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(Torrance, CA, January 22, 2024)
The table has been set for the historic 30th season of racing for Southern California’s premier lightning sprint organization, the California Lightning Sprint Cars. The famous So Cal-based racing club will kick off the new campaign during the annual California Mid-Winter Fair at the Imperial Valley Raceway on March 1st and 2nd. The 20-race schedule will end nine months later at the Bakersfield Speedway.

“We are excited about this season,” CLS president Jon Robertson said. “Santa Maria is back on the schedule for three races. We will be back at Bakersfield and Ventura. They have been part of the CLS for years. We are back at El Centro to open the season and we will head north for annual stops at Merced and Placerville.”

Two longtime stops for the CLS, Scott Schweitzer’s Bakersfield Speedway and Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway will headline the series once again in 2024. Billed as “The West’s Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Clay Oval,” Bakersfield will see the club drop in six times. Highlighting the shows at the nearly 80-year-old track will be a September 13th date alongside the legendary World of Outlaws Sprint Cars. That night will also be round #3 of the annual Civil War Series matching the CLS vs Northern California’s Bay Cities Racing Association. Other dates at Bakersfield will be March 23rd with the USAC Western Midgets, April 20th, May 18th with the Inland Rigging Ultimate Sprint Car Series, June 15th, and the season ender on November 26th with the USAC National Midgets.

Veteran race fans are looking forward to all five stops the CLS is going to make at the Ventura Raceway. Situated on the beach inside the Ventura County Fairgrounds, the tiny track is one of the most popular in the nation. Fans and racing teams come out early to enjoy the beach, one of the great local restaurants, and then to the track for some of the most exciting racing in the nation. This year, the mighty CLS will be at the “Commotion By The Ocean” on May 4th, June 8th, September 14th, September 28th, and October 26th.

After a one-year absence from the CLS schedule, the Santa Maria Raceway, which is under new management, returns to the CLS roster of tracks in 2024. The Central California 1/3 mile will see the CLS on the track on July 5th and 6th with the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars. Three weeks later the club will be back for round #2 of the Civil War Series on July 27th. Joining the lightning cars on the 27th will be the popular King of the West Sprint Cars.

The Imperial Valley Raceway will be the site of two CLS races in 2024. This year’s races will be run during the annual California Mid-Winter Fair and will be a co-sanction with the SoCal Lightning Sprints. Racing at the fair was a tradition for the CRA Sprint Car Series for over 30 years beginning in the 1950s. The CLS dates at the track that is located near the USA/Mexico border are March 1st and 2nd.

Two other tracks with a pair of dates are on the 2024 schedule. First up will be Doug Lockwood’s Merced Speedway. Known as one of the raciest tracks on the West Coast, the CLS will journey north to take on BCRA’s finest in rounds one and four of the Civil War Series on April 13th and October 5th. Another Northern California track, the Placerville Speedway, will see the CLS on hand for two nights of racing. BCRA will join the CLS on the famous red-clay quarter mile in the Hangtown 100 on November 15th and 16th. The Placerville shows, which will also feature the USAC National Midgets, will both be non-point races.

“Hangtown is such a huge event,” Robertson said. “You have guys from all over there. Merced is on the schedule for two nights of Civil War action. The Albright race in October is a very big deal. It will be our only non-wing show of the year with the exception of Hangtown. Our Civil War shows are very good. The BCRA drivers are tough and we (CLS) have an equally tough field.”

“It takes a little bit longer and a lot of skill putting these schedules together. Working with all of the different organizations and the racetracks. Bobby Michnowicz does a fantastic job piecing a lot of this together. Dealing with all of the pieces to make it happen. It took us a little bit longer to get this schedule out as we were trying to get all of the planets to align. This year is going to be fantastic. I cannot wait until the season openers at Imperial. The racing history on the fairgrounds there is incredible. It is cool for all of our guys to get to compete there.”

Before the 2024 season kicks off, the 2023 CLS banquet will take place on February 3rd at Frantone’s Pizza and Spaghetti Villa in Cerritos. Tickets are $40.00 and the public is welcome. The food is fantastic and the atmosphere is fun. For more information call or email Jon Robertson at (310) 367-9050 – jon.robertson@sbcglobal.net.

To keep up with the CLS online, please visit the website at http://racecls.com/ and follow on the club’s Facebook page.

2023 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Final Point Standings
1. Bobby Michnowicz, Lomita, CA … 2026
2. Eric Greco, Palmdale, CA … 1883
3. Aiden Lange, Lakewood, CA … 1509
4. Jon Robertson, Torrance, CA … 1434
5. Connor Speir, Fillmore, CA … 1383
6. Jeff Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA … 1349
7. Seth Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA … 1440
8. Cody Nigh, Camarillo, CA … 959
9. Pat Kelley, Chino, CA … 927
10. Brent Sexton, Lakeside, CA … 817

CLS vs BCRA Civil War Standings
1. Greg Dennett, BCRA … 504
2. Eric Greco, CLS … 485
3. Bobby Michnowicz, CLS … 447
4. Dakota Albright, BCRA … 441
5. Aiden Lange, CLS … 430
6. Chris Crowder, BCRA … 343
7. Connor Speir, CLS … 327
7. Jon Robertson, CLS … 272
9. Leland Day, CLS … 245
10. Seth Dyer, CLS … 243

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, 2023 Bobby Michnowicz

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