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(Torrance, CA, September 12, 2022)
Legendary driver Bobby Michnowicz is back to his old self after a slow start to the 2022 racing season. Last Saturday night on First Responder’s Appreciation Night at the Lemoore Raceway, he started on the pole and led every inch of the California Lightning Sprint Car main event for his second win in a row and his third victory of the year.

Winner Bobby Michnowicz is surrounded by second place David Gasper on the right and third place
Cody Nigh is on the left. CLS Photo.

Fourteen CLS cars made the trek to the Central Valley in what could be best described as sketchy weather conditions due to Hurricane Kay. In fact, the heavens descended on the track in the afternoon, but fortunately, that was the last dose of the wet stuff for the day.

Michnowicz, who has won the CLS title a record five times, gave everyone an early indication of what was going to happen on the night when he out-qualified the field with a time of 10.485 in West Evans Motorsports Qualifying. Defending CLS champion Dave Gasper of Santa Barbara was second quick at 10.533. Season-leading rookie Will Browne of Glendora was the third quickest qualifier at 10.594.

Fillmore rookie Connor Spier started on the pole and captured Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1 over Lakewood’s Aiden Lange. The young duo inflicted the only ding on Michnowicz’s armor on the night as he placed third. Palmdale’s Eric Greco, who entered the night second in points, won Yoshimura R & D Heat Race #2 ahead of Jeffrey Dyer of Yucca Valley and Camarillo’s Cody Nigh.

For the 25-lap event on the Central California oval, Michnowicz was on the pole with Browne next to him. Gasper and Dyer were in row two with Nigh and Lange in row three. Moments after the green flag waved, Michnowicz in his T Shirts By Timeless/Fabozzi Metalworks/Pflum & Wagner/Outlaw Wings/Super Shocks/Kaiser Wheels/Fast Time Studios/Bondio Fabrication #21K, was the first driver to turn one. Gasper, who got a great start, was second with 18-year-old Browne third. Dyer tried to break into the top three at the end of the first circuit but Browne fended off his advances.

Looking like his old self, Michnowicz simply drove away from the field. By the end of lap three, he had over a half straightaway advantage between himself and second-place Gasper. As the race progressed, the veteran driver continued to advance his lead till it was nearly a full straightaway when he encountered lap traffic on lap seven. That allowed Gasper to chip away at his lead, but by lap eight Michnowicz had shed the lappers and pulled away again.

If one lapper to deal with was fun, Michnowicz found how much fun two lappers could be a couple of laps later on the ninth circuit. He was once again slowed by traffic and this time gasper gobbled up the real estate in no time at all. In fact, he had close to within one car length of the race-long leader before Michnowicz shed the slower cars and pulled away again.

A yellow flag slowed the proceedings on lap 12. That yellow flag would alter the race big time. For the restart, Michnowicz was still at the point with Gasper in second. Dyer had gotten past Browne and was up to third. Browne was fourth and Nigh was fifth. Dyer did not get off turn four well on the restart and was tagged by Browne. That knocked Dyer’s chain off and Browne’s fuel injection was knocked off the intake boots. As they slowed, chaos rained down behind them with cars going in every direction trying to miss them. In the bedlam, Dyer’s teenage son Seth got upside down for the first time in his lightning sprint career. The red flag immediately waved, halting the action. Fortunately, young Dyer was uninjured but his car suffered heavy damage. He, his dad, Browne, and San Diego’s A.J. Bender were all too damaged to continue.

After the delay to remove the damaged cars for the restart with 14 laps to go, Michnowicz and Gasper were in the same spots they had been in the entire race. Nigh was up to third with Greco fourth and Lange, who was making only his second start of the year, fifth. Gasper stayed close to Michnowicz for a couple of laps, but by lap 15, he was a half straight behind. Michnowicz continued to advance his lead and a late race bobble by Gasper put the bow on the package and allowed Michnowicz to streak past the checkered with a half-track advantage. Gasper placed second with Nigh third, Greco fourth, and Spier fifth.

“Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance picked up the Speed Mart/Advanced Racing Suspension/Hepfner Racing Products Hard Charger Award coming from 13th to finish seventh. Seth Dyer ended up with the Speed Mart Hard Luck Award.

Gasper came into the race with a 36-point lead over second-place Greco. When he left at the end of the night, he increased his lead to 48-points. Nigh firmed up his grip on third, increasing his one-point advantage over Dyer to 41-points. Michnowicz remained in fifth.

The lead in the Rookie of the Year chase changed hands for the first time this year. Fifth-place finisher Spier overtook Browne and opened an 11-point advantage.

The CLS returns to action in round #4 of the Civil War Series VS BCRA at the Bakersfield Speedway on September 24th.

West Evans Motorsports Qualifying: 1. Bobby Michnowicz, 10.495; 2. David Gasper, 10.533; 3; Will Browne, 10.594; 4. Cody Nigh, 10.717; 5. Jeffrey Dyer, 10.772; 6. Aiden Lange, 10.772; 7. Connor Speir, 10.797; 8. Eric Greco, 10.803; 9. A.J. Bender, 10.814; 10. Leland Day, 10.922; 11. Jon Robertson, 10.956; 12. Gage Cheek, 11.177; 13. Pat Kelley, 11.255; 14. Seth Dyer, 11.676

Extreme Muffler Heat #1: 1. Speir; 2. Lange; 3. Michnowicz; 4. Browne; 5. Bender; 6. Kelley; 7. Robertson

Yoshimura R & D Heat #2: 1. Greco; 2. J. Dyer; 3. Nigh; 4. Gasper; 5. Day; 6. Cheek; 7. S. Dyer

Main Event (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz, Oak Hills, CA, (1st)
2. David Gasper, Santa Barbara, CA, (3rd)
3. Cody Nigh, Camarillo, CA, (5th)
4. Eric Greco, Palmdale, CA, (8th)
5. Connor Speir, Fillmore, CA, (7th)
6. Aiden Lange, Lakewood, CA, (6th)
7. Jon Robertson, Torrance, CA, (13th)
8. Gage Cheek, Santa Clarita, CA, (11th)
9. Pat Kelley, Chino, CA, (12th)
10. Leland Day, Bakersfield, CA, (10th)
11. Jeffrey Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA, (4th)
12. Will Browne, Glendora, CA, (2nd)
13. A. J. Bender, San Diego, CA, (9th)
14. Seth Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA, (14th)

CLS Contingency Awards

Heat Race #1 – Extreme Muffler $50.00 Product Certificate – Connor Spier

Heat Race #2 – Yoshimura R & D - $50.00 CSI Product Certificate – Eric Greco

1st Place Main Event - Eibach Springs $100.00 Product Certificate – Bobby Michnowicz

2nd Place Main Event - Vahlco Wheels $50.00 Product Certificate – David Gasper

3rd Place Main Event - Jake Swanson Shock Technology $50 Product Certificate – Cody Nigh

4th Place Main Event – Hyper Chassis - $50 Product Certificate – Eric Greco

5th Place Main Event – Smith Titanium Product Certificate – Conor Spier

10th Place Main Event – King Racing Products $25.00 Product Certificate – Leland Day

Fast Qualifier - West Evans Motorsports $25.00 Product Certificate – Bobby Michnowicz

Hard Charger - Speed Mart $25.00 Product Certificate – Jon Robertson

Hard Charger - Advanced Racing Suspension $50.00 Product Certificate – Jon Robertson

Hard Charger – Hepfner Racing Products $25.00 Product Certificate – Jon Robertson

Hard Luck Award – Speed Mart $25.00 Product Certificate – Seth Dyer

1st Car Not On The Lead Lap – Rebel Gears 30% Off Coupon - Pat Kelley

California Lightning Sprint Car Series Point Standings
1. David Gasper – 1657
2. Eric Greco – 1609
3. Cody Nigh – 1515
4. Jeff Dyer – 1474
5. Bobby Michnowicz – 1354
6. Connor Speir – 1204
7. Will Browne – 1193
8. Jon Robertson – 965
9. Pat Kelley – 932
10. Dominic Del Monte – 656

Civil War Series Point Standings
1. David Gasper – CLS – 375
2. Eric Greco – CLS – 344
3. Will Browne – CLS – 333
4. Bobby Michnowicz – CLS - 300
5. Cody Nigh – CLS – 299
6. Greg Dennett - BCRA - 282
7. Harlee Aguilera – BCRA – 263
8. Dakota Albright – BCRA – 244
9. Matt Land – BCRA – 239
10. Brandon Leedy – BCRA - 236

The following companies have become marketing partners with the CLS in 2022. They have offered up more than $13,000.00 in contingencies that will be awarded on top of the regular racing purses and they will be paid out throughout the year. Yoshimura R&D, Hoosier Tires West, T-Shirts By Timeless, Extreme Mufflers, Saldana Racing Products, Rod End Supply, Speed Mart, Cold Fire West, West Evens Motorsports, RC Fuel Injection, Jake Swanson Shock Technology, Advanced Racing Suspensions, CSI Shocks, Eibach Springs, Triple X Race Components, King Racing Products, Hyper Racing Products, Rebel Gears, Vahlco Wheels, Wilwood Disk Brakes, Fuel Safe Systems, MPI, Circle Track Performance, E-Z UP, Hepfner Racing, Smith Titanium, and Hoosier Speed.

If you or your company would like to become a partner of the longtime racing organization, contact Jon Robertson via email at mailto:jon.robertson@sbcglobal.net or by calling (310) 367-9050.

2022 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule

March 25 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – Grant Sexton

April 2 Merced Speedway Non-Wing –– Civil War #1 – David Gasper

April 16 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – A.J. Bender

April 30 Ventura Raceway Winged (Make Up Main) David Gasper

April 30 Ventura Raceway Winged – Bobby Michnowicz

May 14 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – A.J. Bender

May 21 Ventura Raceway Winged – Eric Greco

June 11 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – David Gasper

June 25 Ventura Raceway Winged – David Gasper

July 9 Ventura Raceway Winged – David Gasper

July 23 Ventura Raceway Winged – Dave Gasper

August 6 *Santa Maria Raceway Winged – Brent Sexton

August 26 Silver Dollar Speedway Winged – Civil War #2 – Connor Spier

August 27 Placerville Speedway Winged – Civil War #3 – Bobby Michnowicz

Sept. 10 Lemoore Raceway Winged – Bobby Michnowicz

Sept. 24 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – Civil War #4

October 8 Mohave Valley Raceway Winged – With SWLS

October 29 Ventura Raceway Winged

Nov. 15 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – With USAC Midgets - Civil War #5

Nov. 17 Placerville Speedway Non-Wing – With USAC Midgets - No Points

Nov. 18 Placerville Speedway Non-Wing – With USAC Midgets - No Points

Nov. 19 Placerville Speedway Non-Wing – With USAC Midgets - No Points

*Non Points Race

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


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, 2021 David Gasper

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