Home Page
Latest News
Race Results
Point Standings
Race Schedule
Photo Gallery
Video Clips
Race Tracks
CLS Rules
Racer Information
CLS Awards
CLS Race Gear
Pit Chatter
Racing Links
Contact Us


(Torrance, CA, November 5, 2019)
Aiden Lange and A.J. Bender won the POWRi Lucas Oil California Lightning Sprint Car Series main events on October 26 at the Ventura Raceway, but it was Jarrett Kramer who won the season-long CLS war. For the third time in his career and second year in a row, the Spring Valley, California veteran was crowned series champion.

Nineteen cars showed up on the night and Palmdale’s Eric Greco proved to be the fastest of the group in qualifying when he turned in a lap of 12.743. New father Bender was second quick at 12.833 and Lange was third at 12.881.

After “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance and San Diego’s Jason Arnolde won the two heat races, it was time for the makeup main event. That was necessitated by a blown transformer at the track on October 5th that plunged the back straightaway into darkness and forced postponement of the race.

Only drivers who qualified for the October 5th main could start the makeup race. Ventura local Robb Pelmear was slated to be on the pole for the main event, but he was forced away fighting one of the wildfires that were ripping through California. That put Lakewood’s Aiden Lange on the pole in his Langeford Farms/Kopps Custom Guitars/Spirited by Brad Motorsports/Randall Z Warranty Services/Nurse Lady Wendy Morell/T Shirts by Timeless/Team Cossey/JDR Graphics/Camplight Trailer/JST Shocks/Simpson Race Products/Henchcratf/08 GSXR 1000. Outside Lange was Robertson with soon to be champ Kramer and teenager James Turnbull of Indio in row two.

Fresh off his heat race win, Robertson stormed into the lead at the drop of the green flag for the 20-lapper. However, when he pushed up in turn two on the first lap, Lange blew by him on the inside for the lead. From that point on the teenage driver led every inch of the way.

Turnbull was 3rd on the start but was relegated back one spot on the second lap when Kramer went by. Normally at that point, it would be a stretch to think the youngster would get back by Kramer. Especially at Ventura which Kramer has essentially owned in 2019. Perhaps, with youthful effervescence not allowing him to know any better, Turnbull would come back at the veteran. Driving a wider line than most, he picked up momentum over the next couple laps. He then thrilled everyone when he drove around not only Kramer, but Robertson as well in one daring swoop to go from fourth to second in turns three and four on lap five.

While Turnbull’s flashy move caught the crowd's attention, he was still going to have to do a lot to catch leader Lange who had built up a sizable advantage. Meanwhile, behind the first two place cars, changes were happening. Both Kramer and Bender had gotten by Robertson to move into the third and fourth spots by the end of lap seven.

As Turnbull had did to him earlier in the race, Kramer chased the teenager down. The two combatants then engaged in a crowd-pleasing side by side battle for second that went on for two laps. That war would have gone on for longer but Turnbull, on the outside, bicycled big time in turn one on the 11th circuit. By the time his #2J was on all 4 wheels again, Kramer had moved away.

After Kramer took second back, he had another tough task at hand because Lange had built up nearly a full straightaway lead. That advantage quickly dissipated due to a couple lap cars racing side-by-side as the leaders approached on lap 14. Kramer zeroed in on Lange and was directly on his tail. When the lappers finally provided some room, Lange blazed through. But, when Kramer tried to go around the outside, one of the lappers pushed wide forcing him to take evasive action and he lost valuable ground as Lange opened a good size lead once again.

Kramer refused to give up and by the time there were only two laps to go, he was nipping at the back of Lange’s car again. Nevertheless, Lange kept the multi-time champ at bay over the final two circuits and captured his first win of the year by one car length in the green to checkered main event. Behind the lead duo, San Diego’s Bender survived a late-race battle to claim third just ahead of Turnbull, who’s fourth-place finish was his best of the year, and Cody Nigh of Camarillo.

“The track was kind of rutty and we missed the setup,” Lange said upon climbing out of his car after the race. “However, due to track position, we were fortunate enough to hold Jarrett off. He gave me a helluva’ race.”

Bender was the “Hard Charger” in the first main after starting fifth.

Aiden Lange. Pit Princess Photo.

The regular main event was 25 laps. It started Robertson on the pole, with Gardena’s Dominic Del Monte on the outside of the front row. Bender was on the inside of the second row with Nigh next to him. The third row featured California Highway Patrol officer Jeff “Ponch” Dyer of Yucca Valley and race #1 winner Lange.

From the outside of the front row, Del Monte got the jump when the green flag started the race and led the 17-car field into turn one. Nigh followed Del Monte and momentarily moved into second before he hit a rut and slipped all the way back to fourth. That put Robertson in second and Bender in third.

Robertson’s tenure in second did not last for long as Bender raced around him at the end of the second lap. Three laps later, Nigh, who had recovered from his first lap bobble, also got by Robertson for third. Meanwhile out front, Del Monte, who was seeking his first win of the year, built up a near full straightaway lead.

Del Monte, who was having it all go his way, saw his time at the point come to a screeching halt when he got into the back of a lapped car in turn three on the 11th circuit. That moved Bender into the lead and Nigh up to 2nd.

Lapped traffic was proving brutal for the leaders in the second main. At times it was on the inside, outside and in the middle to boot. Despite that, 2018 CLS Rookie of the Year grant Sexton of Lakeside, worked his way from eighth up to third when he passed Lange on lap 15. However, Bender had a massive lead in the Abacus/bakersfieldhomeforsale.com/Van’s Lodging/R-Tillery Powersports/Automotive Radiator Service/Watkins Construction #41 and nobody was going to catch him. Despite all the wild lapped traffic, the main event again went green to checkered with Bender winning by a full straightaway. Nigh placed second with Sexton, Kramer and Lange finishing third through fifth. Treble champ Kramer was the “Hard Charger” after starting 11th.

“It is tough to get a win here,” Bender said when joined on the infield by his fiancÚ and infant daughter. “This is not even the car I usually drive. The Schweitzer team worked its butt off. It is pretty cool to get a win with my newborn here. She is a month old.”

The CLS season is down to one race. The 3rd Annual Lucas Oil POWRi California Lightning Sprints Western States Championship at the Bakersfield Speedway on November 23rd. While Kramer has his third title wrapped up going into that one, three positions are still up for grabs in the top-10. Bender is second but is only 17-points ahead of Nigh. The battle for fourth is even tighter as Greco is a mere three-markers in front of Lange. Six-place is also still to be decided as Del Monte is just 31-points ahead of Kingsburg’s Doug Nunes.

October 26 Main Event (with starting positions)
1. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 3rd
2. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 4th
3. Grant Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 8th
4. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 11th
5. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 6th
6. James Turnbull – Indio, CA – 12th
7. Jeff Dyer – Yucca Valley, CA – 5th
8. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 2nd
9. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 10th
10. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 1st
11. Jason Arnolde – San Diego, CA – 7th
12. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 9th
13. Chase Gaal – O’Neals, CA – 14th
14. Brent Horn – Alpine, CA – 13th
15. Mark Henry – Rosamond, CA – 16th
16. Greg Sandling – Anza, CA – 17th
17. Larry Hanson – Orange, CA – 15th

October 5 Make Up Main Event
1. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 1st
2. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 3rd
3. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 8th
4. James Turnbull – Indio, CA – 4th
5. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 5th
6. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 6th
7. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 9th
8. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 10th
9. Mark Henry – Rosamond, CA – 13th
10. Greg Sandling – Anza, CA – 11th
11. Larry Hansen – Orange, CA – 12th
12. Frank Ditmar – Lakewood, CA – 7th
13. Jason Arnolde – San Diego, CA – 10th

POWRi Lucas Oil California Lightning Sprint Car Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 1983
2. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 1761
3. Cody Nigh - Camarillo, CA - 1744
4. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 1611
5. Aiden Lange - Lakewood, CA – 1608
6. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 1570
7. Doug Nunes -Kingsburg, CA – 1539
8. Jeff Dyer – Yucca Valley, CA – 1368
9. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita, CA – 1295
10. Jon Robertson - Torrance, CA – 1192

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 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 – Jarrett Kramer
August 24 Ventura Raceway – Cody Nigh
September 7 Ventura Raceway – Jarrett Kramer
September 21 Bakersfield Speedway – A.J. Bender
October 26 Ventura Raceway (Makeup Main) – Aiden Lange
October 26 Ventura Raceway – A.J. Bender
November 23 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

Photo courtesy of Pit Princess.

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