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NUNES WAITS TILL LATE TO WIN HIS 2ND LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR RACE OF 2019!
(Torrance, CA, April 11, 2019) Kingsburg, California’s Doug Nunes waited till near the end to take the lead and then run away from the field for his second Lucas Oil California Lightning Sprint Car main event victory of the season last Saturday night at the Barona Speedway.
 

The 42-year-old Nunes started the night by timing in second quick in the 28-car field with a lap of 14.558. That was just a tick behind the fast time of 14.545 set by 16-year-old Eric Greco of Lakewood. Camarillo’s Cody Nigh was the third fast qualifier when he stopped the clocks at 14.778.



Doug Nunes won his second California Lightning Sprint Car main of the year at Barona. Pit Princess photo.

Four eight-lap heat races that transferred the top four finishers straight to the main event followed qualifying. Dominic Del Monte of Gardena and Aiden Lange of Lakewood, two more of the talented teens in the CLS, won the first two heats. Another Lakewood driver, Frank Ditmar, won the third heat and California Highway Patrol officer Jeff Dyer copped the final one.

The final chance to get into the feature was via the 10-lap B-Main. Ten cars started the race, but only the top four would earn transfer spots. USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series regular A.J. Bender of San Diego, who won the open comp sprint car main at Barona, came home first in the B. Chase Gaal of O’Neals, veteran Dale Gamer of Anaheim and Jason Arnolde took the other three transfers.

With a good size crowd looking on at the San Diego County quarter-mile dirt oval, Ditmar was on the pole for the main event. Second-year CLS driver Dalton Sexton was alongside the pole sitter. Row two featured five-time series champ Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita and two-time series “King” Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley. The third row was made up of 2008 Rookie of the Year Grant Sexton of Lakeside and Del Monte. NASCAR Truck Series regular Sheldon Creed of El Cajon was on the inside of the fourth row and was joined by Camarillo’s Cody Nigh. Nunes, who won the season opener at Bakersfield on March 16th was, in the middle of the field starting ninth.

Ditmar was the first to turn one, but Kramer roared around the outside from his third-place starting spot and blew into the lead coming off turn two on the first lap. Once out front, the two-time series champ immediately drove away from the pack. Dalton Sexton and Michnowicz also got by Ditmar and hooked up in a battle for second.

Kramer had a half straight advantage when he caught up to the lapped traffic on the sixth circuit, but he did not have to deal with it for long. Grant Sexton, who was fourth, hit a rut in turn four and broke a radius rod. Unable to steer, the car caught the front straight wall and flipped. The red flag came out bringing the racing to a halt. The 14-year-old crawled out unscathed, but the car was done for the night.

For the restart, Kramer was at the point and was followed by Dalton Sexton, Michnowicz, Del Monte and Nigh. Nunes, who won the season opener at Bakersfield on March 16th, was in the middle of the field starting ninth in the Superior Machine Works/Aslan Cold Storage/Snap-on/J.B. Critchley Trucking/CEP/Valley Metal Finishing/Wicked Race Products/Penske Racing Shocks/Simpson #7.

When the race restarted Kramer again began to pull away. Creed, who won his only CLS race a few years ago at Perris Auto Speedway, raced past Michnowicz for third and immediately began to apply the heat to Dalton Sexton. When Sexton bobbled going into turn three on the 10th lap, Creed shot to the inside and pushed the kid back to third. However, the teenager returned the favor as they came off turn two the 11th time around.

Nunes taking his time working through the traffic. He finally broke into the top five when he shot around the outside of Del Monte at the end of lap 12, but he was still a long way behind leader Kramer.

Creed pushed his #2C back inside Sexton for second in turn three on the 14th lap and set his sights on leader Kramer. Two laps later the proceedings came to a halt when a car got around and into the wall in turn two.

For the restart with 10 laps remaining, Kramer was first like he had been since the opening lap. He had two lapped cars in between himself and second-place Creed. Sexton, Michnowicz and Nunes were third through fifth.

Creed quickly disposed of the lapped cars and was headed for the leader. However, the best restart belonged to Nunes as he drove around both Michnowicz and Sexton and was hooked up on the outside. Two laps later, he blasted around the outside of Creed and in one fell swoop, he also tried to get past Kramer as they exited turn two. The point leader was equal to the challenge, but the handwriting was on the wall. Nunes had the outside line wired and nobody was going to stop him including the leader.

Going into one on the 19th lap, Nunes flew around the outside of Kramer and immediately pulled away. It was evident that the only thing that was going to stop him was lapped traffic. That nearly happened in turn three on the 22nd circuit when heading into a group of lappers, Nunes almost tangled with one of them. Kramer poked his nose to the inside, but Nunes recovered in time to maintain the lead.

Unfortunately, Dalton Sexton, who was enjoying his best ever drive in the CLS, got bounced into the back straight wall and brought out a yellow. The incident ended Sexton’s night with a frustrating 18th place finish.

Lapped cars were sent to the back for the late restart, but it did not matter. Nunes was in a class all by himself and pulled away. When the checkered ended it, he was nearly of a straightaway ahead of the field. Kramer held off Creed for second with Michnowicz and Del Monte completing the top five.

Dyer was the main event hard charger moving from 16th at the start to finish sixth.

Kramer has extended his lead in the championship standings to 41-points going into round four of the series at Bakersfield on April 20th. Michnowicz jumped two-spots in the standings from fourth to second. Greco, Nunes and Bender round out the top five.

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/

April 7 Barona Speedway Main Events (with starting positions)
1. Doug Nunes – Kingsburg, CA – 9th
2. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 4th
3. Sheldon Creed – El Cajon, CA – 7th
4. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 3rd
5. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 6th
6. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 16th
7. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 8th
8. Eric Greco – Lakewood, CA – 10th
9. Kyle Dodd – Ramona, CA – 12th
10. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 14th
11. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 17th
12. Frank Ditmar – Lakewood, CA – 1st
13. Bill Dodd – Lakewood, CA – 15th
14. Jason Arnolde – San Diego, CA – 20th
15. James Turnbull – Indio, CA – 11th
16. Chase Gaal – O’Neals, CA – 18th
17. Dale Gamer – Anaheim, CA – 19th
18. Dalton Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 2nd
19. Gage Cheek - Santa Clarita, CA – 13th
20. Grant Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 5th

2019 Lucas Oil POWRi California Lightning Sprint Cars Series Point Standings

1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 401
2. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA - 360
3. Eric Greco - Lakewood, CA – 355
4. Doug Nunes - Kingsburg, CA - 340
5. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA - 330
6. Cody Nigh - Camarillo, CA – 321
7. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 301
8. Aiden Lange - Lakewood, CA – 275
8. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena, CA - 261
10. Dalton Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 225

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 – Doug Nunes

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

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, 2018 Jarrett Kramer

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