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(Torrance, CA, June 10, 2024)
Hall of Fame Baseball catcher Yogi Berra once said, “It is like Deja Vu all over again.” That could certainly apply to the 2024 California Lightning Sprint Car season as last Saturday night at Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway, six-time series champion Bobby Michnowicz won his fourth main event in the last five races.

Palmdale’s Eric Greco kicked off the CLS portion of the show when he recorded the fastest lap in qualifying at 12.113. Local Cody Nigh of Camarillo was second fastest at 12.200. California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Dyer of Yucca Valley sped to the third-best lap in time trials at 12.254. Michnowicz and Dyer’s teenage son Seth were fourth and fifth, respectively, at 12.292 and 12.412.

Officer Dyer, who also competes in the USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, captured the first eight-lap heat race of the night with his son Seth in third. Sandwiched in between the family duo in second was fast qualifier Greco. Heat race two went to Fillmore’s Connor Speir, winner of the second CLS main event of the season, at the Imperial Valley Raceway. He bested Michnowicz and “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance.

The show featured a six-lap dash for the fastest six qualifiers to set the positions for the first three rows of the main event. Quick qualifier Greco pulled a six, meaning the dash was completely inverted. Seth Dyer, who started on the outside of the front row, led the six-lapper all the way to earn the pole for the main. The bad news for the competition was that Michnowicz placed second, meaning he would start outside the front row. Nigh and Greco finished third and fourth and would start in the second row in the main, with Robertson and Jeff Dyer fifth and sixth and going off from row three in the 25-lapper.

The main event lineup was altered when Dyer, who has been plagued with engine problems this year, left the dash after four laps. He jumped into the Roland Smith car for the main and had to start at the back. That allowed Speir to move up to the outside of row three.

Mere seconds after starter Kris Kornder waved the green flag to begin the contest, the battle for the lead was over. Michnowicz, in his T Shirts By Timeless/Super Shox/Fabozzi Metal Works/Outlaw Wings/Inland Rigging/TJ Forged/Keizer Wheels/Simpson/Bondio Fabrication/Fast Time Studios/Pflum – Wagner/DLX/Kawasaki ZX10 #21K, predictably won the race to the first corner. Young Dyer was second, with Greco, Nigh, and Speir all in tow.

By the end of the third circuit, Michnowicz had it set on cruise control and was a half-straightaway ahead of second-place Dyer. That was also the same lap that Jeff Dyer headed back to the pits in Smith’s #39.

Michnowicz cautiously approached the first lapper on the ninth circuit. That allowed high school student Dyer to close in. Once the pacesetter raced around the lapper, he built a comfortable lead again. Things remained status quo until the 18th lap when Greco closed in on Dyer. The fast qualifier took full advantage when Dyer momentarily parked it in turn 4 on the 19th go-around. He swept by on the inside and stole the second place position.

The move by Greco came at the right time. Two laps later, the yellow flag flew for a wheel disk that was in the middle of the front straightaway. Once the track crew removed the disk, the field was lined up nose to tail for the restart. It was Michnowicz at the point with Greco, Dyer, Nigh, and Speir in positions two through five. While hopes may have been high for the pursuers, Michnowicz dashed their dreams as soon as the green came back on. He simply walked away from the field and flew past Kornder’s checkered flag with a half-straight advantage. Greco equaled his season-best finish by crossing the line in second. Nigh got by Dyer in the late going and finished third for the fourth time this season. Dyer placed fourth for the second time in a row. Speir’s fifth-place finish was his best since the win at Imperial in March.

The victory allowed Michnowicz to expand his lead to 105 points over Greco in the standings. Nigh, Seth Dyer, and Speir are third through fifth heading into this Saturday’s race at Scott Schweitzer’s Bakersfield Speedway. It will be the CLS's fourth 2024 appearance at the “Okie Bowl.” The bad news for all the competitors is that Michnowicz, the G.O.A.T., has won the first three.

Spectator gates at Bakersfield will open at 4:00 p.m., with racing at 6:00. Joining the CLS will be Modifieds, Sportmods, Hobby Stocks, and American Factory Stocks. Adult tickets are $18.00. Seniors 65 and over and military with proper ID get in for $16.00. Kids 6-12 are $10.00, 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 https://www.bakersfieldspeedway.com/, and the office phone number is (661) 393-3373.

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

June 1 California Lightning Sprint Cars Ventura Raceway Results

Qualifying: 1. Eric Greco, 12.113; 2. Cody Nigh, 12.200; 3. Jeff Dyer, 12.254; 4. Bobby Michnowicz, 12.292; 5. Seth Dyer, 12.412; 6. Jon Robertson, 12.501; 7. Zate Legend, 12.996; 8. Connor Speir, 13.239; 9. Jacob Magallanes, 13.707; 10. Roland Smith, 14.053

Heat 1 – 8 Laps: 1. Jeff Dyer, 2. Greco, 3. Seth Dyer, 4. Legend, 5. Magallanes

Heat 2 – 8 Laps: 1. Speir, 2. Michnowicz, 3. Robertson, 4. Nigh, DNS Smith

Dash – 6 Laps: 1. Seth Dyer, 2. Michnowicz, 3. Nigh, 4. Greco, 5. Robertson, 6. Jeff Dyer

Main Event – 25 Laps (With Starting Positions and Distance Behind)
1. Bobby Michnowicz, Oak Hills, CA, (2nd)
2. Eric Greco, Palmdale, CA (4th) … 1.436
3. Cody Nigh, Camarillo, CA (3rd) … 3.897
4. Seth Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA (1st) … 4.824
5. Connor Speir, Fillmore, CA (8th) … 5.340
6. Jon Robertson, Torrance, CA (5th) … - 1 Lap
7. Zate Legend, Riverside, CA (7th) … - 1 Lap
8. Jacob Magallanes, Pasadena, CA (9th) … - 3 Laps
9. Jeff Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA (6th) … - 22 Laps
DNS Roland Smith’

California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Bobby Michnowicz, Oak Hills, CA … 795
2. Cody Nigh, Camarillo, CA … 690
3. Eric Greco, Palmdale, CA … 646
4. Seth Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA … 605
5. Zate Legend, Riverside, CA … 581
6. Jon Robertson, Torrance, CA … 580
7. Jeff Dyer, Riverside, CA … 568
8. Connor Speir, Fillmore, CA … 564
9. Pat Kelley, Chino, CA … 419
10. Aiden Lange, Lakewood, CA … 382

2024 CLS Lap Leaders
Michnowicz, Bobby … 92
Speir, Connor … 20
Dyer, Jeff … 17
Lange, Aiden … 16
Bender, AJ … 15
Nigh, Cody … 4
Dennett, Greg … 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 Bobby Michnowicz

May 4 Ventura Raceway CLS AJ Bender

May 18 Bakersfield Speedway CLS Bobby Michnowicz

June 8 Ventura Raceway CLS Bobby Michnowicz

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