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CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CARS MAKE THE FIRST OF FOUR 2021 APPEARANCES AT SANTA MARIA
(Upland, CA, June 28, 2021)
This Saturday night, July 3rd, the California Lightning Sprint Car Series will contest round #6 of the 2021 championship series at the Santa Maria Raceway. The race will be the first of two appearances for the CLS on the banked 1/3-mile clay oval in July and the first of four there this year.

Saturday’s affair will be the first in a month for the CLS. When the initial 2021 schedule was released, the date was slated to be the eighth race of the season for the 27-year-old series. However, an early May meeting was lost to COVID closures at the Ventura Raceway and two weeks ago, extreme heat in the Central Valley caused cancelation of the event slated for the Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford.

A longtime host to the CLS, Saturday’s date will mark the first time the series has appeared on the San Luis Obispo County track since July 27, 2019. On that night, veteran Jeff Dyer took home the first-place money and trophy.

Heading into this Saturday’s race, personable 19-year-old college student James Turnbull of Indio, has a 58-point lead in the championship point standings over five-time series “King” Bobby Michnowicz of Oak Hills. Impressive teenager David Gasper of Santa Barbara sits third in the points chase and is the leader in the Rookie of the Year standings. Recent high school graduate Eric Greco of Palmdale is fourth and trails Gasper by eight-points. Yucca Valley resident Dyer is fifth.

Turnbull’s impressive form through the first five races has seen him in the top five four-times with a win, a second, third and fifth place finishes. His only time placing out of the top five came at the second race of the year at the Bakersfield Speedway when he ended up in seventh. In addition to his prowess in the CLS, he has a victory in the POWRi Southwestern Lightning Sprint Car Series at the Mojave Valley Raceway this year.

The tight competition in the standings is also reflected on the 2021 winner’s chart. Through the first five events, four different drivers have posted victories. Turnbull, Greco and Michnowicz have each visited victory circle one time this year. San Diego’s A.J. Bender is the only racer with two wins. At Santa Maria, Bender will be doing double duty driving in both the CLS and the USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series.

In addition to the CLS, the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, NMRA Midgets and Mini Stocks will also be in action. For fans who would like to attend Saturday’s race, the front gates will open at 4:00 p.m. with qualifying at 5:30 and the first race at 6:00. Santa Maria Raceway is located at 1900 Hutton Road in Nippomo (93444). The track website is, https://santamariaraceway.com/contact/ and the office phone number is (805) 710-4407.

The CLS would like to thank 2021 series sponsors Hoosier Tires, T Shirts By Timeless, TJ Forged Racing Wheels, and Walker Performance Filtration. 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 Point Standings
1. James Turnbull – Indio, CA – 603
2. Bobby Michnowicz – Oak Hills, CA – 545
3. Dave Gasper – Santa Barbara – 516
4. Eric Greco - Palmdale – 508
5. Jeff Dyer – Yucca Valley, CA – 478
6. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 396
7. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 381
8. Trevor Ballou - Corona, CA – 373
9. Jeremy Queener - Chino, CA – 298
10. Aiden Lange - Lakewood, CA - 296

CLS/BCRA Civil War Series Point Standings
1. James Turnbull – CLS – 135
2. Bobby Michnowicz – CLS – 133
3. Dakota Albright – BCRA – 121
4. Dave Gasper – CLS – 119
5. Aiden Lange – CLS – 112
6. Seth Hespe – WASH – 107
7. Jeff Dyer – CLS – 98
8. Chase Gaal – CLS – 88
9. Eric Greco – CLS – 85
10. Brandon Leedy – BCRA 83

2021 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule

March 13 Bakersfield Speedway – Eric Greco

April 10 Bakersfield Speedway – Bobby Michnowicz

April 24 Merced Speedway (Wayne Albright Memorial - Round #1 of the Civil War Series with BCRA – Wingless) – James Turnbull

May 15 Bakersfield Speedway – A.J. Bender

June 5 Ventura Raceway – A.J. Bender

June 19 Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford) – Postponed due to heat.

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 19 The Dirt Track At Kern County Raceway Park

September 25 Santa Maria Speedway (Wing Madness #2)

October 2 Ventura Raceway

October 30 Mojave Valley 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.

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, 2019 Jarrett Kramer.

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