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(Torrance, CA, March 8, 2023)
The California Lightning Sprint Car Series returns to action to begin its 29th season this Friday and Saturday, March 10th, and 11th, during the California Mid-Winter Fair at the Imperial Valley Raceway. The two races will be the first of a 21-race campaign that will take the club to seven different venues in 2023. The weekend’s races will be co-sanctioned with the POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Car Series and will be the first two rounds of the six-race “CLS/SWLS Best of the West Series.”

The doubleheader at Imperial is expected to draw a large field of lightning sprint cars. Heading the list of entries is five-time CLS champion Bobby Michnowicz of Oak Hills and defending SWLS champion Brent Sexton of Lakeside. Among the top stars expected to join the over 50-year-old pair of multi-time champions this weekend are Palmdale’s Eric Greco, 2022 CLS Rookie of the Year Connor Speir of Fillmore, Yucca Valley’s Jeff Dyer, Lakeside’s Dalton Sexton, SWLS Rookie of the Year Cody Griggs of Lakeside, Gardena’s Dominic Del Monte, USAC/CRA Sprint Car Star A.J. Bender of San Diego, “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance, and C.J. Marin of Imperial Beach

The fight for the CLS championship will be wide open in 2023. Santa Barbara teenager David Gasper, who was Rookie of the Year in 2021 and who won both the CLS and “Civil War Series” titles in 2021 and 2022, is stepping aside to concentrate on racing in the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series. Among the drivers who finished in the top 10 who will be vying for the 2023 title will be Michnowicz, Speir, Greco, Robertson, Gardena’s Dominic Del Monte, and Pat Kelley of Chino.

Many consider Michnowicz to be the favorite for the 2023 title. A veteran who has raced for over 50 years, he got off to a slow start in 2022 due to mechanical gremlins at the start of the year. He caught fire in late August and won four of six series races through the middle of November. Those triumphs propelled the popular 59-year-old to the fourth spot in the final championship standings.

In 22 CLS races in 2022, seven different drivers won main events. Gasper led the way with seven victories. Michnowicz triumphed five times. San Diego’s A.J. Bender, who will be driving for Sexton Gatlin Racing at Imperial, was the first to the checkered flag on four occasions. The father and son combo of Brent and Grant Sexton had two wins each. Greco and Speir recorded one victory apiece.

For this weekend’s races, the following companies have donated bonuses totaling $675.00 ($1,350.00 total) to the purse each night. T Shirts By Timeless, Min-Kota Lightning Sprints, Little Mrs. Coors Light, Dyer Motorsports, Savage Racing Design, Olson Underground Inc., Premier Roofing Inc., SRK Racing, Sexton Fire Protection, CLS Officials The Cosseys, AG Sand Cars/Triple XXX Race Cars, Cakes By Kim/Betty Crocker Pit Stop, and DroneDude on Instagram.

The lightning sprints will not be the only open-wheel cars in action on Friday and Saturday. The Southern California Open Class Non-Wing Sprint Cars will also be competing on the same card. Racing will begin at 6:00 p.m. each night. Fair spectator gates will open at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and noon on Saturday. Kids 18 and under get into the races for free with their ticket to the fair. Admission to those 19 and over will require an extra ticket. The fairgrounds is located at 200 East 2nd Street in Imperial, California.

The drivers and cars of the CLS will have little time to rest on their laurels before returning to action at the Bakersfield Speedway for round #3 of the 2023 campaign on March 18th.

The following companies are marketing partners with the CLS in 2023. Hoosier Tires West, T-Shirts By Timeless, Extreme Mufflers, and RacingJunk.com. if you or your company would like to be a marketing partner with the CLS, please get in touch with Jon Robertson using the contact information at the top of this release.

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

2023 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule

March 10 Imperial Raceway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #1

March 11 Imperial Raceway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #2

March 18 Bakersfield Speedway CLS With USAC Western Midgets

April 1 Mohave Valley Raceway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #3 With USAC/CRA Sprint Cars

April 8 Bakersfield Speedway CLS With USAC 360 Sprint Cars

May 13 Ventura Raceway CLS With USAC 360 Sprint Cars

May 20 Bakersfield Speedway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #4

June 3 Bakersfield Speedway CLS/BCRA “Civil War Series Round” #1 With USAC 360 Sprint Cars

June 17 Ventura Raceway CLS With USAC 360 Sprint Cars Wagsdash

July 8 Ventura Raceway CLS

July 22 Ventura Raceway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #5

August 19 Ocean Speedway CLS/BCRA “Civil War Series” Round #2, Johnny Key Classic

September 9 Bakersfield Speedway CLS/BCRA “Civil War Series” Round #3

September 23 Ventura Raceway CLS

October 7 Merced Speedway CLS/BCRA “Civil War Series” Round #4, Wayne Albright Memorial Non Wing

October 14 Mohave Valley Speedway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #6 With USAC/CRA Sprint Cars

October 28 Ventura Raceway CLS

November 14 Bakersfield Speedway CLS With USAC National Midgets

November 16 Placerville Speedway “Hangtown 100” No Points Non Wing

November 17 Placerville Speedway “Hangtown 100” No Points Non Wing

November 18 Placerville Speedway “Hangtown 100” No Points Non Wing

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, 2022 David Gasper

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