz and Brent Sexton in the third row.

Greco got the jump on the start and led Dodd, Nigh and Kramer off turn two. Dodd, who was contesting his second race with the CLS this year, brought out the first yellow of the race when he appeared to catch the inside berm between three and four on lap three while running second. He spun backward and stopped in turn four, but was done for the night.

For the restart, Greco was at the point with Nigh, Kramer and Michnowicz in tight formation behind him. The green was not even on for a lap when Lakewood’s Aiden Lange and newcomer David Taft of Ramona tangled as they came off turn four. For Lange, who won three races in the first half of the season, it brought an end to a nightmarish month of August that saw him finish 13th, 12th and 17th in the three main events.

Greco and Nigh pulled away from Michnowicz on the restart. Nigh, who won his first ever CLS main event the last time the series visited Barona three months earlier, kept the heat turned up on the young leader and took several peeks on the inside. The teenager was up to the challenges and by the time the race reached the 10-lap mark, he had a four-car length advantage.

Greco’s pretty #8 reached the lapped traffic on the 11th go around and the kid had no problem negotiating past the slower cars. Five laps later, Greco had built his lead up to a half straightaway and he was hitting all his marks.
On the sixteenth lap, Dalton Sexton thrilled the crowd one more time when his engine exploded in a big ball of flames coming off turn two. The youngster steered the car to the infield and calmly climbed out of the ride while the track fire crew attended to the car.

Sexton’s “carbecue” and the subsequent red flag it caused, saw Greco’s advantage at the front evaporate again. For the restart with 10 to go, he had Nigh, Michnowicz, Kramer and Brent Sexton breathing down his neck. Nigh took a look at the outside of Greco when the green flew. That opened up the bottom of the racetrack. Nigh’s uncle, Michnowicz, showed no family love and went by for the runner-up spot in the first bend.

Greco and Michnowicz pulled away at the front and at the same time, Kramer got to the inside of Nigh and they battled a couple of laps before Nigh was able to thwart the effort. Michnowicz, who has been racing cars for about triple the time Greco has walked the earth, began to turn up the heat. Going into turn three on the 18th lap, the veteran steered his 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 to the inside of Greco and took the lead.

Once out front, Michnowicz pulled away from the second-place car and with no yellow or red flags to intervene, he had nearly a full straightaway lead at the checkered flag. Greco placed second for the second week in a row. Nigh, Kramer and Brent Sexton rounded out the top five.

Chino’s Pat Kelley, who flipped in qualifying, got the car repaired for the main event and won the “Italian Stallion Hard Charger Award” coming from 16th to finish sixth.

Heading into the next race at Bakersfield on September 8th, Kramer has a 213-point lead in the championship standings. Nigh and Brent Sexton flip-flopped spots with Nigh taking over second, but he is only four-points ahead of Sexton. Teenagers Del Monte and Lange are tied for fourth.

Grant Sexton leads older brother Dalton by 168-points in the “Rookie of the Year” battle.

Perris Auto Speedway Main Event (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 5th
2. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 2nd
3. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 3rd
4. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 4th
5. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 6th
6. Pat Kelley - Chino, CA – 16th
7. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena – 11th
8. David Taft – Ramona - CA – 14th
9. Jon Squire – El Cajon, CA – 8th
10. D.J. Dumas - Bakersfield, CA – 15th
11. Dale Gamer – Anaheim, CA – 13th
12. Dalton Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 12th
13. Grant Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 9th
14. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 10th
15. Kyle Dodd – 1st
16. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 7th

2018 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA - 1387
2. Cody Nigh - Camarillo – 1174
3. Brent Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 1170
4. Aiden Lange - Lakewood, CA – 1106
4. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena, CA – 1106
6. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 1047
7. Eric Greco - Palmdale, CA – 1034
8. Pat Kelley - Chino, CA – 991
9. Grant Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 880
10. Jeffrey Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 835

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 – Jarrett Kramer
August 25 – Barona Speedway – Bobby Michnowicz
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 http://racecls.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/californialightningsprints/

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, 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