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HESPE AND NUNES WIN THE BATTLES BUT NIGH WINS THE WAR!
(Torrance, CA, September 21 & 22)
Seth Hespe and Doug Nunes won the battles last weekend in the final two rounds of the California Lightning Sprint Car vs Bay Cities Racing Association “Civil War Series” at the Placerville Speedway. However, Cody Nigh won the war when he was crowned champion of the mini-series.

Friday night’s show on the famous Pacific Coast bullring began when Visalia’s Kiwi Alexander turned in the fastest qualifying time in the 34-car field with a lap of 11.945. Scott Kinney of Sacramento was a tick slower at 11.987. Bobby Michnowicz toured the track third fastest at 11.999.

Before the 20-lap main event, Bow, Washington’s Jared Gunderson, Steve Brown, Sacramento’s Hunter Kinney and Camarillo’s Nigh won the four heat races. Spring Valley’s Jarrett Kramer, who came in as the leader in both the “Civil War” and season-long CLS title chase, won the B main.

For the 20-lapper, Hespe was on the pole with Lomita’s Bobby Michnowicz alongside. Scott Kinney of Sacramento and Alexander made up the second row with Kingsburg’s Doug Nunes and Scott Kinney on row three.

On the initial try to start the main event, Michnowicz got a bigger jump than officials liked, and they immediately put out the yellow flag and penalized him one row on the restart. That moved Alexander to the outside of Hespe. Once the green came out, Hespe, one of five drivers who came down from Washington for the races, zoomed into the lead. Unbeknownst to everyone there at the time, Hespe, who attended Central Washington University, would stay there for the 20-lap duration. Alexander assumed second on the start with Michnowicz in third.

Hespe, built a small, but comfortable lead while Alexander and Michnowicz battled for second. Michnowicz got by Alexander on lap six, but before the lap was completed, the only yellow of the race came out due to a three-car tangle in turn three.

When the green light flashed back on, the story was much the same. Hespe built his lead back up with Alexander holding Michnowicz at bay until the 10th circuit when Michnowicz slowed coming off turn two and retired for the night.

The final 10 go-arounds were all Hespe’s. Alexander was close at the end, but not close enough to mount a challenge and he had to settle for second behind the Washington driver. Gunderson placed third with Nigh and Waterford, California’s Dakota Albright fourth and fifth.

Night number two saw 33-cars show up and Nunes, who placed eighth in the previous night’s main, was fast qualifier with a lap of 12.025. Gunderson was second in qualifying at 12.054. Third was Lakeside rookie Dalton Sexton, who missed the first night due to playing in a high school football game. His time was 12.153.

Saturday’s heats were captured by Nigh, Kramer, Albright and Oakdale’s Danika’jo Parker. Friday’s winner Hespe captured the B-Main.

Quick qualifier Nunes drew a zero for the invert and that put him on the pole for the main event. Gunderson started next to him with the second row made up of Brent Sexton and his son Dalton. Michnowicz and Terry Lewis manned row three.

Gunderson was first to turn one when the race started with Nunes and Brent Sexton in hot pursuit. By lap three, the top three remained unchanged, but Michnowicz was giving Sexton all he could handle in a spirited battle for third. Michnowicz got past the bright orange #44 on the fifth lap. Going into the first corner on lap six, Sexton tried to knife his way back by using the inside, but some light contact saw him slide to a stop at the top of the track where he was clobbered by another car. More than a half-dozen other cars became involved and the officials brought out a red flag to clean up the mess. The only car unable to continue was the previous night’s second-place finisher Alexander.

Gunderson was at the point for the restart with 15-laps to go and he was followed by Nunes, Michnowicz, Dalton Sexton and Scott Kinney. Sexton had problems on the restart and quickly dropped well out of the top five. However, racing did not go on for long before another yellow flag slowed the proceedings three-laps later when Grant Sexton came to a stop outside of turn one.

Nunes immediately went on the attack as soon as the green came back on, but Gunderson was able to hold him at bay. However, turn one and two were starting to resemble the Bermuda Triangle when another car went off the top and stopped the action just one lap later. The green light stayed on just about the same amount of time on the next restart, but this time it was replaced by a red when Parker went for a tumble in turn three. She was uninjured and the car was straight enough for her to restart at the back.

Once the action got going again, the top three put some distance between themselves and the remainder of the field. Gunderson had two lengths between himself and second place Nunes and Nunes did likewise with Michnowicz. But, the chaos continued a couple of laps later when some of the backmarkers got together in turn four. When Gunderson and Nunes arrived on the scene, they got tangled up. Fortunately, they only suffered cosmetic damage and were able to restart. And, as they got to the scene of the crash after the green was turned off, they got their spots back.

The next restart was the last one as the field put in the final eight-laps with no more issues. Gunderson set the pace with Nunes trying the wide line as he had all race long. Three laps into the final go, that wide line finally paid dividends for Nunes as he pulled alongside Gunderson. The two drivers put on a crowd-pleasing side-by-side battle before Nunes slipped into the lead going into the third turn on the 17th lap. Once out front, he pushed his #2 to what ended up being a five-car length advantage at the checkered flag. Gunderson stayed in second with Michnowicz third. Scott Kinney took the fourth-place spot with series champion Nigh fifth.

Nigh, a San Diego State University graduate, came into the weekend 13-points behind Kramer in the “Civil War” standings. By the time the final checkered flag ended the series, he was 11-points in front of Kramer and he captured the title. Behind the lead duo in the top five were Nunes, BCRA’s Scott Kinney and Michnowicz.

Kramer, the leader in the season-long CLS championship chase, came into the weekend with a 237-point advantage over Nigh. His pair of sixth place finishes did him well as he still leads by 213-points. And, with only four races remaining in the season, the competitors are beginning to see the handwriting on the wall. After Kramer and Nigh, Brent Sexton is third, Gardena’s Del Monte is fourth and Michnowicz is up to fifth.

The CLS gets this weekend off before returning to racing next Saturday, October 6th, at Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway.

Placerville Speedway September 21 Main Event
1. Seth Hespe – Snohomish, WA – 1st
2. Kiwi Alexander – Visalia, CA
3. Jared Gundersen – Bow, WA
4. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA
5. Dakota Albright – Waterford, CA
6. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA
7. Steve Hendrickson – Bellingham, WA
8. Doug Nunes – Kingsburg, CA
9. Kyle Dodd
10. Terry Bergstrom
11. Terry Lewis – Bellingham, WA
12. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA
13. Alex Lewis – Bellingham, CA
14. Danika’jo Parker – Oakdale, CA
15. Eric Greco – Lakewood, CA
16. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA
17. Brandon Leedy – Roseville, CA
18. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA
19. Scott Kinney – Sacramento, CA
20. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 2nd
21. Steve Brown
22. Hunter Kinney – Sacramento, CA
23. Brad Dillard – Oakdale, CA

Placerville Speedway September 22 Main Event
1. Doug Nunes – Kingsburg, CA
2. Jared Gunderson – Bow, WA
3. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA
4. Scott Kinney – Sacramento, CA
5. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA
6. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA
7. Seth Hespe – Snohomish, WA
8. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA
9. Dakota Albright – Waterford, CA
10. Terry Lewis – Bellingham, WA
11. Eric Greco – Lakewood, CA
12. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA
13. Steve Hendrickson – Bellingham, WA
14. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA
15. Grant Sexton – Lakeside, CA
16. Terry Bergstrom
17. Alex Lewis – Bellingham, WA
18. Dalton Sexton – Lakeside, CA
19. Danika’jo Parker – Oakdale, CA
20. Brandon Leedy – Roseville, CA
21. Hunter Kinney – Sacramento, CA
22. Kiwi Alexander – Visalia, CA

2018 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA - 1738
2. Cody Nigh - Camarillo – 1525
3. Brent Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 1430
4. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena, CA – 1366
5. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 1364
6. Aiden Lange - Lakewood, CA – 1292
7. Eric Greco - Palmdale, CA – 1278
8. Pat Kelley - Chino, CA – 1136
9. Grant Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 1059
10. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 952

2018 Civil War Standings (CLS vs BCRA)
1. Cody Nigh – CLS – 459
2. Jarrett Kramer – CLS – 448
3. Doug Nunes - CLS – 430
4. Kiwi Alexander – BCRA – 387
5. Bobby Michnowicz – CLS – 355
6. Scott Kinney – BCRA – 341
7. Dominic Del Monte - CLS – 317
8. Eric Greco – CLS – 306
9. Brent Sexton – CLS – 299
10. Dakota Albright - BCRA - 283

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 – A.J. Bender
September 21 – Placerville Speedway – Civil War vs BCRA – Seth Hespe
September 22 – Placerville Speedway – Civil War vs BCRA – Doug Nunes
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