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AFTER A NEARLY TWO-YEAR ABSENCE, THE CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CARS RETURN TO SANTA MARIA
(Torrance, CA, July 1, 2024)
For the first time in nearly two years, the California Lightning Sprint Car Series will be racing this coming Saturday night, July 6th, at the Santa Maria Speedway. The race will carry a purse that pays $500.00 to the winner and $100.00 just to start, courtesy of Channel Islands Floorcoverings, T Shirts By Timeless, and R&R Racing.



Coming off a two-week break in the 2024 schedule, six-time champion and current point leader Bobby Michnowicz of Oak Hills, and Palmdale’s Eric Greco, who won the last series race on June 15th at the Bakersfield Speedway, will head Saturday’s lineup. Michnowicz, who has won half of the series eight races in 2024, saw his lead in the championship standings slashed to 67 points when he left the Bakersfield race early due to electrical problems. Second in the championship chase going into Saturday’s race is Michnowicz's nephew, Cody Nigh of Camarillo. Greco, whose victory at the “Okie Bowl” was his first of the season, is third in the standings and trails the leader by 100 points. Seventeen-year-old Seth Dyer, who led the first nine laps at Bakersfield before his engine dropped a valve, is fourth, with Torrance resident “Rockstar” Jon Robertson fifth.

A regular stop in the past for the CLS, the track, which opened in 1964, was shuttered in the middle of the 2021 season. Before the track closed that year, Greco and San Diego’s AJ Bender split the two CLS main events on the 1/3 mile banked clay oval. When the doors closed in 2021, rumors that the track was done swirled in the racing industry. However, management did stage a race on August 6, 2022. The CLS was part of that program, and two-time series champion Brent Sexton posted the victory.

The track closed again after the August 2022 event and did not hold races in 2023, causing rumors of permanent closure. Fortunately, the famous racing Pombo family stepped in. They spent countless hours reviving the track, which reopened three weeks ago in front of a large crowd. After Saturday’s race, the CLS will return to Santa Maria for round #2 of the Civil War Series vs. the BCRA on July 27th.

In addition to the CLS, the popular Avanti Windows and Doors USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, SoCal Dwarfs, and Mini Stocks will also be in action. The gates for Saturday’s race will open at 4:00 p.m. Qualifying will begin at 5:00 p.m., and the first race will start at 6:00. Adult tickets are $25.00. Seniors and military get in for $23.00. For kids 6-12, it is only $5.00, and children 5 and under are free. The track is located at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo. The track website is https://santamariaspeedway.net/.

The CLS would like to thank the following companies for being partners in the 2024 season. Extreme Mufflers, RacingJunk.com and Hoosier Tire.

California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Bobby Michnowicz, Oak Hills, CA … 886
2. Cody Nigh, Camarillo, CA … 819
3. Eric Greco, Palmdale, CA … 786
4. Seth Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA … 700
5. Jon Robertson, Torrance, CA … 698
6. Zate Legend, Riverside, CA … 697
7. Connor Speir, Fillmore, CA … 678
8. Jeff Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA … 651
9. Broedy Graham, Bakersfield, CA … 470
10. Pat Kelley, Chino, CA … 419

2024 CLS Lap Leaders
Michnowicz, Bobby … 92
Speir, Connor … 20
Dyer, Jeff … 17
Lange, Aiden … 16
Greco, Eric … 16
Bender, AJ … 15
Dyer, Seth … 9
Nigh, Cody … 4
Dennett, Greg … 1

2024 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule

March 1 Imperial Valley Raceway Mid-Winter Fair Aiden Lange

March 2 Imperial Valley Raceway Mid-Winter Fair Connor Speir

March 9 Bakersfield Speedway CLS Bobby Michnowicz

April 13 Merced Speedway CSL vs BCRA Civil War #1 Rained Out

April 20 Bakersfield Speedway CLS Bobby Michnowicz

May 4 Ventura Raceway CLS AJ Bender

May 18 Bakersfield Speedway CLS Bobby Michnowicz

June 8 Ventura Raceway CLS Bobby Michnowicz

June 15 Bakersfield Speedway CLS Eric Greco

July 6 Santa Maria Speedway CLS

July 27 Santa Maria Speedway CLS vs BCRA Civil War #2

September 13 Bakersfield Speedway CLS vs BCRA Civil War #3

September 14 Ventura Raceway CLS

September 28 Ventura Raceway CLS

October 5 Merced Speedway CLS vs BCRA Civil War #4 Albright Memorial

October 26 Ventura Raceway CLS

November 15 Placerville Speedway Hangtown 100 – No Points

November 16 Placerville Speedway Hangtown 100 – No Points

November 26 Bakersfield Speedway CLS

To keep up with the CLS online, please visit the website at http://racecls.com/ and follow on the club’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/californialightningsprints.

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, 2021 David Gasper, 2022 David Gasper, 2023 Bobby Michnowicz

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