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GRECO WINS VENTURA MAIN EVENT AND TAKES CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR SERIES POINT LEAD
(Upland, CA, October 5, 2021)
Eric Greco only led two laps of the main event at the Ventura Raceway last Saturday night, but they were the most important two and they propelled him to the win in the 25-lap California Lightning Sprint Car Series main event. In addition to it being his series leading fourth victory of the year, it also shot him into the CLS point lead for the first time since April.


Eric Greco won his fourth CLS main event of the year at Ventura. Lance Jennings photo.

Escaping what is hopefully the last SoCal triple digit heat wave of 2021, the CLS gathered at the track that is located about a 9-Iron shot from the Pacific Ocean. As always, the location supplied great relief from the thermometer busting inland temperatures. One thing that was still hot on the day was the racing. First on the agenda for the night was qualifying and when it was all said and done, Gardena’s Dominic Del Monte was the quickest of the group with a time of 12.117. Santa Barbara rookie David Gasper turned in the second fastest lap when he toured “The Best Little Dirt Track in America” in 12.131. Greco, who won the main event the last time the CLS was at Ventura on August 28th, was third in qualifying at 12.243.

“Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance, who is having his best season in the CLS, captured the first eight lap heat race over Greco and Ventura local Robb Pelmear. Rosamond’s Mark Henry bested the field in the second heat when he beat Yucca Valley’s Jeff Dyer and series point leader James Turnbull to the checkered flag.

The dash, which determined the starting spots for the first three rows of the main event, was up after the heat races. Henry again outdistanced the competition and won the six lapper which earned him a ticket on the pole for the 25-lap feature. Dyer placed second and started next to Henry. Row two was made up of Pelmear and Greco with Ken Coulston of Bermuda Dunes and Gasper in row three.

Once the main began, it was all Jeff Dyer. The veteran driver set off as soon as the green flag flew and seemed to have the victory under lock and key. He lapped all the way up to the fifth-place car and it certainly looked like he was going to grab his first win of the year. However, disaster struck on lap-24 and Dyer’s victory was snatched away by the jaws of defeat when he lost his clutch! That handed the lead, with less than two laps to go, to Greco, who was wheeling the Janssen’s Floor and Fabric Care/Sidewaze Designs/Greco Family/Competition Suspension Inc/Henchcraft/ZX10R #8. The appreciative teen took full advantage of the opportunity presented and led the last 23 seconds of the race for his fourth win in 2021. Gasper, who won the previous race at the Kern County Raceway, finished second with Coulston getting his best ever CLS finish when he came home third. Pelmear and Robertson rounded out the top five. A frustrated Dyer ended up sixth. Gasper was the race “Hard Charger” after starting sixth.

Turnbull, who had led the points for five months, had a forgettable night starting with an electrical problem that prevented him from qualifying. In the main he was clobbered by a lapper when he was attempting to pass for third. The young driver forged on, but the electrical issue reared its ugly head again forcing him to drop out and thus, relinquish the point lead.

The CLS now has three weekends off before returning to Ventura on October 30th. Going into that event, new point leader Greco will have a slim, eight-point advantage over Turnbull in the championship standings. Gasper is third and is only 69-points off the lead with five races to go in the season. Dyer and Robertson are fourth and fifth, respectively.

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/

Ventura Raceway Main Event Finish (with starting positions)
1. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 4th
2. David Gasper – Santa Barbara, CA – 6th
3. Ken Coulston – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 5th
4. Robb Pelmear – Ventura, CA – 3rd
5. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 7th
6. Jeff Dyer – Yucca Valley, CA – 2nd
7. Dale Gamer – Anaheim, CA – 11th
8. Pat Kelley – Chino, CA – 12th
9. James Turnbull – Indio, CA – 8th
10. Mark Henry – Rosamond, CA – 1st
11. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 9th
12. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 10th

Lap Leaders: Jeff Dyer 1-23, Eric Greco 24-25
Hard Charger: David Gasper

California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 1364
2. James Turnbull - Indio, CA – 1356
3. David Gasper – Santa Barbara, CA – 1295
4. Jeff Dyer – Yucca Valley, CA – 1132
5. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 937
6. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 901
7. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA - 823
8. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 795
9. Bobby Michnowicz – Oak Hills, CA – 759
10. Pat Kelley – Chino, CA - 749

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 – David Gasper

October 2 Ventura Raceway – Eric Greco

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.

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@gmail.com