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AIDEN LANGE GETS FIRST CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR WIN!
(Torrance, CA, April 25, 2018) Teenage star Aiden Lange of Lakewood, California won his first ever USAC/California Lightning Sprint Car main event when he outdistanced five-time series champion Bobby Michnowicz at the Bakersfield Speedway last Saturday night. For Lange, it was his second win in three starts in 2018 as he also captured the BCRA season opener at the Placerville Speedway earlier in the month.

Lange (Langeford Farms/Uncle Brad Motorsports/Kopp's Custom Guitars/RandalZWarranty Service/Replika Maschinen/Chris's Precision Machine/JDR Graphics/T-Shirts by Timeless/Jim Ryan/EMI Henchcraft/Suzuki GSXR 1000), in his third season with the CLS, started off his night by timing in sixth fast in the 20-car field with a lap of 13.069. Two-time series champion Brent Sexton of Lakewood topped the time charts when he toured the longtime Kern County clay oval with a lap of 12.808. Lomita based Michnowicz, who won the main event the previous week at Ventura, was second quick at 12.849 with Kingsburg’s Doug Nunes third at 12.985.

California Highway Patrol officer Jeff “Ponch” Dyer of Bermuda Dunes, Spring Valley’s Jarrett Kramer and Lange emerged victorious in the three eight-lap heat races.

Lange’s sixth fast time combined with his heat race victory placed him on the pole for the 20-lap main. Kramer started next to Lange on the front row. The second row was made up of youngster Dominic Del Monte of Gardena and Nunes, with Michnowicz and fast qualifier Sexton in row three.




Lange won his first California Lightning Sprint Car Series main event last Saturday at the Bakersfield Speedway. California Lightning Sprint Car Series photo.


Lange got the drop on the start and led the first circuit over Kramer and Del Monte. As Lange started to open up a lead, Kramer and Del Monte had a fierce battle for second over the first two laps. Finally, on the third circuit, Kramer, who was the 2010 CLS Champion, asserted himself and claimed the spot. Michnowicz forced youngster Del Monte back to fourth when he swooped inside of him in turn one on the fourth lap. Del Monte showed tremendous poise by going right back by Michnowicz on the back chute, but by the end of the lap, Michnowicz used the outside to reclaim third.

By the end of the sixth go around, leader Lange found himself in lapped traffic and he had Kramer right behind. The leader did run into a bit of drama as he closed the eighth lap when one of the lappers decided to race with him. It was just a momentary hiccup and the leader quickly raced away from it. Once the lapped traffic cleared a bit, Lange pulled away from Kramer who had been on his rear end the past few laps.

The advantage Lange built up did not last long as once again lapped traffic was playing an ugly hand. On the 13th tour, the leaders approached lapped cars who were going at it side by side. That allowed Kramer to close back to Lange’s rear end and it also allowed Michnowicz, who had been about a half straight behind, to move in on the lead duo.

The first 13-laps were all green, but the yellow finally came out on the 14th circuit when Bakersfield local Jared Skaggs spun to a stop in turn two. During the yellow period, Camarillo’s Cody Nigh stopped on the back straight.

For the restart, Lange had hungry veterans Kramer, Michnowicz and Nunes waiting to pounce like hungry coyotes. Wily veteran Kramer got a great restart and pulled alongside Lange going down the front stretch, but the youngster failed to wilt. Running on the wider line, he shot back into sole possession of the lead coming off of the second corner.

Things really heated up behind the leader coming off of turn four for the 14th time. Nunes moved to the inside of Michnowicz and it looked as though he was going to take the third spot. However, as they crossed the stripe at the end of the lap, Michnowicz threaded the needle between Nunes and Kramer with a picture perfect move. Three seconds earlier it looked as though Michnowicz may slide back to fourth. Instead, he was then up to second.

Many in the crowd may have thought the inevitable was going to happen and veteran Michnowicz would chase down and pass the kid who was on the point. That became more of a probability when the yellow came out for Kiwi Alexander with just five circuits to go.

For the restart, few if any in the grandstands would have taken a bet that Michnowicz would not win the race. Those odds would have been long, but that is just what happened. The kid gave the veteran the inside going into turn one on the restart and Michnowicz gladly accepted the kind gesture and pulled alongside. Then the shocking happened. Lange, on the wider line, pulled away from the five-time champ coming off of turn two and hauled it into turn three with a four car length lead.

If pulling away from Michnowicz on the restart was not hard enough to believe, Lange continued to pull away from him on the last five laps and he had a half straightaway advantage at the checkered. The kid’s win even had Michnowicz’ wife cheering and howling for him when he crossed the line. Michnowicz, Kramer, Dyer and Nunes were second through fifth at the finish.

“The car is amazing,” a happy Lange told the crowd from the infield victory podium after the race. “Every time I drive it, it is better. The competition (in the CLS) is constantly growing and it has the best drivers. It is an honor to race with these guys and to beat them is something else.”

For the second race in a row, a Sexton/Gatlin driver was the main event “Hard Charger.” At the first race of the year it was Grant Sexton. This race it was his sibling Dalton who started 18th and finished ninth.

The CLS takes this weekend off before returning to its home track, the Ventura Raceway, on May 5th.

Bakersfield Speedway 21 Results With Starting Positions
1. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA - 1st
2. Bobby Michnowicz - Lomita, CA – 5th
3. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 2nd
4. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA - 9th
5. Doug Nunes - Kingsburg, CA – 4th
6. Bruce Douglass - Ventura, CA – 7th
7. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 6th
8. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena, CA – 3rd
9. Dalton Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 18th
10. Pat Kelley - Chino, CA – 11th
11. Kiwi Alexander – 12th
12. Frank Ditmar - Lakewood, CA – 18th
13. Donny Martin - Bakersfield, CA – 19th
14. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 10th
15. Jared Skaggs - Bakersfield, CA - 20th
16. Dale Gamer - Anaheim, CA – 14th
17. James Turnbull Jr. – Indio, CA – 15th
18. Grant Sexton – Lakeside, CA –17th
DNS – Wink Schweitzer – Bakersfield, CA – 13th
DNS – Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 8th

2018 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Point Standings
1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 276
2. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 250
3. Bruce Dougless – Ventura, CA – 246
4. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 232
5. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 223
6. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 206
7. Aiden Lange - Lakwood, CA – 175
8. Pat Kelley - Chino, CA – 163
9. Grant Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 157
10. Eric Greco - Palmdale, CA - 153

March 17 – Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National – Rained Out
March 24 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Rained Out
April 14 – Ventura Raceway – USAC National – Bobby Michnowicz
April 21 – Bakersfield Speedway – USAC National – Aiden Lange
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

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 its historic 25th season in 2018, please call Bobby Michnowicz at: (310) 320-5569.

To keep up with the CLS online, please visit the website at: http://racecls.com/

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

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, 2017 Bobby Michnowicz.

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