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(Torrance, CA, March 13, 2018) The California Lightning Sprint Car Series will kick off its historic 25th anniversary season this Saturday night, March 17th, at the Bakersfield Speedway. Spectator gates will open at 4:00 P.M. with racing at 6:00. The USAC Western Midgets, IMCA Stock Cars and American Stocks will also be on the program.

Saturday’s race will be the first of 18 on the silver anniversary CLS schedule. The original calendar released in December featured 17 races, but the club recently announced that it will be returning to the Barona Speedway for the first time in years on May 19th for the Jim Squire Memorial.

Veteran Bobby Michnowicz, who has won five of the last six CLS titles, and the remainder of the 2017 series regulars, including two-time series champion Brent Sexton of Lakeside and Spring Valley’s Jarrett Kramer who won the crown in 2010, will all be in action on Saturday night.

In addition to Sexton, who came back to the series in 2017 after several years off, the series will gain his two teenage sons, Dalton and Grant, who will be rookies this year.

A couple of veterans from the past are coming back into the series full-time in 2018. Past title contender Guy Maresch of Anaheim Hills and Bakersfield driver Wink Schweitzer plan on being series regulars. Schweitzer’s brother Mike, who owns Wink’s car, will also be fielding another car with a driver yet to be named.

The Ventura Raceway will once again be the CLS home track as it hosts seven races. Bakersfield Speedway will stage five races. Perris Auto Speedway and the Placerville Speedway will host two events each. Barona Speedway and the Santa Maria Raceway will each see the CLS one time in 2018.

For the second year in a row, the CLS will be part of the USAC National Lightning Sprint Car Series. As well as earning CLS points, drivers will also be earning points in the USAC National Series that pits them against Lightning Sprint drivers in other regions of the country. In 2017, three CLS drivers – Bobby Michnowicz (3rd), Jarrett Kramer (4th) and Aiden Lange (7th) – placed in the top 10 in USAC National points.

Fans wishing to attend Saturday’s race at Bakersfield can find the track at 5001 N. Chester Ext., Bakersfield (93308). The track website is and the track phone is (661) 393-3372.

March 17 – Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National

March 24 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National

April 14 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National

April 21 – Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National

May 5 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National

May 19th – Barona Speedway – Jim Squire Memorial

May 26 – Perris Auto Speedway – USAC National – Salute to Indy

June 16 – Bakersfield Speedway – Civil War vs BCRA

July 7 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National

July 21 – Santa Maria Raceway – Civil War vs BCRA

August 1 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Ventura County Fair

August 18 – Perris Auto Speedway – USAC National – California Racer’s Hall of Fame Night

September 8 – Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National

September 21 – Placerville Speedway – Civil War vs BCRA

September 22 – Placerville Speedway – Civil War vs BCRA

October 6 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National

October 27 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National

November 17- Bakersfield Speedway USAC National with USAC National and Western Midgets
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.

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