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(Upland, CA, September 24, 2021) The drivers in the California Lightning Sprint Car Series have a simple message for Kevin Michnowicz. STAY HOME! Making his first appearance in over two years at round #3 of the “Civil War Series” last Saturday night at the Bakersfield Speedway, the son of five time series champion Bobby Michnowicz made shambles of the competition leading the second half of the 25-lap main and winning by over a half straightaway.

Kevin Michnowicz photo courtesy of Lance Jennings.

A strong field of 24-cars showed up for the race on “The West’s Fastest 1/3 Mile High Bank Clay Oval.” The first thing on the agenda was qualifying and recent high school graduate Aiden Lange of Lakewood topped the speed charts with a lap of 12.908. Bobby Michnowicz was second quickest when he stopped the clocks with a time of 12.961. Newcomer Don Hart of Campo turned in the third fastest time of 13.028.

Longtime BCRA veteran Dakota Albright of Waterford snatched the first heat over Kevin Michnowicz and Lange. The second eight-lapper also went to BCRA when Placerville’s Terry Bergstrom outdistanced the field. Ventura’s Robb Pelmear crossed under the checkers in second with Bobby Michnowicz third. “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance held up the flag for the CLS when he won heat three in front of Camarillo’s Cody Nigh and CLS leading rookie David Gasper of Santa Barbara.

For the main event, kids from the crowd did a redraw for the top six starting spots. Kevin Michnowicz ended up on the pole with three-time 2021 winner Eric Greco on the outside. Bobby Michnowicz was starting directly behind his son on the inside of row two. Yucca Valley’s Jeff Dyer started next to the five-time champion. Row three featured Gasper and Lange.

When the green flag came out to start the 25-lapper, Greco bolted into the lead with Kevin Michnowicz and Dyer second and third. The Palmdale teen immediately built a good size lead that he maintained even as he got into lapped traffic on lap eight. Kevin Michnowicz closed the gap a bit when the lappers became involved, but Greco, who was seeking his fourth win of the year and his second in a row, was still in full command.

Two of the pre-race favorites, Bobby Michnowicz, and fast qualifier Lange, were sidelined early in the race due to mechanical ills.

Things up front stayed the same until the 13th go around when Greco got into the lapped car of Rancho Cucamonga’s Brent Owens in turn three. Greco continued on, but Owens slid to a stop. Gasper, who had nowhere to go, got into Owens and tipped over. That brought out the red flag. Fortunately, neither driver was injured.

When the yellow light came back on and the cars were starting to line up, CLS officials sent Greco back two spots to third for rough driving. That put Kevin Michnowicz in the lead for the restart with Dyer second. Greco, San Diego’s A.J. Bender and Albright rounded out the top five. As soon as the green flag started the race again, Michnowicz pulled away. Greco dropped to the inside in turn one in an attempt to move up to second, but Dyer, running on the wide line, fought him off.

A yellow flew again on lap 19 when Bender had a tire go down. During that caution period, Gasper headed back to the pits with a flat right rear tire.

The final green flag of the race waved, and it was a replay of the last restart. Michnowicz, in his T Shirts By Timeless/Pflum & Wagner/Outlaw Wings/Super Shox/Guhl Performance/Honda #21K, motored away to a commanding lead. It became quickly apparent at that time that the only way he was going to lose the race is if A: he had mechanical issues or B: he got into a tangle with another car. A: never happened. B: Nearly did! As he was coming off turn four and heading for the checkers on the last lap, Michnowicz got into the side of a lapped car and bobbled. Fortunately, he recovered and flashed over the finish line with room to spare. Dyer finished second equaling his best CLS finish of 2021. Greco took the third spot with point leader James Turnbull of Indio fourth. Bergstrom was the top finishing BCRA car when he crossed under the checkers in fifth. Another BCRA driver, Placerville’s Brandon Leedy, was the race “Hard Charger” moving up a whopping 15 places from 22nd on the start to 7th on the finish.

Greco assumed the lead in the “Civil War Series and leads Gasper by one-point heading into the finale at Bakersfield on November 16th. Turnbull is third with BCRA’s Leedy moving up to fourth. Dominic Del Monte rounds out the top five.

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/

Bakersfield Main Event Results (with starting position)
1. Kevin Michnowicz – Carson, CA – 1st
2. Jeff Dyer – Yucca Valley, CA – 4th
3. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 2nd
4. James Turnbull – Indio, CA – 14th
5. Terry Bergstrom – Placerville, CA - 8th
6. Dakota Albright – Waterford, CA - 7th
7. Brandon Leedy – Placerville, CA – 22nd
8. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 9th
9. Cade Lewis – Bakersfield, CA – 15th
10. Pat Kelley – Chino, CA - 21st
11. Dale Gamer – Anaheim, CA – 18th
12. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 13th
13. Dave Gasper – Santa Barbara, CA – 5th
14. Brent Owens – Rancho Cucamonga, CA – 20th
15. Robb Pelmear – Ventura, CA – 10th
16. Don Hart – Campo, CA – 11th
17. Bobby Michnowicz – Oak Hills, CA – 3rd
18. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 23rd
19. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 6th
20. Mark Henry – Rosamond, CA – 12th
21. Chase Gaal – O’Neals, CA - 17th
22. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 16th
23. Josef Ferolito – 19th
Lap Leaders: Greco 1-12, Kevin Michnowicz 13-25

California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. James Turnbull – Indo, CA – 1157
2. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 1099
3. David Gasper – Santa Barbara, CA – 1026
4. Jeff Dyer – Yucca Valley, CA – 917
5. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA - 823
6. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 813
7. Bobby Michnowicz – Oak Hills, CA – 759
8. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 718
9. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 661
10. Pat Kelley – Chino, CA - 631

CLS/BCRA Civil War Series Point Standings
1. Eric Greco – CLS - 336
2. Dave Gasper – CLS – 335
3. James Turnbull – CLS – 325
4. Brandon Leedy - BCRA – 297
5. Dominic Del Monte – CLS - 247
6. Terry Bergstrom – BCRA – 240
7. Dakota Albright - BCRA – 227
8. Bobby Michnowicz – CLS – 1226
8. Jeff Dyer - CLS – 226
10. Aiden Lange – CLS - 215

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 – Eric Greco

July 24 Santa Maria Speedway (Wing Madness #1) Santa Maria – A.J. Bender

August 7 Merced Speedway (Civil War Series #2 with BCRA – Winged) – Dave Gasper

August 28 Ventura Raceway – Eric Greco

September 18 Bakersfield Speedway (Civil War #3 with BCRA – Winged) – Kevin Michnowicz

September 19 The Dirt Track At Kern County Raceway Park

October 2 Ventura Raceway

October 30 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@gmail.com