9.28.13 California Lightning Sprints Results - Dirt Racing Report

9.28.13 California Lightning Sprints Results

Second year California Lightning Sprint Car racer Jeff Dyer notched the first CLS victory of his career last Saturday night at the Bakersfield Speedway. It was a pleasing victory for the United States Army Demolitions Expert, who has been deployed in both Iraq and Afghanistan, after he was wrecked by another car at the previous race at Perris Auto Speedway.

Dyer, who lives in Silver Lake, started on the inside of the third row for the 20-lap main event. Defending CLS champ Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita raced into the lead from his inside row two starting spot at the outset of the race. San Clemente rookie Ronnie Hancock was second at the beginning while Dwyer was third before being relegated back to fourth by Kingsbourg’s Doug Nunes.

Michnowicz quickly pulled away from the thundering pack and on the third lap, he had a half straight lead over Hancock. Nunes, the only other driver besides Michnowicz with a win in 2013 at Bakersfield, passed Hancock on the third lap for second and took aim at the leader. At that point, Dyer was in fourth just in front of his teammate Alex Grigoreas of Upland. They were both closing quickly on third place Hancock and Grigoreas, a past regular in the old SCRA Sprint Car Series, took his teammate for fourth on the sixth revolution.

Grigoreas continued his forward progress one lap later when he drove around Hancock in turn three for third. However, at that point, he was a long way behind second place Nunes and front-runner Michnowicz.

At the crossed flags signifying half way through the main event, Michnowicz had an eight-car length lead over Nunes. Grigoreas was nearly a half a lap behind in third with, Hancock and Dyer rounding out the first five.

Just past the halfway point, a yellow slowed the action. For the restart Michnowicz’ commanding advantage was gone. Third place Grigoreas had a lot of lapped cars dividing himself from the lead duo.

When the green flag flew to restart the festivities, Michnowicz put about three cars lengths between himself and Nunes while further back, Grigoreas was having problems with lappers and had Dyer and Placentia’s Dan Hillberg all over him. On the 12th trip around the famous Oildale oval, Hillberg went inside Grigoreas as they approached the third corner for the third place spot, but then Dyer drove around both of them to emerge with third as the raced off turn four. The heated battle continued to escalate as they hit the front chute as Grigoreas passed both Hillberg and Dyer to momentarily poke his nose into third as they crossed the start finish line. However, he got stuck behind a lapped car again and Dyer took the spot back by the time they hit turn one. At the same time up front, Nunes had closed the gap and was all over Michnowicz for the top spot.

On laps 14 and 15, Nunes tried the inside of Michnowicz as they came off turn four. Both times Michnowicz thwarted the efforts and led back into turn one and would put a car length between himself and his determined pursuer as they raced down the back chute. Lap 16 proved different. Nunes again attacked the inside line and a momentary bobble by Michnowicz on the wide line was all it took and Nunes wrestled the lead away as they completed the lap.

The next lap, as the leaders raced into turn three, Michnowicz got into the back of Nunes and before he could get on the binders hard enough, he had spun him out. Both went to the back for the restart and Dyer was now at the point.

The tangle between Michnowicz and Nunes also spelled the beginning of the end for Michnowicz. His engine, which had been missing all race long, gave up the ghost and he ended up last in the main.

When the race went back to green with three laps left, Dyer built a comfortable lead. He advanced that lead to nearly a half straight to win his first ever CLS main. In a dazzling drive after his spin, Nunes came all the way back to second. Hillberg claimed third with point leader Steve Limon of Corona fourth. The top five was rounded out by Grigoreas, who posted a season best fifth.

Earlier in the show, Hillberg set the fast qualifying time with a lap of 12.885 on the 1/3 of a mile banked oval. He was also the “Hard Charger” in the main event after advancing five spots. Dyer and Grigoreas won the two heat races.

Two races before Bakersfield, Hillberg was 76-points in back of Limon in the championship chase. Over the past two races, he has chopped 24-points off of that lead and is 52-points behind with three races to go. The next skirmish for the historic CLS 20th season championship will be at the Ventura Raceway on October 19th. Michnowicz, Lakewood’s Tom Downing and San Diego’s Damon Arnett rank third, fourth and fifth behind leader Limon and second place Hillberg.

In 2013, cars in the CLS will be carrying transponders and they will qualify at all events. The driver with the most fast qualifying times at the end of the season will win the “Cold Fire West Qualifying Championship” and will pocket an extra $500.00. Another new sponsor to the series this season is Extreme Muffler. They will sponsor the “Extreme Muffler Heat Race Championship” and the driver with the most heat race wins will collect a $500.00 check.

The California Lightning Sprint Car Series would like to thank series sponsors Christian Stover Foundation, Rod End Supply, Cold Fire West, Sander Engineering, Saldana Race Products, DK Machining and Fabrication, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Hoosier Racing Tires, Circle Track Performance, Extreme Muffler, Performance by Rosson Racing, Electro Tech Powder Coating, Oil Twins Amsoil and Haul Ass Fuel. If you or your company would like to become part of the California Lightning Series for the 2013 season, please call Dan Hillberg at: (714) 719-0295.

To keep up with the CLS on line, please visit the web site at: http://www.calightningsprints.com/index.html

Bakersfield Main Event (with starting positions): 1. Jeff Dyer (5th), 2. Doug Nunes (6th), 3. Dan Hillberg (8th), 4. Steve Limon (9th), 5. Alex Grigoreas (4th), 6. Ronnie Hancock (6th), 7. Guy Maresch (7th), 8.Damon Arnett (2nd), 9. Steve Roza (12th), 10. Tom Downing (11th), 11. Zach Zauss (10th), 12. Dale Gamer (13th), 13. Scott Critchley (14th), 14. Bobby Michnowicz (3rd)

2013 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Points
1. Steve Limon – Corona – 2326
2. Dan Hillberg – Placentia – 2274
3. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita – 1939
4. Tom Downing – Lakewood – 1968
5. Damon Arnett – San Diego – 1847
6. Jeff Dyer – Silver Lake – 1801
6. Zach Zauss – Murrieta – 1801
8. Guy Maresch – Anaheim Hills – 1746
9. Dale Gamer – Anaheim – 1695
10. Ronnie Hancock – San Clemente – 1305

2013 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule
March 9 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Dan Hillberg
March 16 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – King of California Mini Sprint Challenge – Bobby Michnowicz
March 30 Ventura Raceway Winged – Steve Limon
April 13 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Jarrett Kramer
April 20 Bakersfield Speedway Non Wing – King of California Mini Sprint Challenge – Doug Nunes
April 27 Orange Show Stadium Winged – Bobby Michnowicz
May 11 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – King of California Mini Sprint Challenge – Bobby Michnowicz
May 25 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Kevin Michnowicz
June 29 Orange Show Stadium Winged – Steve Limon
July 4 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Bobby Michnowicz
August 10 Santa Maria Speedway Winged – Doug Nunes
August 17 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Bobby Michnowicz
September 14 Perris Auto Speedway Winged – Bobby Michnowicz
September 28 Bakersfield Speedway Winged – Jeff Dyer
October 19 Ventura Raceway Winged
November 2 Perris Auto Speedway Winged
November 3 Perris Auto Speedway Winged

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

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