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(Upland, CA, March 4, 2021)
After a year filled with frustration due to cancelations necessitated by the Covid crisis, the California Lightning Sprint Car Series will kick off the 2021 campaign at the Bakersfield Speedway, on Saturday night, March 13th. Joining the CLS on the program at “The West’s Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Clay Oval,” will be Hobby Stocks, Street Stocks, American Stocks and Mod Lites. The pit gate will open at 3:00 P.M. with racing at 6:00.

Saturday’s race will be the first of 21 on the slate for the CLS this year. It will also be the first of six on the series home track in Bakersfield. In addition to the season opener, other races on the Kern County clay oval will include the Western States Championship on November 16th. That race will also be the fourth and final race of the “Civil War Series co-sanctioned with the Bay Cities Racing Association.

Five of the 21 races on the schedule will be at Jim Naylor’s beach side Ventura Raceway. The Santa Maria Raceway will see the series visit four times. The July 24th and September 25th Santa Maria dates will be part of the track’s “Winged Madness” nights. The CLS will grace the Merced Speedway racing surface two-times. Both races will be part of the “Civil War Series.” The first Merced appearance on April 24th will also be the Wayne Albright Memorial and it will be the only wingless race for the CLS in 2021. The CLS and BCRA will combine for three straight races to close the 2021 calendar at the Hangtown 100 at the Placerville Speedway in November. The other track on the schedule is Peter Murphy’s Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford. The CLS will make its lone appearance there on June 19th.

“I am very excited to get this season started,” CLS President Alex Grigoreas said. “I know we will have challenges this year but getting cars on track to start the CLS’s 2021 championship run, is going to be epic. We have a large number of drivers running for rookie of the year and about 20 veterans ready to make their run for the championship. This schedule is a racers schedule. We worked with BCRA President Dakota Albright and laid out a schedule that will give the teams the opportunity to race 32 times this season if they want. If all goes as planned, it will be a stellar season for CLS and BCRA. It makes me wish I still had a car to race.”

Five-time CLS champion Bobby Michnowicz will head the list of entries at Bakersfield. The wily veteran, who won five of the six CLS championships between 2012 and 2017, emerged victorious in the only two series races in 2020. Both of those races were on the same Bakersfield track where the CLS will open the 2021 campaign. Since 2011, the Oak Hills, California resident, who has also raced with the World of Outlaws, USAC Sprint Cars and Midgets, and Stock Cars, has 18 victories on the “Okie Bowl.” That is more than double the total of any other driver.

Five-time CLS Champion Bobby MIchnowicz in 2019. Pit Princess Photography.

Veterans with hopes of thwarting Michnowicz’ title effort include Yucca Valley’s retired United States Army demolitions expert Jeff Dyer and San Diego State graduate Cody Nigh of Camarillo. In addition, a bevy of young drivers are set to challenge as well. Leading the youngster’s efforts will be Lakeside’s Aiden Lange, Eric Greco of Palmdale, Gardena’s Dominic Del Monte, and James Turnbull of Yucca Valley.

“Early season bets are looking at some of our younger racers to take the championship charge away from some of the veterans,” Grigoreas commented. “Five and a quarter time Champion, Bobby Michnowicz could be looking at a 6th championship, but the young standouts like Eric Greco, Aiden Lange, Dominic Del Monte, and James Turnbull Jr, may have something to say about that. I believe this will be one of the best championship races the CLS has ever had.”

Admission will only be through the pit gate and all passes sold are pit passes. $40.00 for racers and crew pit entry. $20.00 family member. No concessions available but personal coolers are ok. No alcohol, glass or bottles allowed through pit entrance.

The CLS would like to thank 2021 series sponsors Hoosier Tires, T Shirts By Timeless and TJ Forged Racing Wheels. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, please call Alex Grigoreas at (909) 437-3170.

To keep up with the CLS online, please visit the website at http://racecls.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/californialightningsprints/

2021 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule
March 13 Bakersfield Speedway
March 20 Ventura Raceway
April 20 Bakersfield Speedway
April 24 Merced Speedway (Wayne Albright Memorial - Round #1 of the Civil War Series with BCRA – Wingless)
May 1 Ventura Raceway
May 15 Bakersfield Speedway
June 5 Ventura Raceway
June 19 Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford)
July 3 Santa Maria Speedway
July 24 Santa Maria Speedway (Wing Madness #1)
August 7 Merced Speedway (Civil War Series #2 with BCRA – Winged)
August 14 Bakersfield Speedway
August 28 Santa Maria Speedway
September 4 Ventura Raceway
September 18 Bakersfield Speedway (Civil War #3 with BCRA – Winged)
September 25 Santa Maria Speedway (Wing Madness #2)
October 2 Ventura Raceway
November 16 Bakersfield Speedway (Civil War #4 with BCRA – Winged and Western States Lightning Sprint Car Championship)
November 18 Placerville Speedway Hangtown 100 – (Co sanctioned with BCRA and in companion with the USAC National Midgets)
November 19 Placerville Speedway Hangtown 100 – (Co sanctioned with BCRA and in companion with the USAC National Midgets)
November 20 Placerville Speedway Hangtown 100 – (Co sanctioned with BCRA and in companion with the USAC National Midgets)
The schedule is subject to change due to Covid restrictions.

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, 2019 Jarrett Kramer.

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