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(Torrance, CA, April 3, 2023)
The statement “Youth Must Be Served” proved to be an April Fool’s joke when the California Lightning Sprint Cars and the POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Cars co-sanctioned round #3 on Saturday night at the Mohave Valley Raceway. Geezers Brent Sexton, Bobby Michnowicz, and Jeff Dyer, who have a combined age of 149 years, claimed the top three spots in the 20-lap main event on the 1/3 mile banked clay oval.

Brent Sexton won his heat and the main event at the Mohave Valley Raceway. CLS Photo.

With a packed house looking on, 59-year-old Michnowicz, the five-time CLS champion who lives in Oak Hills, out-qualified the 13-car field with a time of 14.372. Palmdale's Eric Greco was second-quick at 14.680. Dyer was third fastest at 14.859.

Fifty-year-old Sexton was on the pole for the first heat race. That was bad news for the competition as the defending SWLS champion drove away from the field and won the eight-lapper by over a half straightaway. His one-time arch-rival Michnowicz was second with Sexton’s teammate, Brockman, third. The second heat race was captured by Dyer when he beat Palmdale’s Eric Greco and Lakeside’s Cody Griggs to the checkers.

Dyer, who just celebrated his 40th birthday, was on the pole for the main event. Sexton was on the outside of the front row. Row two was made up of Brockman and Greco. Michnowicz and “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance started in row three.

The story of the race was essentially written at the drop of the green flag. Sexton roared into the lead over Dyer, Greco, and Brockman. By the end of the first circuit, the two-time CLS champion had stretched his advantage to five car lengths.

Michnowicz, who is off to a good start in 2023, moved into fourth and began to pester Greco for third on lap two. A couple of laps later, the wily veteran had taken over second. Out front, Sexton, in the eye-catching Keys Brothers, East County Electric Works, Maxima Oil, Automated Interiors, Sexton Fire Protection, BK Wings, Troy Dirt, Victory Graphix, and Swift Powdercoat #44, was pulling away from his pursuers and had a near half straight lead by the end of the fifth circuit.

Dyer, a highway patrol officer off the track, momentarily began to chase down Sexton on lap seven. One go around later Sexton hit the lapped traffic but it did not faze him. He once again pulled away and established a comfortable lead. At the halfway point, he had a commanding lead with Dyer, Michnowicz, Greco, and Brockman rounding out the top five.

Michnowicz began closing in on second-place Dyer on the 11th circuit. His progress was slowed on lap 12 when the only yellow flag of the race slowed the action when Lakeside’s Cody Griggs rolled to a stop in turn two with clutch issues. At the same time impressive rookie Brockman pulled off the track. By the time that yellow waved, Sexton was over a full straightaway in front of the field. That big advantage was suddenly crushed like it was an empty soda can. For the restart, it was Sexton where he had been the entire race. Michnowicz was up to second with Dyer third. Greco was in fourth place with Robertson, who had been as far back as 10th, up to fifth.

Michnowicz stuck close to the race-long leader on the restart. Likewise, Dyer was hanging close to Michnowicz. In fact, he got a great run on the bottom going into turn one on lap 14. He was edging ahead of Michnowicz when he hit some water on the bottom and slid all the way across the track. The ever-alert Michnowicz got on the brakes, averted what could have been a major disaster, and ducked underneath Dyer who nearly slid all the way to Prescott before getting back on the throttle.

The Dyer/Michnowicz turn-two escapade essentially ended the fight for first as it allowed Sexton to once again pull away and lead the final six laps. To say the least, it was a very impressive wire-to-wire win. Michnowicz was second and was followed by Dyer, Greco, and Robertson. Dyer’s 16-year-old son, Seth, scored his best-ever finish with a sixth and was also the main event “Advanced Racing Suspension Hard Charger.”

Coming out of the race, one-time nemeses Sexton and Michnowicz are tied for first in both the CLS and “Best of the West” series standings. Greco is third with Dyer fourth and Robertson fifth.

This Saturday, April 8th, the CLS will head to the Bakersfield Speedway for its first appearance at the popular track in 2023. Last month’s race at the venue was canceled due to wet conditions. In 2022, the CLS appeared at the Scott Schweitzer promoted track six times. AJ Bender, who will be back in the Mike Schweitzer #41 on Saturday, and two-time series champion David Gasper, each won two times. Michnowicz and 2021 SWLS champion Grant Sexton had one victory each.

Spectator gates at Bakersfield will open at 4:00 p.m. with racing at 6:00. Joining the CLS will be the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars, and Mini Stocks. Adult tickets are $25.00. Seniors 65 and over and military with proper id get in for $23.00. Kids 6-12 are $15.00 and children 5 and under are free. Parking is free. The track is located at 5001 North Chester Ext. Ave., Bakersfield (93308). The track website is http://www.bakersfieldspeedway.com/ and the office phone number is (661) 393-3373.

The following companies are marketing partners with the CLS in 2023. Hoosier Tires West, T-Shirts By Timeless, Extreme Mufflers, RacingJunk.com, and Advanced Racing Suspension. if you or your company would like to be a marketing partner with the CLS, please get in touch with Jon Robertson using the contact information at the top of this release.

To keep up with the CLS online, please visit the website at http://racecls.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/californialightningsprints

Mohave Valley Raceway Qualifying: 1. Bobby Michnowicz, 14.372, 2. Eric Greco, 14.589, 3. Brent Sexton, 14.674, 4. A J Bender, 14.680, 5. Robby Brockman, 14.764, 6. Jeff Dyer, 14.859 7. Connor Speir, 14.872, 8. Seth Dyer, 15.064. 9. Dalton Sexton, 15.083, 10. Harlee Aguilera, 15.122, 11. Jon Robertson, 15.140, 12. Cody Griggs, 15.443, 13. Pat Kelley, 17.008.Heat #1 (8-Laps): 1. Brent Sexton, 2. Michnowicz, 3. Brockman, 4. Robertson, 5. Kelley, 6. Dalton Sexton, 7. Speir

Heat #2 (8-Laps): 1. Jeff Dyer, 2. Greco, 3. Griggs, 4. Bender, 5. Aguilera, 6. Seth Dyer

Main Event (20-Laps) Includes Starting Position Time Behind
1. Brent Sexton, Lakeside, CA, (2nd),
2. Bobby Michnowicz, Oak Hills, CA, (5th) … 1.093
3. Jeff Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA, (1st) … 2.117
4. Eric Greco, Palmdale, CA, (4th) … 4.683
5. Jon Robertson, Temecula, CA, (6th) … 10.998
6. Seth Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA, (10th) … 1 Lap
7. Pat Kelley, Chino, CA, (7th) … 1 Lap
8. Robby Brockman, El Cajon, CA, (3rd) 8 Laps
9. Cody Griggs, Lakeside, CA, (8th) … 8 Laps
10. Connor Speir, Fillmore, CA, (9th) … 20 Laps
DNS - Dalton Sexton, Lakeside, CA
DNS – AJ Bender, San Diego, CA
DNS – Harlee Aguilera, Galt, CA

2023 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Point Standings and Best of the West Standings
1. Bobby Michnowicz, Lomita, CA, CLS … 288
1. Brent Sexton, Lakeside, CA, SWLS … 288
3. Eric Greco, Palmdale, CA, CLS … 371
4. Robby Brockman, El Cajon, CA. SWLS … 280
4. Jeff Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA, CLS … 280
6. Connor Speir, Fillmore, CA, CLS … 271
7. Seth Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA, CLS … 262
8. AJ Bender, San Diego, CA, SWLS … 261
9. Jon Robertson, Torrance, CA, CLS … 254
10. Pat Kelley, Chino, CA, CLS … 240

2023 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule

March 10 Imperial Raceway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #1 AJ Bender

March 11 Imperial Raceway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #2 Braden Chiaramonte

March 18 Bakersfield Speedway CLS With USAC Western Midgets Rained Out

April 1 Mohave Valley Raceway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #3 Brent Sexton

April 8 Bakersfield Speedway CLS With USAC 360 Sprint Cars

May 13 Ventura Raceway CLS With USAC 360 Sprint Cars

May 20 Bakersfield Speedway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #4

June 3 Bakersfield Speedway CLS/BCRA “Civil War Series Round” #1 With USAC 360 Sprint Cars

June 17 Ventura Raceway CLS With USAC 360 Sprint Cars Wagsdash

July 8 Ventura Raceway CLS

July 22 Ventura Raceway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #5

August 19 Ocean Speedway CLS/BCRA “Civil War Series” Round #2, Johnny Key Classic

September 9 Bakersfield Speedway CLS/BCRA “Civil War Series” Round #3

September 23 Ventura Raceway CLS

October 7 Merced Speedway CLS/BCRA “Civil War Series” Round #4, Wayne Albright Memorial Non Wing

October 14 Mohave Valley Speedway CLS/SWLS “Best of the West” Round #6 With USAC/CRA Sprint Cars

October 28 Ventura Raceway CLS

November 14 Bakersfield Speedway CLS With USAC National Midgets

November 16 Placerville Speedway “Hangtown 100” No Points Non Wing

November 17 Placerville Speedway “Hangtown 100” No Points Non Wing

November 18 Placerville Speedway “Hangtown 100” No Points Non Wing

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, 2018 Jarrett Kramer, 2019 Jarrett Kramer, 2021 David Gasper, 2022 David Gasper

This press release was produced by Scott Daloisio Sports (909) 226-7768 mailto:sdaloisiosports@gmail.com