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(Torrance, CA, March 27, 2023)
Shaking off the disappointment of a rainout at the Bakersfield Speedway two weeks ago, the California Lightning Sprint Car Series continues its 29th season this Saturday night, April 1st, at Arizona’s Mohave Valley Raceway. The race will be round #3 of the “Best of the West” series that is co-sanctioned by the CLS and the POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Cars. Spectator gates at the track that is located just across the Colorado River from Needles, California, will open at 5 PM and the first race will be at 7:00.

First in points Bobby Michnowicz (left) annd 2nd in points Brent Sexton (right) surround March 11 winner Braden Chiarmonte at Imperial. CLS Photo.

Going into the race, a pair of longtime drivers who are both over a half-century old, Bobby Michnowicz of Oak Hills and Lakeside’s Brent Sexton, are ranked first and second in the championship standings. Michnowicz, the five-time CLS champion, leads Sexton, a two-time CLS champ and the defending SWLS top dawg, by a mere four points going into this weekend’s show. They are also ranked first and second in the “Best of the West” points. In the season-opening doubleheader three weeks ago at the Imperial Valley Raceway, Michnowicz, 59, got the best of Sexton, 50, on the first night when he placed second. Sexton was two spots behind in fourth. Twenty-four hours later they flip-flopped their positions when Sexton placed second and Michnowicz came home third.

While the two longtime veterans are ranked first and second, third in the standings is young Eric Greco. The Palmdale-based driver started on the front row and led both races at Imperial. He finished the first race in the third spot and was fourth the following night. He enters this week’s bash at the “Copper State” track just one point behind Sexton and four behind leader Michnowicz.

USAC/CRA 410 sprint car star AJ Bender of San Diego is currently fourth in the standings. 2022 CLS “Rookie of the Year” Connor Speir of Fillmore rounds out the top five. Bender won the first main event of the year at Imperial on March 10th. The next night, his SGR teammate, Braden Chiaramonte, took home the main event gold.

El Cajon’s Robby Brockman, who contested his first ever lightning sprint car races at Imperial, is sixth in the championship standings. In addition, he is the current leader in the 2023 CLS “Rookie of the Year” chase.

Last year the CLS and SWLS co-sanctioned a race at Mohave Valley on October 8th. In one of the best races in the 29-year history of the CLS, Sexton beat Bender and Dalton Sexton (Brent’s oldest son) to the checkers in a late race barn burner.

CLS drivers and fans will be getting their first look at the newly revamped Mohave Valley Raceway track surface. Over the offseason, track officials recut the track and applied banking on each end. The track is much faster than when the club last appeared there and three and four-abreast action will see a dramatic increase.

In addition to the lightning sprints, the powerful USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will be making its first of three 2023 appearances at Mohave Valley. Dwarf Cars will also be in action.

After Saturday, the CLS will get right back at it one week later at the Bakersfield Speedway.

For fans who wish to take in this week’s race at the Mohave Valley Raceway, the track is located at 2750 E. Laguna in Mohave Valley, Arizona. (86440) It is just minutes away from the Colorado River and only 20 minutes from Laughlin, Nevada. Adult tickets are $25.00. For seniors 60 and over it is $20.00. For active military with proper id it is $20.00. Kids 6-12 get in for $5.00 and children five and under are free. Parking is free. It is cash only for tickets (no ATMs on site). Concessions, souvenirs, and the beer garden take cash or cards. For more information, the track website is https://www.mohavevalleyraceway.com/ and the office phone is (928) 346-6000.

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 Point Standings and Best of the West Standings
1. Bobby Michnowicz, Lomita, CA, CLS … 253
2. Brent Sexton, Lakeside, CA, SWLS … 249
3. Eric Greco, Palmdale, CA, CLS … 248
4. AJ Bender, San Diego, CA, SWLS … 227
5. Connor Speir, Fillmore, CA, CLS … 188
6. Robby Brockman, El Cajon, CA, SWLS … 161
7. Kevin Bates, San Diego, CA, SWLS … 158
7. Seth Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA, CLS … 158
9. Jeff Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA, CLS … 154
10. Jon Robertson, Torrance, CA, CLS … 147

2023 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule

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

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

March 18 Bakersfield Speedway CLS With USAC Western Midgets Rained Out

April 1 Mohave Valley Raceway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #3

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