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(Upland, CA, November 24, 2020) In a year that has been ruled by unpredictably, the predictable happened when five-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series champion Bobby Michnowicz won the  November Classic at the Bakersfield Speedway on November 17th.  The victory was a repeat performance of the CLS only other race of 2020 when Michnowicz outdistanced the field at the “Okie Bowl” in June. 


A fine field of 22-CLS cars showed up for the race at the track dubbed as “The West’s Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Clay Oval.”  Always fast Lakewood, California teenager Aiden Lange out-qualified the talent-laden field with a lap of 12.771.  Not only was that lap the only one in the 12-second bracket in the CLS field, but it was also faster than 43 of the 44 USAC National Midgets who were on hand for their portion of the show.  In fact, the time of the top three CLS qualifiers would have put them in the top-seven in the USAC Field.  2020 NASCAR Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed of Alpine was the second quickest qualifier in the CLS with a time of 13.006 and Michnowicz was third when he stopped the clocks at 13.010.


Three eight-lap heat races proceeded the CLS main event.  Wyatt Boczanowski of San Diego came from fourth to win the first one.  It was his first-ever victory in the CLS.  Friendly veteran Cody Nigh of Camarillo also came from fourth when he posted the victory in heat two.  The third and final eight-lapper went to Yucca Valley’s Jeff Dyer who took the victory after starting sixth.


For the main event, Creed and USAC/CRA Series regular A.J. Bender of San Diego manned the front row.  Youngster James Turnbull of Indio and Michnowicz made up row two.  Fast Palmdale teen Eric Greco and Nigh sat in row three with Boczanowski and Lange in the fourth row.  When the green flag flew starting the 25-lapper, Creed was the first to get to turn one, but Bender, on the outside, breezed by for the lead coming off the second corner.  Michnowicz, who now resides in Oak Hills, was third at the end of the opening circuit.  He stayed there until he drove around Creed for second at the end of the fourth go around.


By the time Michnowicz moved into second, Bender, in the pretty Schweitzer owned #41, had established a half straight advantage.  The leader caught up to lapped traffic on lap seven and had little trouble racing past the backmarkers.  He maintained a good size lead, but that all came to a screeching halt when David Gaspar of Santa Barbara got upside down in turn three.  Gaspar escaped unscathed, but his pretty blue number 18 suffered heavy damage.


For the restart, Bender had Michnowicz, Creed, Nigh and Greco all ganged up on his tail.  Bender got a great restart and once again left the others in his wake and pulled away to a comfortable lead.  The green only stayed out for four laps before another yellow flew when Turnbull stopped against the wall in turn four. 


After Turnbull’s car was pulled off the track, racing was ready to resume.  The top five were the same, but that was about to change in a hurry.  This time Bender did not get a good restart and Michnowicz, who just turned 57, pounced on the opportunity presented to him.  The wily veteran dove to the inside going into turn one.  He then slid up the track in front of Bender to steal a lead that he would not relinquish.  One lap later Creed used the same maneuver to slide into second, but this time Bender cut back to the inside and reclaimed the runner-up spot.  That battle for second allowed Michnowicz to establish a commanding lead. 


Nigh and Creed exchanged the third-place position in the highly entertaining race on lap 14, but their efforts would soon come to an end.  The same looked probable for Michnowicz when his #21 began to puff smoke.  And, with each passing lap, it was pushing out more smoke.  Another yellow came with 10 laps to go and it was at that point that Nigh dropped out.   Once the race restarted, a nervous Michnowicz saw his car stop smoking, but he was holding his breath as he steered around one of his favorite tracks. 


Creed’s night came to an end on lap 19 and that elevated Greco to third.  But time was running out and Michnowicz was gone out front.  The only question was, could his ailing car make it to the finish?  It did and he maintained a nearly full straight lead all the way to the checkered flag for another convincing win in his T Shirts by Timeless/Super Shox/Outlaw Wings/Guhl /Pflum Wagner Engines/ Fabozzi Metal Works/DLX by Circle Track Performance Chassis/ZX10.  Bender crossed the line second with Greco third.  The father and son combo of 16-year-old Grant Sexton and his father Brent from Lakeside finished fourth and fifth.  Brent was also the race “Hard Charger” after starting 19th. 


“My car was good on the top, but it was smoking,” Michnowicz told the worldwide audience watching live on Flo Racing.  “I could smell it.  It has been bad all night long.  These motors only cost like $2,500.00.  I was going to pull off on the last yellow, but Wendy (Michnowicz wife/crew chief)  signaled I had the lead.  So, I just figured screw it.  I will run it until it breaks, or the checker comes out.”


“I have been coming to this track since like 1982,” Michnowicz continued when Flo’s Kristy Bemmes asked why he is so good at Bakersfield.   “In TQ’s and then sprint cars.  I have always liked this place.  The Schweitzer’s (the promoters) are great people.  I always do good here luckily.  Maybe it is just good luck.” 


While the 2020 season is now over, the work continues.  The 2021 schedule is taking shape.  All the current tracks are expected to be back on board for next year and the return of another longtime stop for the CLS may be added as well.


If you or your company would like to become part of the series for the 2021 season, please call Alex Grigoreas at (909) 437-3170.


To keep up with the CLS online, please visit the website at http://racecls.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/californialightningsprints/


Bakersfield Main Event Finish (with starting positions)

1. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 4th

2. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 2nd

3. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 5th

4. Grant Sexton – Lakeside, CA  – 9th

5. Brent Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 19th

6. Jeff Dyer – Yucca, Valley, CA – 12th

7. Jeremy Queener- Mira Loma, CA, CA -17th

8. Kevin Bates – San Diego, CA – 10th

9. Trevor Ballou- Corona, CA – 14th

10. Greg Dennett - Livermore, CA – 16th

11. Robb Pelmear - Ventura, CA – 11th

12. Rudy Padilla - Norco, CA – 18th

13. James Helling – San Bernardino, CA – 13th

14. Sheldon Creed - Alpine, CA – 1st

15. Wyatt Boczanowski – San Diego, CA – 7th

16. Jon Robertson - Torrance, CA – 15th

17. Cody Nigh - Camarillo, CA – 6th

18. James Turnbull - Indio, CA – 3rd

19. Aiden Lange - Lakewood, CA – 8th

20. David Gaspar – Santa Barbara, CA – 21st

21. Chase Gaal – O’Neals, CA – 20th 




(Upland, CA, November 11, 2020) The topsy turvy 2020 California Lightning Sprint Car season took another downturn that was quickly followed by an upturn on Tuesday.  Due to the Covid crisis, the three-night “Hangtown 100” at the Placerville Speedway, which the CLS was a part of, was canceled.  Soon after, Merced Speedway promoter Doug Lockwood stepped up to host events on November 20th and 21st.  The show on the 21st will include the BCRA Midget Lites who will welcome the CLS.  Proceeding that show will be the November Classic at “The West’s Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Clay Oval,” the Bakersfield Speedway, on November 17th.  


The Bakersfield show will be conducted with CLS rules. The Merced race will be run with BCRA rules.  Both events will be winged races and both will pay $1,000.00 to win (Merced $1,000.00 to win based on 20 cars starting the main event). 


Both shows will also feature the NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midgets.  In addition, the Merced show will also feature Hobby Stocks on the program.  Racing will start at 5:00 PM Pacific at Bakersfield with cars slated to be on the track at 5:30 at Merced. 


Due to the Covid-19 crisis, spectators will not be allowed to attend the races.  However, fans from all over the world can see every lap of the action on Flo Racing.  For more information or to subscribe to Flo, fans can use the following link.  https://www.floracing.com/


If you or your company would like to become part of the CLS series for the season in 2021, please call Alex Grigoreas at (909) 437-3170.


To keep up with the CLS online, please visit the website at http://racecls.com/


Facebook 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




  Richest RUSH Sprint weekend coming to McKean & Bradford June 19-20, 2021

(Pulaski, PA)...The Pace Performance RUSH Sprint Car Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC is thrilled to announce the richest weekend in Series history will take place on June 19-20, 2021. A pair of $1,000 to-win, $175 to-start Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series special events will be held on back-to-back nights just 15 miles apart in McKean County, Pennsylvania with Saturday night at McKean County Raceway and Sunday night at Bradford Speedway. 

After not operating each of the past two seasons, McKean will be under new management in 2021 led by Close Racing Supply owner Joel Smith and former promoter Ken Leet. MCR will be running a specials-only slate of events that includes the RUSH Late Models and RUSH Pro Mods. Bradford meanwhile had an excellent first season under Dennis Cummings despite the pandemic. Bradford features the RUSH Late Models and RUSH Pro Mods weekly.

"This will be a tremendous addition to our schedule," stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig. "The northern racers have been hoping for some additional events up that way and it's been awhile since we've been to McKean or Bradford. To have two $1000 to-win races 15 miles apart on successive nights is awesome. McKean has already done some reconfiguration to their 1/3-mile track to make the racing better, while our past shows at Bradford on the 1/4-mile bullring were very exciting."  

Prior to the McKean-Bradford doubleheader, the week will start off early on Tuesday (June 15) at Sharon Speedway for a $600 to-win, $150 to-start race part of the All Star Circuit of Champions' Ohio Sprint Speedweek that will be broadcast live on FloRacing.com. This will create three Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series specials in six days! 

After a promising year one in 2018, rain wiped out 40% of the schedule in 2019, and the Series was hard hit by COVID-19 this past year, but still 27 different cars competed. However, all signs are pointing upward for 2021 as a bevy of new competitors will be making their debut, over 30 shows are expected with approximately 50% paying $600 or more to-win and several will be broadcast on FloRacing, DIRTVision and Lernerville TV. Drivers will be battling for the $20,000 Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Championship with $5,000 going to the winner plus the "Futures Cup" Championship will return.

Chad Ruhlman won the only RUSH Sprint Car event ever run at McKean back in 2018, while Ruhlman also swept both events at Bradford in 2018. In 2019 at Bradford, Bradley Blackshear won his first career Sprint Car race. Ruhlman went on to win the championship both of those years, while Jeremy Weaver was the 2020 Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series champion for Hull Racing. Sixteen-year-old Nolan Groves was the "Futures Cup" Champion with a trio of podium finishes.   

McKean & Dog Hollow Payoff: 1. $1,000 2. $500 3. $350 4. $275 5. $250 6. $240 7. $230 8. $225 9. $220 10. $215 11. $210 12. $205 13. $200 14. $195 15. $190 16. $185 17. $180 18-24. $175. Tow/Non-Qualifier $75.

McKean County Raceway is a 1/3-mile dirt track located at the McKean County Fairgrounds in East Smethport, Pa. at the intersections of Route 6 and 46. For more information on McKean County Family Raceway, check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/McKeanCountyRacewayMCR. Follow them on Twitter @McKeanCoRaceway.

Bradford Speedway is a 1/4-mile dirt track located at 330 Summit Road, Bradford, PA 16701. For more information, check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Bradford-Speedway-109610073932081.
RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Pace Performance together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, FK Rod Ends, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, CrateInsider.com, and Wedge Motorsports.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at info@rushracingseries.com and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300 and fax is 724-964-0604. The RUSH Sprint Car Series website is www.rushsprintcars.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushprintcars and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSprints.





  red bluff outlaw series




2020 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule


March 14th              Bakersfield Speedway


March 21st              Ventura Raceway


April 18th                 Bakersfield Speedway


May 2nd                   Ventura Raceway


June 6th                  Ventura Raceway


June 13th                Bakersfield Speedway


June 27th                Merced Speedway Wayne Albright Memorial (Civil War Series/Non-Wing Challenge)


July 25th                  Santa Maria Raceway (with King of the West Sprint Cars)


August 15th             Santa Maria Raceway (with USAC/CRA Sprint Cars)


August 29th             Ventura Raceway


September 5th         Ventura Raceway


September 19th       Bakersfield Speedway


October 3rd             Ventura Raceway


October 31st            Ventura Raceway


November 17th        (with USAC National Midgets)




Sat, 4/11 Tyler County Speedway
Sat, 5/2 Pittsburgh
Sat, 5/9 Pittsburgh
Sat, 5/23 Sharon Speedway
Sun, 5/24 Tyler County Speedway
Sat, 5/30 Sharon Speedway
Sat, 6/6 Sharon Speedway
Sat, 6/13 Pittsburgh
Tue, 6/16 Sharon Speedway
Sat, 6/20 Sharon Speedway
Sat, 6/27 Sharon Speedway
Sat, 7/4 Pittsburgh
Sat, 7/11 Tyler County Speedway
Sun, 7/12 TBA
Sat, 7/18 Sharon Speedway
Sun, 7/19 Eriez Speedway
Fri, 7/24 Lernerville Speedway
Sat, 7/25 Tyler County Speedway
Sat, 8/1 Sharon Speedway
Sat, 8/15 Sharon Speedway
Sat, 8/22 Pittsburgh
Fri, 8/28 Lernerville Speedway
Sat, 8/29 Sharon Speedway
Sun, 9/6 Eriez Speedway
Fri, 9/11 Sharon Speedway
Sat, 9/12 Raceway 7
Sat, 9/19 Pittsburgh
Fri, 9/25 Genesee Speedway
Sat, 9/26 Genesee Speedway

Fri-Sat, 10/16-17 Lernerville Speedway


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