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NUNES WINS LIGHTNING SPRINT OPENER IN BAKERSFIELD – VENTURA THIS SATURDAY!
 
(Torrance, CA, March 19, 2019) Kingsburg, California’s Doug Nunes scored a convincing win when the Lucas Oil POWRi California Lightning Sprint Car Series opened its season last Saturday night at the Bakersfield Speedway.  The historic race was the first ever for the CLS under the POWRi banner. 

 
 

 
Main event winner Doug Nunes inside of Jarrett Kramer and Eric Greco last Saturday at Bakersfield.  Pit Princess Photography
 
An impressive 27-car field showed up for the opening of the CLS 26th straight season of racing.  That field and the other divisions on hand found themselves in peril early on when a local power outage forced the cancelation of qualifying.  Plan B saw the CLS go to a draw for starting positions in the three eight-lap heat races.  Those three heats were won by Nunes, defending series champion Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley and Palmdale youngster Eric Greco.  Camarillo’s Cody Nigh won the 10-lap B main.
 
Relative newcomer Bill Dodd of Ramona was on the pole for the 25-lap main event on “The West’s Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Clay Oval.” USAC/CRA Sprint Car regular A.J. Bender of San Diego was alongside on the front row.  Five-time CLS champ Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita was on the inside of the second row with Greco starting next to him.  Nunes was on the inside of the third stanza and had Kramer as his partner.
 
When the green flew over the Kern County oval for the start of the main, Bender launched from his outside row one starting spot into the lead.  Michnowicz, coming off a year that was far below his standard, raced up the inside in the first turn and relieved Dodd of second.  By the end of the first circuit Nunes, in a gorgeous Berry Brothers/Jimmy Sills tribute #7 car, had stormed into third place.
 
The top three remained the same over the first three laps before the only yellow of the race came out and slowed the action on lap four when Lakeside’s Dalton Sexton, Anaheim’s Dale Gamer and Robb Pelmear of Ventura tangled in turn four.  What seemed to be a simple yellow flag period quickly turned bizarre.  2018 CLS Rookie of the Year, Grant Sexton of Lakeside, had a right front torsion arm break while slowly circling the track on the yellow waiting for the restart. The break caused the rising 14-year-old star to flip on the front straight.  He emerged unscathed and it was probably fortunate that the break happened on the yellow.  Had the race went back to green and the breakage occurred at racing speeds, the results could have been disastrous. 
 
After getting Sexton’s car pulled off the track, things stayed on the whacky side when Ramona’s Kyle Dodd lost a left rear while idling around under yellow flag conditions waiting for the restart.
 
For the restart with 22-laps to go, Bender was in the lead.  Michnowicz, Nunes, Kramer and Greco comprised the remainder of the top five.  Nunes, who won a main event at Bakersfield in 2018, proved he meant business on the restart when he diamonded off the first bend and swept under Michnowicz for second.
 
Nunes kept his momentum up and was riding the wide line when he tried to snatch the lead away from Bender at the end of the fifth lap.  Heading into turn one on the next tour, Bender, who also won a main event at Bakersfield last year, slid up in front of his pesky challenger.  That left a huge hole on the bottom for wily veteran Michnowicz who attempted to pass both to no avail.  Screaming into turn three, Bender went to the wide line.  That is all Nunes needed.  The 42-year-old cleverly cut to the inside and pilfered the top spot away from the race long leader.  Once out front, he immediately started to pull away.
 
Michnowicz was only in third until the seventh lap when he had a hard time getting through one and two.  That allowed Kramer to steam by for the spot. 
 
By the end of the eighth-lap, Nunes had nearly a half straight advantage over Bender.  At that point, Nunes biggest worry was the lapped traffic he was quickly approaching.  Second-place Bender had some other worries.  Kramer was chasing him down.  At the end of lap-eight, Kramer tried the inside to relieve Bender of the spot, but Bender fended off his advance.  They stayed that way for six more laps as they weaved their way through the lap traffic before Kramer finally took the second spot away.
 
By the time Kramer had wrestled the runner-up position away from Bender, Nunes had built an insurmountable lead.  When the checkered flag ended the race, the Cal State Fresno graduate had more than a half straightaway advantage over Kramer.  Bender stayed in third for the duration with Michnowicz and Greco rounding out the top five.
 
Sixteen-year-old Dalton Sexton was the race “Hard Charger” finishing 10th after starting 17th. 
 
By virtue of the win, Nunes has a five-point lead over Kramer in the championship standings heading into this Saturday’s race at Ventura.  Bender sits third in the standings and trails Nunes by 20-points while Greco and Michnowicz are tied for fourth, 25-markers behind the leader.
 
This Saturday night at the Ventura Raceway, the CLS will be joined by the co-sanctioned USAC West Coast/VRA Sprint Cars, VRA Senior Sprints and VRA Dwarf Cars.  Spectator gates open at 3:00 P.M. with racing at 5:30. 
 
Fans who would like to attend Saturday’s race in Ventura can find the track on the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 10 W. Harbor Boulevard (93001).  The track website is http://venturaraceway.com/ and the office phone number is (805) 648-RACE.
 
After Saturday’s race in Ventura, the CLS will have one week off before heading to the Barona Speedway for the first of three races in 2019 on Saturday, April 6.   
 
The Lucas Oil POWRi California Lightning Sprint Car Series would like to thank the following sponsors for helping make the 2019 season possible: Lucas Oil, All Coast Construction, Christian Stover Foundation, Circle Track Performance, Cold Fire West, Fast Undercar, Hoosier Tire, Keizer Wheels, Outlaw Wings, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Speed Partz, Super Shocks, T Shirts by Timeless and Woodland Auto Display.
 
If you or your company would like to become part of the series for its 26th season in 2019, please call Bobby Michnowicz at (310) 320-5569.
 
To keep up with the CLS online, please visit the website at http://racecls.com/
 
 
Bakersfield Speedway March 16 Results (with starting positions)
1. Doug Nunes – Kingsburg, CA – 5th
2. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA – 6th
3. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 2nd
4. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 3rd
5. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 4th
6. Dan Hillberg – Placentia, CA – 9th
7. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 11th
8. Pat Kelley – Chino, CA – 12th
9. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 13th
10. Dalton Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 17th
11. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 18th
12. Dan Fraser – Sacramento, CA – 10th
13. Bill Dodd – Ramona, CA – 1st
14. Dale Gamer – Anaheim, CA – 20th
15. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 7th
16. Gage Cheek – Valencia, CA – 14th
17. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 8th
18. Kyle Dodd – Ramona, CA – 16th
19. Grant Sexton – Lakeside, CA – 15th
20. Robb Pelmear – Ventura, CA – 19th
 
2019 Lucas Oil POWRi California Lightning Sprint Cars Series Point Standings
 
1. Doug Nunes - Kingsburg, CA – 140
2. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA - 135
3. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 125
4. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA - 120
4. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA - 120
6. Dan Hillberg - Placentia, CA – 108
7. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 102
8. Pat Kelley - Chino, CA – 97
9. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA - 91
10. Dalton Sexton - Lakeside, CA – 84


 
2019 Lucas Oil POWRi California Lightning Sprint Car Series
 
March 16                   Bakersfield Speedway – Doug Nunes
 
March 23                   Ventura Raceway
 
April 6                         Barona Speedway
 
April 20                       Bakersfield Speedway
 
May 4                         Ventura Raceway
 
May 18                       Barona Speedway
 
June 1                        Ventura Raceway
 
June 15                      Bakersfield Speedway
 
July 6                          Ventura Raceway
 
July 27                       Santa Maria Raceway
 
August 10                  Barona Speedway
 
August 24                  Ventura Raceway
 
September 7             Ventura Raceway
 
September 21           Bakersfield Speedway
 
October 5                  Ventura Raceway
 
October 26                Ventura Raceway
 
November 17            Bakersfield Speedway
 
 
PAST 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 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

 
 

 

Casey Roberts Back In Victory Lane At Southern Raceway Bash At The Beach

 
RACE RECAP: MILTON, FL--The Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series presented by Max Fab ran race number two Saturday night at Tom Lowry’s Southern Raceway in Milton, FL.,the 3rd Annual Bash at the Beach and Casey Roberts picked up where he left off two years ago and was back in victory lane taking the $7,000 in the 60 lap feature. Two years ago Roberts swept the weekend and this year with the doubleheader he said driver error played into the Friday night finish, so he just parked it to save his car and be ready for the next night. The plan worked as he led all 60 laps but it was not easy as Neil Baggett and David Breazeale all made a run at him with nothing to show for it.
 
David Breazeale of Four Corners, MS., finished second, Friday night winner Neil Baggett of Columbus, MS., third, fourth to Riley Hickman of Ooltewah, TN., fourth and fifth to Zach Leonhardi of Emerson, GA.
 
Finishing in sixth place was Ryan Crane, seventh to J R Moseley, eighth place to J C Wilson, ninth place to Joseph Joiner and tenth to Billy Franklin.
 
RACE TIDBITS: Baggett, Hickman, Joiner, Leonhardi, Moseley and JC Wilson all these drivers finished in the top ten in both nights of the Bash at the Beach. The series will return to the gulf coast track on Saturday & Sunday August 31st & September 1st for a pair of events paying $4,000 & $5,000 to win.
 
Roberts Sponsors: Wynn Motorsports Longhorn/Jay Dickens/Wynn                                       Land Development/M&S Concrete/Cushman Paint & Body/Baird Truck & Rental Sales/Anchorage Marine/Millwood Plumbing/Simpson Trucking/Penske Shocks.
 
Car Count: 18
 
SUNOCO RACE FUELS GROUP QUALIFYING: Group A: Neil Baggett   Group B Casey Roberts
 
Knowles Race Parts Fast Qualifier: Neil Baggett
 
Hoosier Racing Tires Heat Race Winners: Baggett/Roberts
 
PPM Race Products B Mains:
 
AR Bodies Last Car Lead Lap: Ryan Crane
 
COR Suspensions 10th Place Finisher: Billy Franklin
 
36 Racing & Fabrication Hard Charger: Ryan Crane
 
BrakeOMeter 4th Place Finisher Award: Riley Hickman
 
Rugged Radios Communications Award: Casey Roberts
 
Results Pending Tire Test: 1.Casey Roberts; 2.David Breazeale; 3.Neil Baggett; 4.Riley Hickman; 5.Zach Leonhardi; 6.Ryan Crane; 7.J R Moseley; 8.J C Wilson; 9.Joseph Joiner; 10.Billy Franklin; 11.Jay Scott; 12.Andrew Littleton; 13.Austin Arnold; 14.Andy Picklesimer; 15.Taylor Jarvis; 16.Mark Dodson; 17.Matt Chavers; 18.Colton Leyendecker
 
DNS: Larry Harrod
 
For more information concerning the Southern All Stars contact Lynn Acklin - General Manager: 256-924-4546 www.sasdirt.com
 
2019 SOUTHERN ALL STAR POINTS STANDINGS PRESENTED BY MAXFAB: 1.Neil Baggett 194;  2.Riley Hickman 184; 3.Zach Leonhardi 176; 4.J R Moseley 172; 5.Jay Scott 170; 6.Joseph Joiner 170; 7.David Breazeale 170; 8. J C Wilson 166; 9.Ryan Crane 162;10.Casey Roberts 160   
 
2019 CRUISE WITH THE CHAMPIONS/DIRTONDIRT.COM ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: 1.J R Moseley 38; 2.Zach Leonhardi 38; 3.Andrew Littleton 34; 4.Billy Franklin 34; 5.Austin Arnold 31.
 
2019 AR Bodies Challenge.
 
UPCOMING SOUTHERN ALL STAR DIRT RACING SERIES EVENT:
 
March 24-Cherokee Speedway-Gaffney, SC-$12,000
April 20-Thunderhill Raceway-Summertown, TN-$4,000
April 26-SmokyMt Speedway-Maryville, TN-$5,000
 
2019 Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series Sponsors:
*Hoosier Racing Tire “The Official Race Tire” of the Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series *Patriot Sports “The Official Merchandise Vendor” of the Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series *Sunoco Race Fuel “The Official Racing Fuel” of the Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series*MaxFab Presenting Sponsor, Rugged Radios Official Communications of the Southern All Stars Dirt Racing Series

 
2019 Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series Marketing Partners Include: AR Bodies, Brodix Cylinder Heads, ,  COR Suspensions, Cruise with the Champions, DirtonDirt.com, H3 Performance Graphics, Integra Racing Shocks, , MSR Mafia Web Design and Service, PPM Racing Products, RockAuto.com, 36 Racing & Fabrication, BrakeOMeter; Dirt Car Lift, Knowles Race Parts, Hawaiian Island Shine, Racing Junk
 

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