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(Torrance, CA, April 16, 2024)
This Saturday night, April 20th, promises to be a very emotional evening when the California Lightning Sprint Car Series visits the Bakersfield Speedway. When the Mike Schweitzer #41 pulls onto the track with two-time series champion David Gasper behind the wheel, the right side of the car will be adorned with the name Bailey Schweitzer. Bailey, the daughter of Bakersfield promoter Scott Schweitzer and his wife Chrissy, lost her life in the October 2017 Las Vegas Route 41 Music Festival tragedy. Her name will remain on the car for the entire 2024 season.

Bailey’s name being on the car is the result of relationships and friendships. Mike Schweitzer is the second cousin of Bakersfield promoter Scott Schweitzer and thus the third cousin of Bailey. Mike’s regular driver, Broedy Graham, who also resides in Bakersfield, happened to be a good friend of Bailey’s. That prompted Scott to get the ball rolling and get Bailey’s name on Mike’s car.

“After the last race at Bakersfield, Scott asked what he had to do to get Bailey’s name on the car,” Mike Schweitzer said. “He wanted to give back to the Grahams because Bailey and the Grahams were very good friends. So we are going to have Bailey Schweitzer on the side of the #41 car beginning on Saturday. She managed the mini dwarf class with the kids at the Bakersfield Speedway. He wanted to give back to the Grahams and us for the support.”

Unfortunately, this week, Broedy Graham is tied up and cannot make the race. However, the driver seat will be filled by two-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series champion David Gasper of Santa Barbara. The teenager has had a phenomenal start to 2024 driving in the USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series. It is his rookie season in 410 sprint car racing and after four races, he has a win and a second-place finish at Perris Auto Speedway and a fourth at the Mohave Valley Raceway. Put all of those numbers together and he will only be one point out of first when the series gets back on track at Perris on April 27th. In addition to running the Schweizer #41 this Saturday, Gasper will be driving the pretty Kittle Motorsports #18 in the first race for the Ultimate Sprint Car Series presented by Inland Rigging at Bakersfield.

“Man, what a chain of events this has all been,” Mike Schweitzer continued. “Gasper and Broedy are very close friends because they raced off-road together. It is a great fit for Gasper and for us. We were not going to be at Bakersfield because Broedy is racing a two-day show (micro) at Lemoore. When this all came out we thought, what are we going to do? Now we will have Bailey’s name on the right side of the car and David Gasper driving it on Saturday.”

“I am excited to carry that kid’s name on the car,” Bailey’s cousin said. “It is an honor for us to remember her in this way. I just hope we can hold up our end of the deal. It is pretty touching and I am so happy to do it for them.”
It is appropriate that not only is Bailey’s name on the car, but it is debuting on the car at the Bakersfield Speedway. Bailey worked alongside her parents at the venue which is the CLS home track.

“This year, Mike has the Grahams driving his car,” Scott Schweitzer said when starting to explain the deal. “When Bailey used to help me at the racetrack, she was just real fond of Broedy and Blayden Graham. She just really liked them. So, with Broedy being in the car now I just thought it was a good time to reach out to Mike and see if we could do something to help him out and get Bailey’s name on the car. Every chance we get we remember her at the racetrack. Anybody who honors Bailey at the track, we are so thankful. It is huge to get to see her name on a car.”

“The California Lightning Sprint Cars are a great group,” the longtime promoter continued. “They always put on a good show and take care of everything themselves. I always enjoy having them. Whenever we have the World of Outlaws or the USAC National Midget Series come to Bakersfield, we always put them on that night because they are a good group of guys, they have exciting racing and we get a lot of good feedback from the fans about them. The more I can run the lightning sprints, I like it.”

Going into Saturday’s Bakersfield race, Lakewood’s Aiden Lange sits on top of the CLS championship point standings. The winner of the season-opening CLS race at the Imperial Valley Raceway on March 1st during the California Midwinter Fair, he brings a 51-point advantage over Camarillo’s Cody Nigh in the standings. Palmdale’s Eric Greco, Connor Speir of Fillmore, and six-time CLS champion Bobby Michnowicz of Oak Hills comprise the remainder of the top five. Besides Lange, Speir and Michnowicz have posted series wins in 2024. Speir’s win came on the second night of racing during the Midwinter Fair while Michnowicz bested the field at Bakersfield on March 9th.

Joining the CLS at Bakersfield on Saturday will be the inaugural race for the Ultimate Sprint Car Series presented by Inland Rigging, Western States Midgets, and the American Stocks. Spectator gates at the track known as “The West’s Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Clay Oval” will open at 4:00 p.m. with racing at 6:00. Adult tickets are $20.00. Seniors 65+ and military get in for $18.00. For kids 6-12 it is $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 bakersfieldspeedway.com and the office phone number is (661) 393-3373.

After Saturday’s race, the CLS will have one week off before making its first stop of 2024 at the Ventura Raceway on May 4th.

The CLS would like to thank the following companies for being partners in the 2024 season. Extreme Mufflers, RacingJunk.com and Hoosier Tire.

California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Aiden Lange, Lakewood, CA … 382
2. Mike Nigh, Camarillo, CA … 324
3. Eric Greco, Palmdale, CA … 278
4. Connor Speir, Fillmore, CA … 271
5. Bobby Michnowicz, Oak Hills, CA … 254
6. Jeff Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA … 250
7. Brent Sexton, Lakeside, CA … 248
8. Jon Robertson, Torrance, CA … 246
9. Ryan Dumas, San Diego, CA …198
10. Pat Kelley, Chino, CA … 194

Lap Leaders After Three Races
1. Bobby Michnowicz … 24
2. Conner Speir … 20
3. Aiden Lange … 16
4. Cody Nigh … 4
5. Greg Dennett … 1

2024 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule

March 1 Imperial Valley Raceway Mid-Winter Fair Aiden Lange

March 2 Imperial Valley Raceway Mid-Winter Fair Connor Speir

March 9 Bakersfield Speedway CLS Bobby Michnowicz

April 13 Merced Speedway CSL vs BCRA Civil War #1 Rained Out

April 20 Bakersfield Speedway CLS

May 4 Ventura Raceway CLS

May 18 Bakersfield Speedway CLS

June 8 Ventura Raceway CLS

June 15 Bakersfield Speedway CLS

July 5 Santa Maria Speedway CLS

July 6 Santa Maria Speedway CLS

July 27 Santa Maria Speedway CLS vs BCRA Civil War #2

September 13 Bakersfield Speedway CLS vs BCRA Civil War #3

September 14 Ventura Raceway CLS

September 28 Ventura Raceway CLS

October 5 Merced Speedway CLS vs BCRA Civil War #4 Albright Memorial

October 26 Ventura Raceway CLS

November 15 Placerville Speedway Hangtown 100 – No Points

November 16 Placerville Speedway Hangtown 100 – No Points

November 26 Bakersfield Speedway CLS

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

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