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(Torrance, CA, May 22, 2018) Third-year California Lightning Sprint Car Series driver Cody Nigh became a first-time winner when he captured the Jim Squire Memorial last Saturday night at the Barona Speedway. It was the first time the CLS visited its former home track in more than 10-years. This Saturday night the CLS will be making its first of two 2018 appearances at Perris Auto Speedway for the annual Salute to Indy.

First time CLS winner Cody Nigh (center) with second place finisher Jarrett Kramer (left) and third-place Aiden Lange. California Lightning Sprint Car Photo.

Twenty-three CLS cars showed up for the highly anticipated race on the San Diego County dirt track. Qualifying was dominated by locals with Spring Valley’s Jarrett Kramer, the 2010 CLS champion, turning the quickest lap with a time of 14.762. Teenage rookie Grant Sexton from Lakeside was second fast at 14.819 and his father Brent, a two-time CLS champ, was third when he completed a lap in 14.828.

Three heat races proceeded the 25-lap main event and they went to Palmdale’s Eric Greco, Jon Squire of El Cajon and Brent Sexton.

For the 25-lap Jim Squire Memorial main event, second-year CLS driver Dominic Del Monte of Gardena was on the pole with El Cajon’s Jon Squire next to him. Lakeside’s Dalton Sexton and Nigh were in row two. Lakewood’s Aiden Lange, who led every lap and won the last two CLS main events, was in the third row with Brent Sexton. Kramer and Lakewood’s Wyatt Downing were in the fourth row.

Squire got the jump at the drop of the green flag and led Del Monte and Nigh into the first turn. Del Monte pushed the front end coming off turn two and left some room on the bottom. First Nigh and then Brent Sexton quickly seized the opportunity and they were second and third by the end of the first lap.

Squire was on a rail and by the time the fifth lap started he was nearly a half straightaway in front of Nigh. Kramer worked his way into the top five for the first time on the fifth circuit and that was just about the same time that Squire came upon the first lapped car. Once Squire got past that car it was clear sailing until he encountered the more lapped traffic on lap 10. This time the lapped traffic bit the leader. Squire tried to go around the outside of a lapped car, but the car went wide going into turn three. By the time Squire cut back for the bottom, Nigh, in the Kruseman Sprint Car Driving School/Pinky’s Tire Service/Willis Machine/Kwik Change/No Limit Powder Coating/Photos by Schnarzy/Henchcraft/Kawasaki ZX12 by Fastline Motorcycle Performance #45, had shot through the hole on the inside and taken over the first place.

Once out front, Nigh began to pull away. Squire then became embroiled in a battle for second with Brent Sexton. Coming off turn two on the next lap, Sexton steered his fluorescent orange #44 to the bottom and relegated the former leader to third. However, Squire repaid the favor in turn four and reclaimed the runner-up spot, but they were both about to get a big surprise. Heading into turn one on lap 11, Kramer blasted inside both of them with a beautiful move to go from fourth to second with one smooth swoop.

Kramer’s scintillating drive continued as he chased down Nigh in lapped traffic on the 12th circuit. As they completed the lap, Kramer pulled alongside the leader and seemed to have enough momentum to take the lead away. However, a lapped car on the inside slowed Kramer’s progress and Nigh continued at the front. It looked as though Kramer was going to have more issues with lappers going into turn three as two cars were nearly side by side, but in thrilling fashion, he split them and charged right back to Nigh’s rear end.

Behind Nigh and Kramer‘s intense battle for the lead, 15-year-old sensation Lange had moved into third, but like the leaders, he had to deal with lapped cars.

Kramer took a sniff at the inside coming off turn two on lap 17, but Nigh was equal to the challenge and maintained the top spot. The remainder of the way was no different. Nigh would build a one or two car length lead and Kramer would come back and challenge him time and time again. On the last lap, Kramer carried some extra momentum into turn three, kept it wide and then cut back to the inside, but it was not enough. Nigh, a 2017 San Diego State graduate, had his first CLS win. Kramer was a length behind in second with Lange, Brent Sexton and Chino’s Pat Kelley rounding out the top five.

First-year CLS driver Michael Tobiason of Ramona was the recipient of the $50.00 “Hard Charger Award” sponsored by Italian Stallion when he went from 20th to sixth in the main event.

When the CLS gets to Perris Auto Speedway this Saturday night, it will have its third different point leader in three races. This time Kramer finds himself at the top of the heap and he is 13-points in front of Brent Sexton. Lange has clawed his way up to third. Dyer, who was the point leader heading into Barona, but who was plagued by electrical problems all night, slipped to fourth. Chino’s Pat Kelley is fifth.

In addition to the CLS this Saturday, the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars and PAS Senior & Young Gun Sprints will also be on the card at Perris Auto Speedway. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 P.M. and the first race will get the green flag at 7:00. For fans wanting to attend the race, the track is located on the SoCal Fair and Event Center at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in Perris (92571). The track phone number is (951) 940-0134 and the website is

Barona Speedway Results (with starting positions)
1. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 4th
2. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 7th
3. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 5th
4. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 6th
5. Pat Kelley – Chino, CA – 10th
6. Michael Tobiason – Ramona, CA – 20th
7. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 1st
8. Dalton Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 3rd
9. Wyatt Downing – Lakewood, CA – 8th
10. Jon Squire – El Cajon, CA – 2nd
11. Seth Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 13th
12. Jeff Seifert – Spring Valley, CA – 16th
13. Dale Gamer – Anaheim, CA – 12th
14. James Squire III – Lakeside, CA – 14th
15. D.J. Dumas – El Cajon, CA – 17th
16. Jon Simms – Lakeside, CA – 18th
17. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 15th
18. Grant Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 11th
19. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 9th
20. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 19th

2018 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Point Standings
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA 492
2. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 479
3. Aiden Lange - Lakewood, CA – 433
4. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA - 423
5. Pat Kelley - Chino, CA – 404
6. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 403
7. Cody Nigh - Camarillo, CA – 392
8. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 337
9. Eric Greco - Palmdale, CA – 302
10. Grant Sexton - Lakeside, CA - 296

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 – Aiden Lange

May 19th – Barona Speedway – Jim Squire Memorial – Cody Nigh

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


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