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CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL OFFICER JEFF DYER WINS LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR MAIN AT SANTA MARIA!
(Torrance, CA, July 31, 2019)
California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Dyer scored his first POWRi Lucas Oil California Lightning Sprint Car Series main event win of 2019 last Saturday night at the Santa Maria Speedway. In posting the victory, Dyer became the fourth different winner in 10 CLS races this year.


(The attached photo of winner Jeff Dyer is courtesy of Pit Princess Photography)


Eighteen cars turned up to entertain the large crowd in the newly remodeled grandstands and when qualifying was done, Lakewood’s Aiden Lange was the quickest when he recorded a lap of 13.936. Kingsburg veteran Doug Nunes, who came into the night second in the championship standings, turned in the second-best time at 14.010. San Diego veteran and USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series regular A.J. Bender timed in third at 14.061.

Palmdale’s Eric Greco and Cody Nigh of Camarillo captured the heat races preceding the 25-lap main event.

The main featured Santa Clarita’s Gage Cheek on the pole with Dyer, who was seventh fast qualifier and who placed fourth in his heat, on the outside of the first row. Lakeside 15-year-old Grant Sexton, fresh off an impressive seventh-place finish in the prestigious Clay Cup in Washington the week before, manned the inside of row two. Two-time CLS champ and current point leader Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley started next to Sexton. Bender and fast qualifier Lange were in the third row of two with heat race winners Greco and Nigh in row four.

Veteran Dyer, 36, raced into the lead at the drop of the green flag. Cheek, in his second year with the CLS, manned the second-place spot and was followed by Sexton and Kramer as the first lap came to an end.

Dyer, who lives in Bermuda Dunes, quickly moved away from the field and was nearly half a straight ahead by the end of the third circuit. However, he was not the fastest car on the track. Five-time series champion Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita started 12th on a track that was proving to be anything, but easy to pass on. That is, anything but easy to pass on for everybody but him. By the end of lap three, the wily veteran was already up to sixth.

Michnowicz had been having valve cover gasket problems all night long and was crossing his fingers that he would make it through the main event. When the first of only two yellow flags in the main flew on lap four, Michnowicz’ car began belching smoke, but he stayed on the track. The smoke ceased and he was surprisingly ready for the restart.

When the green light signaled a return to racing with 21-laps to go, it was Dyer leading Cheek, Sexton, Kramer, Bender and Michnowicz. Any fans who were not paying attention to Michnowicz up to that point, quickly switched their focus on the restart when he blew past Bender and Kramer. One lap later he dove to the inside of Sexton in turn three for third.

Dyer continued to lead and Cheek, who was turning in his best run to date in the CLS, was looking good in second. Soon though, he would have to deal with Michnowicz as the #21 was flying towards the front. He hunted Cheek down and passed him in the exact same spot as he flew by Sexton. From that point on it was only a matter of time until he hunted down leader Dyer or his engine gave up the ghost.

Michnowicz kept his momentum up and coming off turn two on the 11th lap, he swung wide and raced around Dyer for the lead. Once out front, he quickly pulled away and built a huge advantage.

Michnowicz was well on his way to his third win of the year, but as he crossed over the line to end the 18th lap, smoked poured from his engine from a huge hole in the block. He pulled to the inside and subsequently off the track allowing the racing to continue.

Michnowicz misfortune put Dyer, in the Dyer Motorsports/T Shirts By Timeless/JSR/Amsoil/WFO Industries/Hyper Chassis/GSXR blue #4, back into the lead. The CHP officer was way out front, but that margin disappeared when Nunes came to a stop in turn three on the last lap. At the same time as the yellow came out for Nunes, Cheek, who was about to have his best ever CLS finish, pulled off the track with a fried clutch.

The race restarted with one lap to go. When the green and white waved simultaneously, Dyer was at the point and was followed by Sexton, Kramer, Bender and Lange. Dyer got a good restart and that sealed the deal. Kramer had a nice run going into turn one and pulled alongside Sexton, but Sexton got a tremendous drive off turn two and fought off the challenge to record his best-ever finish in a Lightning Sprint Car. Kramer stayed in third with Bender and Lange rounding out the top five.

For Dyer, it was his seventh lifetime CLS win and his first since 2016.

Gardena teenager Dominic Del Monte picked up eight spots and was the main event “Hard Charger” finishing sixth after starting 14th.

Kramer’s third-place finish allowed him to tack more markers onto his point lead. Heading into the next race at Barona on August 10th, he leads Nunes by 82. Michnowicz is third in the standings, but he is starting to feel the heat from his nephew Nigh and impressive teen Greco. Nigh is only 34-points behind the five-time champ and Greco is 58 back in fifth.

San Diego’s Jason Arnolde now has a 185-point advantage over fellow San Diegan Shane Sexton in the “Rookie of the Year” chase.

POWRi Lucas Oil Santa Maria Main Event Finishing Order (with starting positions)
1. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes – 2nd
2. Grant Sexton – Lakeside – 3rd
3. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 4th
4. A.J. Bender – San Diego – 5th
5. Aiden Lange – Lakeside – 6th
6. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena – 14th
7. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 8th
8. Brent Sexton – Lakeside – 9th
9. Jason Arnolde – San Diego – 10th
10. Gage Cheek – Santa Clarita – 1st
11. James Turnbull – Indio – 15th
12. Doug Nunes – Kingsburg – 11th
13. Jon Robertson – Torrance – 13th
14. Pat Kelley – Chino – 16th
15. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 12th
16. Eric Greco – Palmdale – 7th

POWRi Lucas Oil California Lightning Sprint Car Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 1236
2. Doug Nunes – Kingsburg – 1154
3. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 1080
4. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 1046
5. Eric Greco – Palmdale – 1022
6. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes – 986
7. A.J. Bender – San Diego – 961
8. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 959
9. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena – 932
10. Gage Cheek – Santa Clarita - 742

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/

2019 POWRi Lucas Oil California Lightning Sprint Cars Series Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA - 1113
2. Doug Nunes - Kingsburg, CA - 1071
3. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita, CA - 1011
4. Eric Greco - Palmdale, CA - 951
5. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA - 936
6. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA - 855
6. Aiden Lange - Lakewood, CA - 839
8. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 837
9. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena, CA - 828
10. Gage Cheek – Santa Clarita, CA – 654


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 – Jarrett Kramer

June 15 Bakersfield Speedway – Doug Nunes

July 6 Ventura Raceway – Jarrett Kramer

July 27 Santa Maria Raceway – Jeff Dyer

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

Photo courtesy of Pit Princess.


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