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(Torrance, CA, July 14, 2017) Madera’s Charlie Caracillo won his second California Lightning Sprint Car/USAC race in less than a month when he outdistanced the field at Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway last Saturday night.

While the rest of Southern California sweltered under a relentless heat wave, it was a great night for the CLS to be at Ventura. Located on the beach at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, the cool breeze coming off the Pacific Ocean kept the fans and competitors comfortable during the night of action.

Ventura local Bruce Douglass started the night off when he out qualified the 19-car field with a brisk lap of 12.914. Fast driving teen Aiden Lange of Lakewood was second quick with a time of 12.941 and series point leader Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley timed in third fastest at 13.115.

The 25-lap main was proceeded by three heat races. The wins went to Ventura local Robb Pelmear, four-time CLS Champ Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita and Palmdale’s Eric Greco who started his CLS career 364 days earlier at Ventura.

For the main event, “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance and Lakewood’s Wyatt Downing manned the first row. Caracillo, who qualified sixth fastest and finished second in his heat, was on the inside of row two with Murrieta’s Chris Dickey alongside. Cody Nigh of Camarillo, last year’s “Rookie of the Year,” and Kramer occupied the third stanza.

Once the green flag sent the field on the way, Robertson took the initial lead with Caracillo, in the Jasper Engines & Transmissions/Sterling Auto Repair/Tom’s Truck Repair/Campus Automotive/Fast Line Cycles/DLX/Suzuki GSXR 1000 #87, quickly getting by Downing for second. Caraccilo was not waiting around and took the lead from Robertson in turn three on the second lap. That did not bode well for the competition as he was in front with a lot of clear racetrack in front of him.

Nigh and Dickey found themselves running third and fourth on lap three and they set their aim on second place Robertson. Behind them, fast qualifier Douglass was closing in fast. By the end of the fourth lap, Caraccilo was over a half straight in front of Robertson. A little further behind him, Douglass used a sweet inside move coming off of turn four and passed both Dickey and Nigh to go from fifth to third in one fell swoop.

Douglass shot by Robertson on the seventh lap, but by that time Caracillo had nearly a full straight advantage. By the tenth lap, the leader was into heavy lapped traffic. About the same time, Michnowicz, who started 12th, started picking off cars and was headed toward the podium positions.

Michnowicz broke into the top five on lap 16 getting by his nephew Nigh and then with an aggressive move, he shot by Kramer at the end of the lap. While there was plenty of action in the middle of the field, the lead produced some unexpected action as well. In lapped traffic, Douglass momentarily stole the top spot away. Caracillo quickly reclaimed his prized possession.

Starter Kris Kornder kept his yellow flag neatly tucked away until it was necessary to reveal its ugly head late in the go. There were only six laps remaining and Caraccilo had the hounds on his rear end for the restart. Douglass was second, Dickey third, Michnowicz fourth and Kramer was fifth.

Caracillo smoked em’ all on the restart and led by three-car before another lap was in the books. Michnowicz knifed his way inside of Dickey on the restart for third, but could make no headway on Douglass. By that time, Caracillo was calculating what he was going to spend the winner’s check on. At the checkered, Caracillo was just about up to lapped traffic again and he bagged his second CLS main of the campaign. Douglass, Michnowicz, Dickey and Kramer filled out the next five spots.

Michnowicz ended up being the race “Hard Charger” again going from 12th to third in the main event.

“The 31 got by me a couple of times in traffic,” Caracillo told infield announcer Tammi Velasquez. “I really wasn’t that good. I made a shock adjustment right before the start. It was a tough race with lots of traffic. You get 20 guys on this track and you have guys who are just starting out, you are going to get into traffic.”

The CLS teams get an unaccustomed four weeks off before the next race which is back at Ventura on August 2nd during the Ventura County Fair. Going into that race, Kramer will have a 64-point lead over Lange in the championship standings. Nigh is 23-points out of second with Michnowicz and Greco filling out the fourth and fifth spots.

The CLS is pleased to announce and addition to the 2017 schedule. On November 18th, the CLS will join the USAC National Midgets at the Bakersfield Speedway. Presented by TShirts by Timeless, the race will be named “The Western States Lightning Sprints Championship.” It will pay $1,000.00 to win and will be a full points paying CLS and USAC National race. CLS officials are hoping that in addition to the series regulars, cars from Northern California, Washington and Colorado will also be on hand to battle for the top prize.

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:


Ventura Main Event (with starting positions)
1. Charlie Caraccilo – Madera – 3rd
2. Bruce Douglass – Ventura – 8th
3. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 12th
4. Chris Dickey – Murrieta – 4th
5. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 5th
6. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 6th
7. Aiden Lange – Lakewood – 7th
8. Eric Greco – Palmdale – 9th
9. Jon Robertson – Torrance – 1st
10. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 16th
11. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena – 15th
12. James Turnbull – Indio – 17th
13. Robb Pelmear – Ventura – 11th
14. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 13th
15. Pat Kelley – Chino – 10th
16. Mike Kotlinski – Nuevo – 18th
17. Wyatt Downing – Lakewood – 2nd
18. Zach Zauss – Murrieta – 14th

California Lightning Sprints Championship Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley – 1297
2. Aiden Lange - Lakewood – 1233
3. Cody Nigh – Camarillo – 1210
4. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 1116
5. Eric Greco – Palmdale - 1047
6. Chris Dickey – Murrieta – 985
7. Wyatt Downing Lakewood - 890
8. Brent Sexton – Lakeside - 812
9. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena – 801
10. Dan Hillberg - Placentia – 773

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
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
November 18: Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National
**=Proposed Date.
This schedule is subject to change.

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