8.28.10 California Lightning Sprints Results - Dirt Racing Report

8.28.10 California Lightning Sprints Results

Before the second largest crowd of the season, Ramona, California’s Bobby Bender won the 1st Annual Christian Stover Memorial and the $1,000.00 first place check in the California Lightning Sprint Car Series last Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway. The victory was Bender’s series leading sixth win of 2010.

Saturday’s race honored Christian Stover who at 16-years-old lost his life in an ATV crash in 2009. In 2007, when he was just 14 years old, Stover became the youngest ever Lightning Sprint Car main event winner at The PAS. After his Lightning Sprint Car win, the teenage sensation went on to race with VRA, winged sprint cars in Northern California and with USAC at the 2008 Oval Nationals.

Starting on the outside of the front row in the 16-car main event field, Bender set the pace into the first turn over Spring Valley’s Jarrett Kramer when starter Eddie Ramirez threw the green flag to begin the 20-lapper. Bender’s teenage brother A.J., who came into the night leading the championship point standings, was third at the outset. However, disaster struck on the first lap for A.J. when he broke a chain and coasted back to a stop and a last place finish. That brought out the only yellow in the main event.

Brent Sexton, driving Chris Dickey’s car that was designed to look like an exact replica of the car Stover drove to victory as a 14 year old at The PAS, was slated to start on the pole for the main event. When he was late getting to the grid, officials penalized him and made him start last. Amazingly, he went from 16th to 7th on the first circuit.

When the race was restarted, Bobby Bender, Kramer, Tim Brown of Wildomar, impressive rookie Kevin Michnowicz of Lomita and Corona’s Darren Hillberg occupied the top five spots.

While Bender was setting a sizzling pace and building a small lead at the front, Sexton was coming up fast. The 2009 series champion quickly disposed of the “Okie Astronut” Tobey Sampson of Torrance and Hillberg to move into the top five. He then chased down Michnowicz and Brown and was up to third on lap six.

While Sexton was slicing and dicing his way to the front, leader Bender and second place Kramer were already encountering lapped traffic. Despite the lapped traffic, Bender maintained an eight to ten car advantage over Kramer most of the race. With three laps go, Sexton caught Kramer and they began to fight for second.

Coming off turn two on the last lap, Bender drifted wide allowing Kramer to close in, but the latter could get not closer than three car lengths at the checkered flag. Sexton was another three lengths back in third at the finish with Brown and Michnowicz rounding out the top five. Bender had lapped all but six cars by the end of the race.

After telling legendary Southern California announcer Chris Holt about his win and thanking his crew, Bender had time to reflect on Stover. “It is not even about the purse. It is about racing for Christian,” the young driver told the huge crowd. “Last year when this all happened, I put a sticker on the hood of my car and I said, ‘Christian is going to be riding on the hood all year long.’ It is still there! I have not even changed the hood. Thank you to Denny (Christian’s Dad) and the Christian Stover Foundation.”

Earlier in the night, Sexton took home $200.00 for winning the three-lap dash for cash over A.J. Bender, Bobby Bender and Michnowicz. Sexton and A.J. won the two six lap heat races.

Kramer’s second place finish and A.J. Bender’s mechanical gremlins propelled Kramer back into the point lead. He had a 32-point advantage over A.J. as they left The PAS on Saturday night. Bobby Bender is third with Placentia’s Dan Hillberg and Dale Gamer of Anaheim filling out the top five in the standings.

The CLS will take the Labor Day weekend off before going to the Ventura Raceway for the final time in 2010 on September 11th and the Bakersfield Speedway on September 25th. The series returns to Perris Auto Speedway on October 2nd.

DVD’s from Saturday’s race will be available form Raceway Video. You can visit their website at: www.racewayvideo.com. You can also call: (818) 618-9764

California Lightning Sprint Car Series would like to acknowledge the following sponsors for making the 2010 campaign possible. The Christian Stover Foundation, Performance by Rosson Racing, BK Wings, Circle Track Performance and Hoosier Tires. Anyone wishing to come on board as a series sponsor can call Brent Sexton at: (619) 454-6945.

For more information on this Saturday’s race or the 2010 California Lightning Sprint Car Series, contact Brent Sexton ((619) 454-6945 or sextonfire@cox.net) or Scott Daloisio (909 226-7768 or sdaloisiosports@aol.com).

MAIN EVENT FINISH (with starting positions)
1. Bobby Bender – Ramona, CA
2. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA
3. Brent Sexton – Lakeside, CA
4. Tim Brown – Wildomar, CA
5. Kevin Michnowicz – Lomita, CA
6. Seth Kramer – Spring Valley, CA
7. Dan Hillberg – Placentia, CA
8. Darren Hillberg – Corona CA
9. Guy Maresch – Anaheim Hills, CA
10. Peter Benker – El Cajon, CA
11. Dale Gamer – Anaheim, CA
12. Ryan Sherman
13. Robert Wilhelm – El Cajon, CA
14. Tobey Sampson – Torrance, CA
15. Peter Benker – El Cajon, CA
16. A.J. Bender – Ramona, CA

2010 CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 1765
2. A.J. Bender – Ramona, CA – 1733
3. Bobby Bender – Ramona, CA – 1675
4. Dan Hillberg – Placentia, CA – 1448
5. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 1375
6. Guy Maresch – Anaheim Hills – 1363
7. Robert Wilhelm – El Cajon – 1210
8. Seth Kramer – Spring Valley – 1172
9. Peter Benker – El Cajon – 1054
10. Karl Von Yokes – Lakeside – 939

2010 CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SRPINT CAR MAIN EVENT WINNERS
Bobby Bender … 6
Jarrett Kramer … 2
A.J. Bender … 2
Johnny Bluntach … 1
Cory Ballard … 1
Dan Hillberg … 1
Donnie Ganson … 1

2010 CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE
September 11th … Ventura Raceway
September 25th … Bakersfield
October 2nd … Perris Auto Speedway
October 9th … Perris Auto Speedway (Southern California Fair)
November 5th & 6th … Perris Auto Speedway (Oval Nationals)

CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS
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 Ganson
2007 Shane Rosson
2008 Brent Sexton
2009 Stuart Hielshier Sr.
2010 Jarrett Kramer

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