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(Torrance, CA, March 27, 2019) Defending series champion Jarrett Kramer won his first Lucas Oil POWRi California Lightning Sprint Car main event of the season in a race that had a wild ending at the Ventura Raceway last Saturday night.

Jarrett Kramer won his first main of the season Saturday at Ventura. Pit Princess Photo.

After finishing second to Doug Nunes in the main event the previous week at Bakersfield, Kramer was coming from the inside of the fifth row on Jim Naylor’s beachside racetrack. In front of him were several heavy hitters. The front row was made up of Placentia’s Dan Hillberg, who started racing more than 40-years ago, and Camarillo’s Cody Nigh. Row two had impressive teens Dominic Del Monte of Gardena and Eric Greco of Lakewood. California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Dyer of Bermuda Dunes and Camarillo’s Jonathon Conley sat in the third row. The fourth row was comprised of Kingsburg’s Nunes and wily veteran Bruce Douglass of Ventura.

When the green opened the 20-lapper, Hillberg steered his bright red #10 to the point with Nigh close behind. Del Monte, who will not be 16-years old until May, relegated Nigh back to third on the second lap and immediately set his sights on the leader. The teen pulled up behind Hillberg and they moved away from the third-place car on the third circuit.

Hillberg had Del Monte stuck to his tail and they built a good-size lead. They stayed nose to tail until the sixth lap when Hillberg was finally able to put a few car lengths between himself and his youthful pursuer. However, that did not last long as on lap seven, Nunes caught the wall coming off turn four and slowed on the front straight. Conley, last year’s Dwarf champ at Ventura, had nowhere to go and rear-ended Nunes and flipped. Both drivers were uninjured in the tangle, but both were done for the night and Nunes hopes of winning his second race in a row went out the window.

For the restart, it was Hillberg, Del Monte, Nigh, Greco and Dyer making up the top five. Kramer was prowling just behind the quintuple in sixth and was looking for more. Hillberg got a great restart and quickly pushed his advantage to four car lengths. Second-place Del Monte did likewise to the third-place car of Nigh.

The top five remained unchanged until the end of the eighth-lap when simultaneously, Greco went to the inside of Nigh for third and a few yards behind, Kramer took Dyer for fifth.

As the race hit the halfway point, Del Monte turned up the heat on leader Hillberg. He had chased him down again and was all over his rear end as they circled the track. They were joined by Greco on the 14th lap when he reeled them in. Kramer took aim at the lead trio when he slipped past Nigh for fourth one lap later. Things were heating up quickly, but nobody had any idea how hot it was about to get.

Del Monte kept dogging Hillberg and tried to poke his nose up the inside on more than one occasion. However, Hillberg was equal to every challenge and maintained the top spot. They took the white flag the way they ran most of the race. Going into turn one, Del Monte knifed his way inside the race long leader. The two made contact in the middle of the corner sending Del Monte flipping down the track and ending up perched straight up on his tail while Hillberg tipped over onto his left side. The red came out and a heated Hillberg attempted to get to Del Monte’s car, but was restrained by track officials. Both were uninjured, but amazingly both were eliminated with less than three-quarters of a lap to go.

After they cleared the wrecked cars off the track, a showdown was set up with a green, white and checkered to follow. Greco was in the lead with Kramer, driving the Malicious Liquids/Anarchist Manufacturing/AK Hard Parts/Reber Rebar Inc/Finest Dog Training/BK Wings/Guhl Motorsports/Victory Graphix/Kramer Brothers Racing/DLX/Kawasaki ZX 10R #14, in second. Nigh, Dyer and Michnowicz made up the remainder of the top five.

The drama continued as soon as the green came on when leader Greco’s car bogged allowing Kramer to race around him for the lead going into turn one. The race appeared over as Kramer opened a three-car length advantage. But, the way this one went up to that point, you knew it was not over yet. Kramer still had a two-car length lead at the white flag, but going down the back straight the final time, 16-year-old Greco chased him down. Going into three, Greco gave the leader a shot straightening him out. Kramer quickly recovered, but by the time he did, Greco had shot up the inside. As they came off turn four, they were dead even and in a photo finish, Kramer beat the determined kid to the line by about three inches. Nigh, Dyer and Michnowicz took the next three spots.

By virtue of coming from 9th to first, Kramer was also the race “Hard Charger.”

San Diego’s A.J. Bender started the night off by out-qualifying the 27-car field with a lap of 11.951. Newcomer Gage Cheek of Valencia was second quick when he stopped the clocks at 12.058 and Kramer was third quick at 12.076. Bender, Michnowicz and Kyle Dodd of Ramona won the three eight-lap heat races and Aiden Lange of Lakewood won the 10-lap B Main.

Kramer comes out of Ventura with the lead in the championship standings. Greco is second and trails the two-time series champion by 21-points. Bender is third and is only two-points out of second. Michnowicz is eight-points behind Bender in fourth. Nigh rounds out the top five.

The Lucas Oil POWRi California Lightning Sprints will take this weekend off before heading to the Barona Speedway for the first time in 2019 on April 6th.

The Lucas Oil POWRi California Lightning Sprint Car Series would like to thank the following sponsors for helping make the 2019 season possible: Lucas Oil, All Coast Construction, Christian Stover Foundation, Circle Track Performance, Cold Fire West, Fast Undercar, Hoosier Tire, Keizer Wheels, Outlaw Wings, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Speed Partz, Super Shocks, T Shirts by Timeless and Woodland Auto Display.

If you or your company would like to become part of the series for its 26th season in 2019, 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/

Bakersfield Speedway March 16 Results (with starting positions)
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 9th
2. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 4th
3. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 2nd
4. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 5th
5. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita, CA – 11th
6. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 10th
7. Grant Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 15th
8. Bruce Douglass - Ventura, CA – 8th
9. James Turnbull – Indio, CA – 14th
10. Pat Kelley - Chino, CA – 18th
11. Dalton Sexton - Lakeside, CA, CA – 16th
12. Aiden Lange - Lakewood, CA – 13th
13. Gage Cheek – Valencia, CA – 17th
14. Dale Gamer – Anaheim, CA – 19th
15. Frank Ditmar - Lakewood, CA – 20th
16. Dan Hillberg - Placentia, CA – 1st
17. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 3rd
18. Kyle Dodd – Ramona, CA – 12th
19. Doug Nunes – Kingsburg, CA – 7th
20. Jonathon Conley – Camarillo, CA –6th

2019 Lucas Oil POWRi California Lightning Sprint Cars Series Point Standings

1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 271
2. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA - 250
3. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 248
4. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA - 240
5. Cody Nigh - Camarillo, CA - 214
6. Dog Nunes - Kingsburg, CA – 199
7. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 186
8. Aiden Lange - Lakewood, CA – 180
8. Pat Kelley - Chino, CA - 180
10. Dan Hillberg - Placentia, CA – 174

2019 Lucas Oil POWRi California Lightning Sprint Car Series

March 16 Bakersfield Speedway – Doug Nunes

March 23 Ventura Raceway – Jarrett Kramer

April 6 Barona Speedway

April 20 Bakersfield Speedway

May 4 Ventura Raceway

May 18 Barona Speedway

June 1 Ventura Raceway

June 15 Bakersfield Speedway

July 6 Ventura Raceway

July 27 Santa Maria Raceway

August 10 Barona Speedway

August 24 Ventura Raceway

September 7 Ventura Raceway

September 21 Bakersfield Speedway

October 5 Ventura Raceway

October 26 Ventura Raceway

November 17 Bakersfield Speedway

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, 2018 Jarrett Kramer

Special thanks to Wendy Michnowicz.

This press release was produced by Scott Daloisio Sports (909) 226-7768 mailto:sdaloisiosports@aol.com