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CHAMPIONS KRAMER AND MICHNOWICZ OPEN LIGHTNING SPRINT SEASON WITH WINS!
(Torrance, CA, March 16, 2017)
The California Light Sprint Car Series began its 24th season with a couple of big name drivers – Jarrett Kramer and Bobby Michnowicz – posting $1,000.00 wins at the season opening races during the California Mid-Winter Fair at the Imperial Raceway last Saturday and Sunday.

Kramer, who has been an infrequent competitor in the series since winning the championship in 2010, bested the field on Saturday with Michnowicz, who is the four time and defending series champion, notching his initial win of the 2017 campaign on Sunday.

Kramer, 34, was looking for his first CLS win since the season ending race on the same Imperial Raceway track in 2015. By virtue of his fourth-place finish in the dash for the fastest eight drivers who qualified through their heat races, Kramer started fourth in the 25-lap main event. Dash winner Dan Hillberg of Placentia, 2016 CLS Rookie of the Year Cody Nigh of Camarillo and Michnowicz were starting in front of him.

Keeping it pegged on the outside at the drop of the green flag, Kramer, in his Melicious Liquids/Anarchist Mfg./Vapor Threats/Black Rhino Performance/BK Wings/Mars Customs/Showtime Motorsports/FJR/Christian Stover Foundation/Henchcraft/2008 Suzuki GSXR 1000, flew into second as the field came off turn two on the opening circuit and settled in behind Hillberg who led the first main event lap of 2017. It did not take long for the first yellow of the year to fly and that played right into Kramer’s hands. Hillberg had built up a small lead when the yellow flew, but once the green light came back on, Kramer, who calls Spring Valley home, used the same line as the opening lap and blasted around Hillberg for the lead as they came off turn two.

Once past Hillberg on the restart, Kramer led every inch of the way. His biggest challenge was lapped traffic and yellow flags and they almost cost him the race. Michnowicz had been stalking the leader and found an opening on the inside and pounced on the opportunity in lapped traffic on lap 14. A lapped car just in front of the lead duo slipped off the inside line and drifted in front of Kramer, who had nowhere to go. Kramer tapped the lapper sending him sideways in front of Michnowicz. Michnowicz’ right rear came in contact with the left front of the lapped car and the four-time champ got upside down. The flip brought out the races only red flag. Fortunately, Michnowicz was not injured, but his car was and it ended his night with a disappointing 15th-place finish.

After the red flag for Michnowicz, the race went green the rest of the way and Kramer had a comfortable 3.621 advantage at the checkered flag. Hillberg, who posted the fastest lap in the main event at 12.962, finished second followed by Nigh in third. Victorville’s Jeff Dyer, who graduated from the California Highway Patrol Academy the previous week, and two-time series champion Brent Sexton of Lakeside, who was contesting his first race in eight years, rounded out the top five.


Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley (inside) and Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita \
(outside) won the season opening California Lightning Sprint Car main events last
weekend at the Imperial Raceway. Please give photo credit to Mickey Dale.

Sunday’s show started in the middle of the afternoon and the temperatures for the show were substantially warmer. Kramer won the dash on Sunday and would start on the pole for the second 25-lapper in less than 24 hours. For many in attendance, the smart odds for the win and a sweep of the main events on the weekend were focused on Kramer. However, he had Michnowicz starting next to him on the front row.

When the green flag flew to begin the 25-lap affair, Michnowicz, who lives in Lomita and who thrashed to get his car ready after the previous night’s flip, got the jump on Kramer. The 53-year-old veteran was determined to make up for the night before and he did just that leading every single lap to secure his initial win of 2017 in the #21K T Shirts 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/Kawasaki ZX10. Kramer did anything but let Michnowicz rest and he stayed close all the way finishing just .574 behind the #21K. Dyer improved his Saturday finish by one spot taking third with Sexton and Nigh rounding out the top five. Michnowicz turned the quickest lap in the main event when he toured the oval at 14.358.

Michnowicz out qualified the field both days. On Saturday, he timed in at 12.167 to best Sexton at 12.213 and Kramer who stopped the clocks with a 12.306. Under the blazing sun on Sunday, Michnowicz quick time was over a half-second slower at 12.806. Sexton was again second fast with a 12.926 and Nigh was third at 12.931.

Murrieta’s Chris Dickey, Nigh and Sexton won the three heats on Saturday with Michnowicz, Dyer and Kramer doing likewise on Sunday. Saturday also featured a 12-lap B Main that was taken by “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance. Unfortunately, Robertson suffered a broken knee cap when he was unloading the car when he got home and may be forced to miss the next race at Bakersfield.

Rookie driver Ken Coulston of Bermuda Dunes was the “Hard Charger” for both shows. On Saturday, he picked up eight spots to finish eighth after starting 16th. Under Sunday’s daytime racing conditions, he started 18th again and picked up four sports to finish 14th.

After the first two of 18 races in 2017, Kramer has a 20-point lead over Nigh in the championship standings. Sexton is only one-point behind Nigh in third. Dyer is two-points behind Sexton. Michnowicz, who is 65-points behind Kramer, rounds out the top five.

Coulston leaves Imperial as the leading rookie with 165-points. Gardena’s Dominic Del Monte and Robb Pelmear are tied for second with 129-points each.

The CLS gets this Saturday night off before heading to the Bakersfield Speedway for the first of four 2017 appearances on March 25th. That race will be round #1 of the popular “Civil War Series” that matches the CLS against Northern California’s BCRA (Bay Cities Racing Association).

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 on line, please visit the web site at: http://racecls.com/

Saturday’s El Centro Results (with starting positions)
1. Jarrett Kramer – 4th - Spring Valley
2. Dan Hillberg – 1st – Placentia
3. Cody Nigh – 2nd – Camarillo
4. Jeff Dyer – 6th – Victorville
5. Brent Sexton – 7th – Lakeside
6. Aiden Lange – 11th – Lakewood
7. Wyatt Downing – 9th – Lakewood
8. Ken Coulston -16th – Bermuda Dunes
9. Eric Greco – 8th – Palmdale
10. John Robertson – 13th – Torrance
12. James Heling – 10th – San Bernardino
13. Dominic Del Monte – 17th – Gardena
14. James Turnbull – 20th – Indio
15. Bobby Michnowicz – 3rd – Lomita
16. Robb Pelmear – 18th – Gardena
17. Mike Kotlinski – 14th – Nuevo
18. Pat Kelley – 15th – Chino
19. Chris Dickey – 12th – Murrieta
20. Jon Simms – 19th – Carlsbad

Sunday’s El Centro Results (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz – 2nd – Lomita
2. Jarrett Kramer – 1st – Spring Valley
3. Jeff Dyer – 4th – Victorville
4. Brent Sexton – 3rd – Lakeside
5. Cody Nigh – 5th – Camarillo
6. Aiden Lange – 7th – Lakewood
7. Jon Squire – 6th – El Cajon
8. Wyatt Downing – 9th – Lakewood
9. Eric Greco – 11th – Palmdale
10. Chris Dickey – 8th – Murrieta
11. Dale Gamer – 14th – Anaheim
12. James Heling – 13th – San Bernardino
13. James Squire III – 10th – Lakeside
14. Ken Coulston – 18th – Bermuda Dunes
15. Robb Pelmear – 16th – Ventura
16. John Nelson – 17th – Norco
17. Jon Simms – 20th – Carlsbad
18. Dominic Del Monte - 19th – Gardena
19. Jon Robertson – 12th – Torrance
20. James Turnbull – 15th – Indio

California Lightning Sprints Championship Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 271
2. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 251
3. Brent Sexton – Lakeside – 250
4. Jeff Dyer – Victorville – 248
5. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita -226
6. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 222
7. Wyatt Downing – 203 – Lakewood
8. Eric Greco – 183 – Palmdale
9. Ken Coulston – 165 – Bermuda Dunes
10. James Heling – 164 – San Bernardino

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
April 8: Ventura Raceway – USAC National
April 22: Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National
May 5: Silver Dollar Speedway – Civil War w/BCRA
May 6: Placerville Speedway – Civil War w/BCRA
May 27: Perris Auto Speedway – Salute to Indy - USAC National
June 3: Ventura Raceway – USAC National
June 17: Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National
June 24: Santa Maria Raceway – USAC National
July 8: Ventura Raceway – USAC National
August 2: Ventura Raceway – Fair Race - USAC National
August 26: Perris Auto Speedway – Hall of Fame Race– USAC National
September 2: Ventura Raceway – USAC National
September 23: Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National
October 7: Ventura Raceway – Civil War w/BCRA
October 28: Ventura Raceway – USAC National
-----------------------------------------------
**=Proposed Date.
This schedule is subject to change.

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.

This press release was produced by Scott Daloisio Sports (909) 226-7768