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GASPER AND MICHNOWICZ SPLIT CLS WINS AT VENTURA

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(Torrance, CA, May 3, 2022) Youth was served when the California Lightning Sprint Car Series visited Jim Naylor's Ventura Raceway last Saturday and teenager David Gasper captured one of the two 25 lap main events on the night. In addition to youth, experience was served as well when quinquagenarian Bobby Michnowicz captured the other 25-lapper.

The two main events were necessitated when qualifying and the heats were completed on March 16th. However, rain intervened and caused postponement of the main event. Thus, the first order of business after qualifying on Saturday was the makeup race.

The start of the makeup main event saw Santa Barbara's Gasper on the inside of the front row with J.D. Bentley from Rubottom, Oklahoma on the outside. Palmdale's Eric Greco and Dominic Del Monte, two youngsters who are considered veterans in the CLS, comprised row two. The third row featured Camarillo's Cody Nigh and his uncle, five-time series champion Bobby Michnowicz of Oak Hills.

As the field was coming around to take the initial green flag, series-leading rookie Will Browne of Glendora slowed and came to a stop in turn three. That was just about the time the remainder of the field was hitting the throttle pedal for the start of the race. The green did not come out, but several cars got together as they entered turn one. Nigh ended up on his side and a red flag came out before the green had ever waved. Officials pushed Nigh's pretty #45 back on all fours and he was ready for the restart. With a bent nose wing, he had to restart at the back after being deemed the perpetrator of the red.

Gasper got the jump in turn one and led over Bentley, Greco, Michnowicz, and Del Monte. The race got three laps in before Chino's Pat Kelley coasted to a stop in turn one bringing out a yellow flag.

Once action resumed, wily veteran Michnowicz, went to the outside to pass Greco for second coming off turn two. That was the last pass amongst the top five for the duration of the race, but it was anything, but boring.

Gasper and Bentley hit the lapped traffic on lap 13 and had no problem getting around the first two. However, from that point on, the lappers provided a headache for the top four. When he was stuck behind lapped cars, Greco almost took third from Michnowicz and Bentley almost did the same to Gasper. However, both of those offensive thwarts were repelled.

When the checkers ended the race, it was 2021 series champion Gasper posting his second win in the first four races of the year. Bentley was only three car lengths behind the leader and was trailed by Michnowicz, Greco, and Del Monte.

Michnowicz won the "Speed Mart" and "Advanced Racing Suspension Hard Charger" awards for the first main after starting fifth and finishing seventh.

"It was a long wait (due to the rainout) knowing that we started on the pole," Gasper said after his second triumph of the year. "My guys gave me a good car and we got it done. The sun started getting in my eyes a little bit heading into three. I couldn't really see, but we made it work and we got it done. It was a long year (at Ventura in 2021). Our best finish was second. We struggled on set up here, but I think we figured it out for sure."

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David Gasper after his win in the first main at Ventura on Saturday night. CLS Photo.

For the regular portion of the program, Gasper was the "West Evans Motorsports Fastest Qualifier" with a time of 12.240. Bentley was second quick at 12.360. Impressive Browne recorded the third-best time with a lap of 12.436. Greco and Nigh, with times of 12.455 and 12.478 respectively, rounded out the top five.

Del Monte took the "Extreme Mufflers First Heat Race" when he beat Gasper and Nigh to the checkers. Rancho Cucamonga's Brent Owens topped the field in the "CSI Shocks Second Heat." Bentley and Michnowicz placed second and third.

For the second 25-lap main event of the night, Nigh and Michnowicz were once again paired on the front row. Greco and Bentley lined up behind them in row two with Gasper and Browne slated to go from row three.

After completing and finishing fourth in his heat race, Browne again stopped on the pace lap for the main event. This time the talented new driver to the CLS was done for the night.

Michnowicz was the first to turn one and the first across the line at the end of the opening circuit. Bentley, Del Monte, Greco, and Gasper were in tow. Gasper split Greco and Del Monte and when the second lap was completed, he was third.

Michnowicz and Bentley moved away from the remainder of the field and by the end of the fourth lap, they were on the rear end of the pack. That ended up being when Michnowicz faced his most serious challenge in the race. When he momentarily hesitated coming off two, Bentley drove to the outside and attempted to take the lead away. However, the lapped car was in his way and Michnowicz was able to maintain the lead and did not face another serious challenge.

Besides the lap four interaction with traffic, the lapped cars were more cooperative than they were in the first race. When the sailing was clear, Michnowicz hugged the inside line, while Bentley ran a lane wider and stayed within four or five car lengths of the race-long leader through the first half of the event.

The proceedings were halted for the second time on lap 16 when Del Monte slid to a stop on the back chute forcing a yellow. For the restart, Michnowicz and Bentley were joined in the top five by Gasper, Nigh, and Greco. On the initial try to go racing again, the yellow immediately came back on when Owens spun to the infield on the restart. On the next try, Michnowicz got a great restart, but Bentley did not. Gasper, who was trying to go two for two on the night, immediately went on the attack. He steered the brilliant blue #18 to the inside of Bentley in turn one. Coming off two, Bentley fought him off. Gasper tried again going into three, and Bentley fended him off one more time, got a good drive off four, and put some breathing room between himself and his pursuer.

Bentley and Gasper's fight allowed Michnowicz to expand his lead. The wily veteran took full advantage over the last 10-laps, which went without a yellow. He put nearly a half straight between his T Shirts By Timeless/Pflum and Wagner/Fabozzi Metal Works/Super Shocks/Outlaw Wings/Simpson #21, and second place Bentley at the finish. Gasper ended up third with Nigh fourth and Greco fifth.

Ojai's Gage Cheek, who was making his first start of the year, won the "Speed Mart" and "Advanced Racing Suspension Hard Charger" awards after starting 10th and finishing seventh.

"We have had such bad luck," the happy winner said referring to his early-season woes. "Starting on the front row I was thinking, 'Just get the jump and go as fast as you can.' I was tired as we had already went 25 laps (in the first main). So, I ate a banana and drank some water. The track was great. Jim Naylor has changed the track a lot. He is going to massage it some more, but its really good. This is where I met my wife. We were 16 years old racin here. A lot of good memories and I love it here."

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Five-time CLS champion Bobby Michnowicz got his first win the the year Saturday at Ventura. CLS Photo.

Greco continues to add some points to his lead in the championship standings and now has a 24-point advantage over Nigh. Defending champion Gasper is third and 98-points behind the leader. Yucca Valley's Jeff Dyer is fourth. Michnowicz has finally broken into the top five for the first time this year and is fifth.

The CLS gets one week off before returning to action with the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars at the Bakersfield Speedway on May 14th.

West Evans Motorsports Qualifying: 1. Dave Gasper, 12.240; 2. J.D. Bentley, 12.360; 3. Will Browne, 12.436; 4. Eric Greco, 12.445; 5. Mike Nigh, 12.478, 6. Bobby Michnowicz, 12.486; 7. Jon Robertson, 12.617; 8. Trevor Ballou, 12.781; 9. Connor Spier, 13.331' 10. Gage Cheek, 13.648; 11. Jacob Magallanes 14.6748, 12 Brent Owens, 22.952; 13. Pat Kelley, 34.226; Mark Henry, NT, Dominic Del Monte, NT

Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1 (8 laps): 1. Del Monte, 2. Gasper, 3. Nigh, 4. Browne, 5. Speir, 6. Kelley, 7. Magallanes

CSI Shocks Heat Race #2 (8 laps): 1. Owens, 2. Bentley, 3. Michnowicz, 4. Greco, 5. Ballou, 6. Cheek, Henry

Ventura Makeup March 16 25-Lap Main Event (with starting positions)

1. Dave Gasper - Santa Barbara, CA - 1st

2. J.D. Bentley - Rubottom, OK - 2nd

3. Bobby Michnowicz - Oak Hills, CA - 5th

4. Eric Greco - Palmdale, CA - 3rd

5. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena, CA - 4th

6. Cody Nigh - Camarillo, CA -6th

7. Jon Robertson - Torrance, CA - 8th

8. Trevor Ballou - Corona, CA - 10th

9. Connor Spier - Fillmore, CA - 9th

10. Pat Kelley - Chino Hills, CA - 7th

DNS Will Browne - Glendora, CA

DNS Brent Owens - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Lap Leaders: Dave Gasper 1-25

Ventura 25-Lap April 30 Main Event (with starting positions)

1. Bobby Michnowicz - Oak Hills, CA - 2nd

2. J.D. Bentley - Rubottom, OK - 4th

3. David Gasper - Santa Barbara, CA - 5th

4. Cody Nigh - Camarillo, CA - 1st

5. Eric Greco - Palmdale, CA - 3rd

6. Trevor Ballou - Corona, CA - 8th

7. Gage Cheek - Ojai, CA - 10th

8. Dominic Del Monte - Gardena, CA - 7th

9. Mark Henry - Rosamond, CA - 11th

10. Jacob Magallanes - Pasadena, CA - 12th

11. Connor Speir - Fillmore, CA - 9th

12. Brent Owens - Rancho Cucamonga, CA - 6th

DNS Will Browne - Glendora, CA

DNS Pat Kelley - Chino, CA

Lap Leaders: Bobby Michnowicz 1-25

California Lightning Sprint Car Series Point Standings

1. Eric Greco, Palmdale, CA ... 608

2. Cody Nigh, Camarillo, CA ... 584

3. David Gasper, Santa Barbara, CA ... 510

4. Jeff Dyer, Yucca Valley, CA ... 499

5. Bobby Michnowicz, Oak Hills, CA ... 389

6. Will Browne ®, Glendora, CA ... 355

7. Pat Kelley, Chino, CA ... 331

8. Dominic Del Monte, Gardena, CA ... 320

9. A.J. Bender, San Diego, CA ... 231

10. Jeremy Queener, Lake Elsinore, CA ... 207

10. Trevor Ballou, Corona, CA, 207

CLS vs BCRA "Civil War Series" Points

1. David Gasper - CLS - 142

2. Dakota Albright - BCRA - 126

3. Eric Greco - CLS - 126

4. Will Browne - CLA 116

5. Harlee Aguilera - BCRA - 109

6. Cody Nigh - CLS - 104

7. Greg Dennett - BCRA - 100

8. Hunter Kinney - BCRA - 92

9. Matt Land - BCRA - 89

10. Tim Kinser - 83

The following companies have become marketing partners with the CLS in 2022. They have offered up more than $13,000.00 in contingencies that will be awarded on top of the regular racing purses and they will be paid out throughout the year. T-Shirts By Timeless, Hoosier Tires West, Extreme Mufflers, Saldana Racing Products, Rod End Supply, Speed Mart, Cold Fire West, West Evens Motorsports, RC Fuel Injection, Jake Swanson Shock Technology, Advanced Racing Suspensions, CSI Shocks, Eibach Springs, Triple X Race Components, King Racing Products, Hyper Racing Products, Rebel Gears, Vahlco Wheels, Wilwood Disk Brakes, Fuel Safe Systems, MPI, Circle Track Performance, E-Z UP, Hepfner Racing, Smith Titanium, and Hoosier Speed.

If you or your company would like to become a partner of the longtime racing organization, contact Jon Robertson via email at mailto:jon.robertson@sbcglobal.net or by calling (310) 367-9050.

CLS Contingency Awards For The March 16 Makeup Ventura Race

Heat Race #1 - Extreme Muffler $50.00 Product Certificate - Jeff Dyer

Heat Race #2 - CSI Shocks - $50.00 Product Certificate - Dominic Del Monte

1st Place Main Event - Eibach Springs $100.00 Product Certificate - David Gasper

2nd Place Main Event - Vahlco Wheels $50.00 Product Certificate - J.D. Bentley

3rd Place Main Event - Jake Swanson Shock Technology $50 Product Certificate - Bobby Michnowicz

4th Place Main Event - Hyper Chassis - $50 Product Certificate - Eric Greco

5th Place Main Event - Smith Titanium Product Certificate - Dominic Del Monte

10th Place Main Event - King Racing Products $25.00 Product Certificate - Pat Kelley

Fast Qualifier - West Evans Motorsports $25.00 Product Certificate - Eric Greco

Hard Charger - Speed Mart $25.00 Product Certificate - Bobby Michnowicz

Hard Charger - Advanced Racing Suspension Product Certificate - Bobby Michnowicz

Hard Luck Award - Speed Mart $25.00 Product Certificate - Will Browne

1st Car Not On The Lead Lap - Rebel Gears 30% Off Coupon

CLS Contingency Awards For The April 30 Ventura Race

Heat Race #1 - Extreme Muffler $50.00 Product Certificate - Dominic Del Monte

Heat Race #2 - CSI Shocks - $50.00 Product Certificate - Brent Owens

1st Place Main Event - Eibach Springs $100.00 Product Certificate - Bobby Michnowicz

2nd Place Main Event - Vahlco Wheels $50.00 Product Certificate - J.D. Bentley

3rd Place Main Event - Jake Swanson Shock Technology $50 Product Certificate - David Gasper

4th Place Main Event - Hyper Chassis - $50 Product Certificate - Cody Nigh

5th Place Main Event - Smith Titanium Product Certificate - Eric Greco

10th Place Main Event - King Racing Products $25.00 Product Certificate - Jacob Magallanes

Fast Qualifier - West Evans Motorsports $25.00 Product Certificate - David Gasper

Hard Charger - Speed Mart $25.00 Product Certificate - Gage Cheek

Hard Charger - Advanced Racing Suspension Product Certificate - Gage Cheek

Hard Luck Award - Speed Mart $25.00 Product Certificate - Will Browne

1st Car Not On The Lead Lap - Rebel Gears 30% Off Coupon

2022 California Lightning Sprint Car Series Schedule

March 25 Bakersfield Speedway Winged - Grant Sexton

April 2 Merced Speedway Non-Wing -- Civil War #1 - David Gasper

April 16 Bakersfield Speedway Winged - A.J. Bender

April 30 Ventura Raceway Winged (Make Up Main) David Gasper

April 30 Ventura Raceway Winged - Bobby Michnowicz

May 14 Bakersfield Speedway Winged - With USAC/CRA

May 21 Ventura Raceway Winged



June 11 Bakersfield Speedway Winged

June 25 Ventura Raceway Winged

July 9 Ventura Raceway Winged

July 23 Ventura Raceway Winged

August 26 Silver Dollar Speedway Winged - Civil War #2

August 27 Placerville Speedway Winged - Civil War #3

September 10 Lemoore Raceway Winged

September 24 Bakersfield Speedway Winged - Civil War #4

October 8 Mohave Valley Raceway Winged - With SWLS

October 29 Ventura Raceway Winged

November 15 Bakersfield Speedway Winged - With USAC Midgets - Civil War #5

November 17 Placerville Speedway Non-Wing - With USAC Midgets - No Points

November 18 Placerville Speedway Non-Wing - With USAC Midgets - No Points

November 19 Placerville Speedway Non-Wing - With USAC Midgets - No Points

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

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

2019 Jarrett Kramer

2021 David Gasper

This press release was produced by Scott Daloisio Sports (909) 226-7768 mailto:sdaloisiosports@gmail.com