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MICHNOWICZ WINS MAIN EVENT – KRAMER WINS 2ND CLS TITLE!

(Torrance, CA, October 31) Bobby Michnowicz won the battle when he won the USAC California Lightning Sprint Car Series main event last Saturday night at the Ventura Raceway, but Jarrett Kramer won the war when he sewed up his second ever CLS championship. The Spring Valley based driver first won the title in 2010.

Twenty-two CLS cars were in the pits next to the ocean for the series final 2018 appearance at Ventura. When time trials ended, Lakewood’s Aiden Lange was the night’s fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.890. Kingsburg’s Doug Nunes was second quick at 12.032 and San Diego’s A.J. Bender, who had a week off from the USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, was third fast at 12.160.

Dominic Del Monte of Gardena, who won his first ever CLS main event the week before at Barona, won the initial eight-lap heat race of the night. Kramer captured the second heat and Bakersfield’s Wink Schweitzer won the final eight-lapper.

For the main, Michnowicz, who resides in Lomita and who will turn 55 in a couple of weeks, started on the pole. Two-time series champion Brent Sexton of Lakeside started alongside Michnowicz on the front row. Kramer was in the second row with Ramona’s Kyle Dodd. The third row was made up of Nunes and fast qualifier Lange with Eric Greco of Palmdale and local Jonathon Conley of Oxnard in the fourth pairing of two.

Michnowicz plus the pole at Ventura is a bad omen for the competition. When the green light flashed on he put the T Shirts by Timeless/Pflum Wagner Racing/Fuel Safe Racing Cells/Cold Fire West/Fabozzi Metal Works/Outlaw Wings/Kaiser Wheels/Circle Track Performance/Keizer Wheels/DLX/Kawasaki ZX-10 #1K into the lead with Sexton and Dodd in tow. One lap was put in the books before a spinner forced a yellow on the second circuit.

That first yellow flag was followed by two others without the field getting another lap into the books. As soon as the warriors calmed down and started recording laps, Michnowicz pulled away from the field and by the end of the sixth trip around the tight dirt oval, he was into the lapped traffic.

Another annoying yellow slowed the pace before to long, but when the green came back on, it did not slow Michnowicz who pulled away again. However, things were about to change. One more pause in the action allowed the field to close in and the new second place car was Nunes. As the racing began again, Nunes did not let the race long leader get away. It became evident that Michnowicz was faster on the straights, but Nunes was better in the corners.

The new challenger tried to go around Michnowicz coming off turn two on lap 18, but the five-time series champion out dragged him down the short Ventura back chute. Nunes did not give up and once again, he pulled even heading into one. Just when it looked like he may take the point position away from Michnowicz, he got too far sideways and slid to a stop bringing out another yellow flag.

Even though his wings were suffering from damage, the only car that could stay with Michnowicz was Nunes. But, due to his spin, he had to restart at the back. Michnowicz asserted himself at the front and was streaking away from the field again when Dodd took a nasty flip down the front straight on lap-22. Four other cars became ensnared in the crash and the red flag came out. Fortunately, Dodd climbed out of the car under his own power, but it was obvious that he was shaken and needed a ride to get back to the pits.

After the red, officials decided to checker the main event and Michnowicz had his fourth CLS win of 2018. Kramer came across the line in second and it was enough for him to sew up the title. Lakeside’s Dalton Sexton scored a CLS career-best third after starting ninth with Greco and Bender making up the remainder of the top five.

“I was trying to stick to the bottom,” Michnowicz told infield announcer Tami Velasquez after the race. “Somebody was on the outside of me (Nunes) and I did not want to lose momentum. Once he showed me his car I had to step it up. You don’t want to lose your momentum, but you have to step it up.”

The “Italian Stallion Hard Charger Award” and the $50.00 that goes with it went to the driver who will be “Rookie of the Year,” 14-year-old Grant Sexton of Lakeside. The kid started 17th and finished sixth.

Behind Kramer in the point standings is Camarillo’s Cody Nigh. Michnowicz took Brent Sexton for third in the standings, but only leads him by six points. Del Monte has a firm grip on fifth heading into the last race of the year, but sixth place Greco and 7th place Lange are only separated by two points. Another battle in the top ten sees Chino’s Pat Kelley only 13-points ahead of Grant Sexton. Anaheim’s Dale Gamer rounds out the top 10.

The final race of the year for the CLS will be the 2nd Annual Western States Lightning Sprint Car Championship at the Bakersfield Speedway on Saturday, November 17th. The purse for that event is pushing $7,000.00. The winner could take home $1,000.00 and it should be over $150.00 to start the main event.

Ventura Main Event (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 1st
2. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 3rd
3. Dalton Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 9th
4. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 7th
5. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 13th
6. Grant Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 17th
7. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 14th
8. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 2nd
9. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 6th
10. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 10th
11. Robb Pelmear – Ventura, CA – 15th
12. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 18th
13. Dale Gamer – Anaheim, CA – 19th
14. Doug Nunes – Kingsburg, CA – 5th
15. Jonathon Conley – Oxnard, CA – 8th
16. Kyle Dodd – Ramona, CA – 4th
17. Frank Ditmar – Lakewood, CA -11th
18. Pat Kelley – Chino, CA – 20th
19. Bill Dodd – Ramona, CA – 21st
20. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 16th
21. Wink Schweitzer – Bakersfield, CA – 12th
22. Rex Jorn – Fresno, CA – 22nd

2018 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 2115
2. Cody Nigh - Camarillo – 1863
3. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 1748
4. Brent Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 1742
5. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena, CA – `680
6. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 1589
7. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA. – 1587
8. Pat Kelley - Chino, CA – 1348
9. Grant Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 1335
10. Dale Gamer - Anaheim, CA – 1135

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 – Aiden Lange
October 20 – Barona Speedway – Dominic Del Monte
October 27 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
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