Home Page
Latest News
Race Results
Point Standings
Race Schedule
Photo Gallery
Video Clips
Race Tracks
CLS Rules
Racer Information
CLS Awards
CLS Race Gear
Pit Chatter
Racing Links
Contact Us


(Torrance, CA, August 15, 2023)
For the California Lightning Sprint car series, this Saturday will be a historic night. For the first time in the 29-season history of the CLS, it will be racing at the Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, California at the 63rd Johnny Key Classic. In addition, it will be round #2 of the Civil War Series that annually matches the CLS vs Northern California’s Bay Cities Racing Association. Gates for Saturday’s prestigious night of racing will open at 3:30 and racing will start at 5:15.

Round #1 of the 2023 Civil War Series was held at the Bakersfield Speedway on June 3rd. At the opener, California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Dyer of Yucca Valley ended up scoring a convincing win over fellow CLS driver Eric Greco of Palmdale. BCRA drivers Greg Dennett of Fremont and Dakota Albright of Waterford finished third and fourth with 2022 CLS Rookie of the Year Connor Speir of Fillmore taking fifth. Those racers comprise the first five spots in the Civil War standings with Dyer leading Greco by five points and Dennett by 10.

As well as Civil War points, Saturday’s competition will be race 10 of 18 in the CLS season-long standings. Thus far, five drivers have posted wins in the first nine races. A bad omen for most of the competition is the recent performances of Oak Hills veteran Bobby Michnowicz. Through the first four races of the campaign, the new grandpa had three second-place results and placed third one time. Since then, the 59-year-old has gone on a rampage winning four of the last five races. The only race he did not win among the five was when electrical problems knocked him out of action at the Civil War opener.

Besides Michnowicz, only one other driver has more than one C LS win in 2023. USAC/CRA regular AJ Bender of San Diego captured the season opener at the Imperial Valley Raceway in March and backed that up with a win at Bakersfield on April 8. Drivers with single wins this year are 1999 and 2008 CLS champion Brent Sexton of Lakeside, talented El Cajon teenager Braden Chiaramonte and Dyer.

Michnowicz, who has won the CLS championship five times (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017), comes into Saturday with a 49-point lead over Greco in the regular season championship standings. Greco has finished in the top four in seven of the first nine races. Dyer, “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance, and Speir are third through fifth entering the second half of the season.

In addition to the CLS vs BCRA clash at Ocean, the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo will combine forces with the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards on Saturday. Hobby stocks will also be on the card. Adult tickets to the night of edge-of-your-seat racing cost $30.00. Juniors 12-17 are $15.00 and kids 11 and under get in for free. Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds at 2601 E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville (95076). The track website is www.oceanspeedway.com and the office phone is (831) 688-7223.

After Saturday’s race, the CLS is off until its next clash with the BCRA in round #3 of the Civil War Series at Bakersfield on September 9th. The four-race mini-series will come to a conclusion with the running of the annual Wayne Albright Memorial at the Merced Speedway on September 30th. That race was originally scheduled for October 7th but has been moved up a week due to another event on the fairgrounds.

The following companies are marketing partners with the CLS in 2023. Hoosier Tires West, T-Shirts By Timeless, Extreme Mufflers, RacingJunk.com, Advanced Racing Suspension, King Racing Products, BR Motorsports, EZ Up, RC Fuel Injection, and Triple X. If you or your company would like to be a marketing partner with the CLS, please contact 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
1. Bobby Michnowicz, Lomita, CA … 1121
2. Eric Greco, Palmdale, CA … 1072
3. Jeff Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA … 998
4. Jon Robertson, Torrance, CA … 858
5. Connor Speir, Fillmore, CA … 761
6. Seth Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA … 727
7. Pat Kelley, Chino, CA … 661
8. Aiden Lange, Lakewood, CA … 648
9. AJ Bender, San Diego, CA … 611
10. Brent Sexton, Lakeside, CA … 591

2023 CLS vs SWLS Best of the West Standings
1. Bobby Michnowicz, Lomita, CA, CLS … 666
1. Eric Greco, Palmdale, CA, CLS … 602
3. Jeff Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA, CLS … 535
4. Brent Sexton, Lakeside, CA. SWLS … 490
5. Connor Speir, Fillmore, CA, CLS … 447
5. Jon Robertson, Torrance, CA, CLS … 447
7. Seth Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA, CLS … 438
8. Pat Kelley, Chino, CA, CLS … 403
9. Cody Griggs, Lakeside, CA, SWLS … 299
10. Robbie Brockman, El Cajon, CA, SWLS … 280

CLS vs BCRA Civil War Standings
1. Jeff Dyer, CLS … 135
2. Eric Greco, CLS … 130
3. Greg Dennett, BCRA … 125
4. Dakota Albright, BCRA … 118
5. Connor Speir, CLS … 105
6. Brent Sexton, CLS … 101
7. Josef Ferolito, BCRA … 96
8. Jon Robertson, CLS … 93
9. Aiden Lange, CLS … 88
10. Seth Dyer, CLS … 82

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 Brent Sexton

April 8 Bakersfield Speedway CLS AJ Bender

May 13 Ventura Raceway CLS With USAC 360 Sprint Cars Bobby Michnowicz

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

June 3 Bakersfield Speedway CLS/BCRA “Civil War Series Round” #1 Jeff Dyer

June 17 Ventura Raceway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #5 Bobby Michnowicz

July 8 Ventura Raceway CLS Bobby Michnowicz

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

September 30 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