C ALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CARS
22126 South Vermont, Unit A
Torrance, CA 90502
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bobby Michnowicz (310) 320-5569
For Immediate Release
MICHNOWICZ WINS 6TH LIGHTNING SPRINT MAIN OF 2017 AT VENTURA!
(Torrance, CA, September 6, 2017) Four-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series Champion Bobby Michnowicz notched his third CLS/USAC Lightning Sprint main event win in a row last Saturday night at Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway. The victory was the Lomita based driver's sixth win of the year and allowed him to pull into a second-place tie with Aiden Lange in the championship standings with four races to go in 2017.
As per usual, Michnowicz, in the Tshirts By Timeless/Pflum Wagner Racing/Fuel Safe Racing Cells/Cold Fire West/Fabozzi Metal Works/Outlaw Wings/Kaiser Wheels/Circle Track Performance/Super Shox/DLX 2011 Kawasaki ZX10, was starting in the middle of the pack. This week he was starting on the inside of the fifth row in ninth and he had some fast competitors in front of him. The first two rows featured a bevy of the youngest and fastest driver in the CLS with Gardena’s Dominic Del Monte and Eric Greco of Palmdale on the front row. The second row had Cody Nigh of Camarillo and second place in the point standings, Lange of Lakewood. The next two rows had some equally fast drivers, but all have more than a few flecks of gray in their manes. They included a pair of past champions, Brent Sexton of Lakeside and Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley in row three and Chris Dickey of Murrieta in row four along with Kingsburg’s Doug Nunes.
Del Monte, who has been coming on like gangbusters of late, got the jump over Greco at the start of the 25-lap main. Nigh, who blew engines in his own car the previous two races, was making his first ever appearance in the Zach Zauss owned #29 and he quickly relegated Greco back to third before the end of the first circuit.
Del Monte’s lead was short lived as he slid down into the infield heading into the third turn on lap two. That saw him drop from first all the way back to fifth. Nigh inherited the top spot at that point and had a comfortable lead over Greco, Lange and Sexton.
Michnowicz started getting the fans attention on lap six when he drove around the outside of Lange to take the fourth spot. One lap later, he raced around the outside of Sexton coming off turn two to move into third.
Michnowicz had obviously found his sweet spot on the racetrack and was advancing towards the front in a hurry. He closed in on second place Greco and relieved him of the runner spot at the end of the ninth lap. All that was left for him was to hack away at the comfortable lead his nephew had built and worry about the upcoming lapped traffic.
The lead duo had no problems with the lapped traffic, but it was obvious to see that Nigh was soon going to have a problem with his uncle. Michnowicz had reeled in last season’s “Rookie of the Year” and was about to make his move for the lead on lap 14 when the Kris Kornder yellow flag slowed the field for the only time in the race due to Dickey slowing on the front straight. That yellow may have thwarted Michnowicz’ attempt, but the handwriting was on the wall.
Once the green came back out Michnowicz dove to the inside and going down the back chute, he slipped by Nigh for the lead. He quickly waltzed away from the pack and built up a huge cushion between himself and his closest pursuer. Rather than play it safe, he waded into massive lapped traffic as he tore his way around the track. By the time the checkered flew on lap 25, he had lapped his way all the way past the tenth-place car.
Lange got by Nigh late in the race to finish second. Nigh took third with Nunes fourth and Kramer fifth. In addition to be the main event winner, Michnowicz was also the “Hard Charger” picking up eight spots in the race.
“I thought this was the ocean, but it is hot,” the happy winner said after exiting his car. He then responded to announcer Jim Naylor asking about him winning by half a track. “We don’t have mirrors in these cars so I kept on going. I killed my right rear. It was hot, the track got dry and slick and there were two grooves. Maybe even three if you could run your car through the black. We were fortunate to hit the set up perfect and could put the car anywhere on the track.”
Earlier in the night, Ventura local Bruce Douglass out qualified the field with a lap of 12.204 around the seaside oval. Michnowicz timed in second quick when he got around the track in 12.420 and Nunes was third fast with a time of 12.481. Douglass put in a bid to sweep the show when he won the first heat of three heat races. Nigh and Del Monte won the other two.
Michnowicz’ win pulled him into a second-place tie with Lange in the championship standings. They are 104 behind season long leader Kramer with only four-races to go. Nigh is currently fourth in the standings with Greco fifth.
The CLS gets a couple of weekends off before returning to the Bakersfield Speedway for the fourth time this year on September 23rd.
The California Lightning Sprint Car Series would like to thank the following sponsors for helping make the 2017 season possible: Christian Stover Foundation, Circle Track Performance, Cold Fire West, DK Fabrication, Extreme Muffler, Fast Undercar, Hoosier Tire, Keizer Wheels, Outlaw Wings, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Saldana Race Products, Sander Engineering, Speedmart, Speed Partz, Super Shocks, T Shirts by Timeless, Woodland Auto Display.
If you or your company would like to become part of the series for the 2017 season, please call Bobby Michnowicz at: (310) 320-5569.
To keep up with the CLS online, please visit the website at: http://racecls.com/
Ventura Raceway Main Event (with finishing positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 9th
2. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 4th
3. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 3rd
4. Doug Nunes – Kingsburg – 8th
5. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 6th
6. Brent Sexton – Lakeside – 5th
7. Kevin Michnowicz - Lomita – 13th
8. Eric Greco – Palmdale – 2nd
9. Dan Hillberg - Placentia – 15th
10. Pat Kelley – Chino – 17th
11. Ken Coulston – Bermuda Dunes – 12th
12. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena – 1st
13. James Turnbull - Indio – 14th
14. Dale Gamer - Anaheim – 11th
15. James Heling - San Bernardino – 18h
16. James Squire III – Lakeside – 19th
17. Jon Squire – El Cajon – 16th
18. Bruce Douglass – Ventura – 10th
19. Chris Dickey – Murrieta 7th
California Lightning Sprints Championship Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 1646
2. Aiden Lange - Lakewood – 1542
2. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 1542
4. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 1389
5. Eric Greco - Palmdale - 1292
6. Chris Dickey - Murrieta – 1247
7. Brent Sexton - Lakewood - 1158
8. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena - 1095
9. Wyatt Downing Lakewood – 1003
10. Dan Hillberg - Placentia – 984
2017 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule
March 11: Imperial Valley Raceway – California Midwinter Fair – Jarrett Kramer
March 12: Imperial Valley Raceway – California Midwinter Fair – Bobby Michnowicz
March 25: Bakersfield Speedway – Civil War with BCRA – Jarrett Kramer
April 8: Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Rained Out
April 22: Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
May 5: Silver Dollar Speedway – Civil War w/BCRA – Chris Dickey
May 6: Placerville Speedway – Civil War w/BCRA – Zach Keefe
May 27: Perris Auto Speedway – Salute to Indy - USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
June 3: Ventura Raceway – USAC National – A.J. Bender
June 17: Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National – Charlie Caraccilo
June 24: Santa Maria Raceway – USAC National - Chris Dickey
July 8: Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Charlie Caraccilo
August 2: Ventura Raceway – Fair Race - USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
August 26: Perris Auto Speedway– USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
September 2: Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
September 23: Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National
October 7: Ventura Raceway – Civil War w/BCRA
October 28: Ventura Raceway – USAC National
November 18: Bakersfield Speedway – Western States Lightning Championship USAC National