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MICHNOWICZ WINS CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR MAIN AT BAKERSFIELD!
(Torrance, CA, April 25, 2017) Four-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series champion Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita captured his second main event of 2017 when the CLS visited “The West’s Fastest 1/3 High Banked Clay Oval,” the Bakersfield Speedway, last Saturday night. The race was the first ever for the CLS under the banner of the USAC (the United States Auto Club).

For the 20-lap main event, 2016 Rookie of the Year Cody Nigh of Camarillo was on the pole with 2017 leading rookie Ken Coulston of Bermuda Dunes alongside. Teenage racer Aiden Lange of Lakewood was on the inside of second row and had Chino Veteran Pat Kelley to his right. Row number three was a tough one featuring Jeff “Ponch” Dyer of Bermuda Dunes and two-time 2017 winner Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley. Michnowicz was on the inside of the fourth row and was joined by always tough visitor Charlie Caraccilo of Madera.

Nigh, who is just weeks away from graduation at San Diego State University, got the jump on the start. However, by the end of the first circuit, the impressive Coulston had asserted himself in the top spot. Dyer quickly raced into third with Lange fourth.

Michnowicz had gotten by four cars early on and was up to fifth on the fourth lap. By that time, Coulston had opened a near half straight lead and was looking like anything, but a rookie. Soon thereafter, the yellow flew when Temecula’s Chris Dickey and his car owner Kelley came together forcing Dickey to stop on the track. That put an end to Coulston’s massive lead as the hounds would be on his tail as soon as the race went back to green.

The leader board showed Coulston, Nigh, Dyer, Lange and Michnowicz making up the top five for the restart with 16-laps to go. Nigh went to the inside for the restart and Coulston kept it wide as they raced side by side for the point position. They battled that way for two laps before Coulston re-asserted himself at the front. Just behind them, Dyer and Michnowicz became embroiled in a war for the third spot.

Things unraveled for leader Coulston at the end of the eighth-lap when he slapped the outside wall. He quickly recovered, but by that time he had dropped back to fourth. Dyer and Michnowicz seized the opportunity and went hard into turn one fighting for the lead. Dyer, on the outside, bobbled in turn one and that propelled Michnowicz, 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, into a three-length advantage.

With Michnowicz at the point and headed for lapped traffic, Nigh moved in and started fighting Dyer for second. Tucked in right behind them was series point leader Kramer. By lap 11, the leaders caught up to a huge pack of lapped cars. Michnowicz had no issue with the lappers and negotiated by them with relative ease. Kramer did likewise and got by Dyer and Nigh at the same time to find himself in the second-place spot. Caraccilo had worked his way up to third and then the yellow flew again with five circuits to go.

For the restart, with just five laps remaining, the lapped cars were sent to the back setting up a showdown for the win. However, before the green flew again, Caraccilo slowed and pulled to infield in turn three. That handed the third-place spot back to Dyer.

Once the green light came back on, Michnowicz blasted away from the remainder of the field. Dyer momentarily slipped past Kramer for second, but the 2010 series champ took the spot back with two laps to go. By that time, it was too late to chase down the leader and “The California Flash,” who was back into the lapped traffic, won by nearly a half straightaway. Kramer, Dyer, Placentia’s Dan Hillberg and Nigh rounded out the top five.

By picking up eight spots from his ninth starting position, winner Michnowicz was also the main event “Hard Charger.”

Before the main event, Michnowicz, Coulston and Ventura’s Bruce Douglass won the eight-lap heat races. Douglass prevented Michnowicz from scoring a clean sweep on the night when he set the fast-qualifying time in the 22-car field with a time of 13.280. Michnowicz was second quick at 13.310 and Caraccilo timed in third at 13.312.

Kramer, who is off to a phenomenal start in 2017 with two wins and two second place finishes in the first four races, expanded his point lead from 29-points to 44 over second place Nigh in the championship standings. Dyer is currently third with Aiden Lange and Michnowicz rounding out the top five.

This CLS will take this Saturday night off before heading north for a pair of races against BCRA in the “Civil Wars Series” next Friday and Saturday, May 5th and 6th, at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico and the Placerville Speedway.

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/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/californialightningsprints/

Bakersfield Main Event (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 9th
2. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 6th
3. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes – 5th
4. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 7th
5. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 1st
6. Chris Dickey – Temecula – 12th
7. Ken Coulston – Bermuda Dunes – 2nd
8. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 3rd
9. Pat Kelley – Chino – 4th
10. Eric Greco – Palmdale – 14th
11. Bruce Douglass – Ventura – 10th
12. Wyatt Downing – Lakewood – 11th
13. Jon Robertson – Torrance – 15th
14. James Heling – San Bernardino – 20th
15. James Squire III – Lakeside - 18th
16. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena – 17th
17. Jon Squire – El Cajon – 13th
18. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 16th
19. James Turnbull – Indio - 19th
20. Charlie Caraccilo – Madera – 8th

California Lightning Sprints Championship Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 545
2. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 501
3. Jeff Dyer - Victorville – 439
4. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 436
5. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita - 392
6. Brent Sexton - Lakeside – 379
7. Dan Hillberg – Placentia - 368
8. Ken Coulston – Bermuda Dunes - 365
8. Wyatt Downing - Lakewood - 365
10. Eric Greco – Palmdale - 361

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
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