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(Torrance, CA, May 23, 2019) Five-time series champion Bobby Michnowicz raced to his second POWRi Lucas Oil California Lightning Sprint Car Series main event win of 2019 last Saturday night at the Barona Speedway.

Twenty-cars signed in on the night. The drama began in qualifying when 2019-point leader Jarrett Kramer’s car had engine ills knocking it out of the show. The Spring Valley based racer took off from the track to pick up another car. However, he did not get back in time to qualify or run in the heats and thus had to start last in the main event.

Rookie driver Jason Arnolde of San Diego raised some eyebrows in the pit area when he turned in the fastest qualifying time with a lap of 14.206. Eric Greco of Palmdale, who came into the night fourth in the championship point standings, ended up second quick with a lap of 14.214. Third fast was Kingsburg’s Doug Nunes with a time of 14.255.

Jeff “Ponch” Dyer of Bermuda Dunes, San Diego’s David Bezio, who was making his first racing appearance in several years, and “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance won the eight-lap heat races.

For the main, Camarillo’s Cody Nigh was on the pole with 2018 CLS Rookie of the Year Grant Sexton of Lakeside outside of him. The second row was made up of Lomita’s Michnowicz and Dalton Sexton. In the third row, it was Nunes and Greco with Brent Sexton and Lakewood’s Aiden Lange.

At the drop of the green flag, Nigh, who won his first CLS race at Barona last year, burst into the lead with 14-year-old Grant Sexton just behind in second. Nunes flew from his inside third row starting spot and into third as the pack came off turn two on the first lap. One lap later, Nunes got past Sexton, but by that time, Nigh had about a quarter of a straightaway advantage.

Nunes had Sexton breathing down his neck until lap four when he pulled away from the youngster and began to reel in leader Nigh. Nunes caught the leader and tried to race by him on the inside coming off the second turn on the sixth lap. Nigh, a graduate of nearby San Diego State University, thwarted the challenge and by the end of the next lap, he had pulled away for a four-car length lead.

The unexpected began to unfold on the eighth lap when Grant Sexton chased down Nunes and tried to take second back from the veteran. Nunes managed to fight him off. A lap later, the kid slipped up a bit in turn two and wily veteran Michnowicz, in the T Shirts by Timeless/Super Shox/Outlaw Wings/Guhl /Pflum Wagner Engines/ Fabozzi Metal Works/DLX by Circle Track Performance Chassis/ZX10, swiftly took advantage and broke into the top three for the first time in the race. What happened next made everyone sit up and pay attention. The kid went back to the inside and passed the five-time champion as they came off turn four.

By this time, CLS regulars in the stands were pulling for the teenager. As Nigh and Nunes approached lapped traffic, the youngest Sexton reeled them in. The lapped traffic was being anything but courteous and that was making it tough on the three leaders. Deep in the lappers, young Sexton did what few, if any, had done in CLS main event competition this year. He passed Nunes and found himself back in the second-place spot on lap 13.

Sexton and his black and green #3 were on fire and he did not stay second for long. The battle for the lead was on and it was taking place in the middle of lapped traffic. The kid tried to pass on the inside in turn two on lap 14, but race long leader Nigh fought him off. Moments later coming off four, the youngster tried it again and it paid dividends as he snatched the lead away as they sped down the front chute.

The kid got through the remainder of the lappers like a seasoned veteran and began to pull away on lap 16. By the end of lap 18, he had nearly a full straight advantage. On the same lap, Michnowicz made what turned into a key pass when he relegated Nunes back to fourth.

On lap 22, with a huge lead and only three laps to go, nobody was going to catch Grant Sexton. The only thing that was going to beat him was a mechanical issue or error. The latter reared its ugly head in heartbreaking fashion. In turn three, Sexton got to far sideways in the corner and slid to a stop. Nigh, who was still second, clipped the youngster as he tried to go by on the inside. Dalton, who had been running fifth, also slid into the melee and Sexton/Gatlin teammate Bezio came to a stop to avoid the pileup. Just like that, Grant Sexton snatched a heart-wrenching loss from the jaws of victory.

Of the four cars who stopped, all but Nigh, who had to be pulled off with a hook, restarted. It was Michnowicz, followed by Nunes and Brent Sexton for the restart. As soon as the green light came back on Nunes went to the outside. On the second lap after the restart, he pulled even with Michnowicz and they battled side by side in a crowd-pleasing duel. The five-time champ fought his challenger back. Nunes stayed close and pressured Michnowicz all the way to the checkered, but he was one length short at the line. Sexton, who is finally turning his season around after a nightmarish start, took third with Dyer and Lange rounding out the top five. Grant Sexton, who was so close to his first CLS win, ended up 14th.

Dominic Del Monte of Gardena was the main event “Hard Charger” finishing seventh after starting 14th.

Kramer, who started and finished 20th in the backup car, dropped from first to third in the championship standings. Michnowicz is the new leader and has a five-point lead over Nunes. Kramer is only 29 points out of first and just 24 behind Nunes. Teens Greco and Lange round out the top five.

The CLS will take Memorial Day weekend off before returning to its home track, the Ventura Raceway, for round seven of the 2019 season on Saturday, June 1st.

The POWRi Lucas Oil 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/

Barona Main Event Results (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 3rd
2. Doug Nunes – Kingsburg, CA – 5th
3. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 9th
4. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Duna, CA – 10th
5. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 8th
6. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 6th
7. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 14th
8. Shane Sexton – 15th
9. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 11th
10. Jason Arnolde – San Diego, CA – 13th
11. David Bezio – San Diego, CA – 9th
12. Dalton Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 4th
13. Parker Dumas – San Diego, CA – 19th
14. Grant Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 2nd
15. Dale Gamer – Anaheim, CA – 12th
16. Frank Ditmar – Lakewood, CA – 16th
17. James Helling – San Bernardino, CA – 18th
18. Deejay Dumas – San Diego, CA – 17th
19. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 1st
20. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 20th

2019 POWRi Lucas Oil California Lightning Sprint Cars Series Point Standings
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 737
2. Doug Nunes - Kingsburg, CA - 732
3. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA - 708
4. Eric Greco - Palmdale, CA - 664
5. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA - 623
6. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA - 581
7. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 574
8. Dominic Del Monte, CA – 561
9. Dalton Sexton - Lakeside, CA - 529
10. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 458

2019 POWRi Lucas Oil 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 – Bobby Michnowicz

May 4 Ventura Raceway – Jarrett Kramer

May 18 Barona Speedway – Bobby Michnowicz

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