Update - California Lightning Sprints
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California Lightning Sprints
Alex Grigoreas won the California Lightning Sprint Car Series 2016 season opener at the Imperial Valley Raceway in El Centro, CA.
As the green flag flew to start the feature, Alex would head for the top of the raceway and he would be in the lead before the end of the first lap with Bobby Michnowicz just behind. The two leaders would encounter lapped traffic before the end of the second lap. The pair would make their way through traffic and Alex would stay in frond and would stay on the hammer as his car would begin to run out of fuel. With the late race restart, things could not end fast enough for Alex. On the yellow, he decided to put the car into 5th-gear to idle around and fortunately for him, the final two laps went unstopped to the checkered flag. He would take the win with James Heling finishing behind him in second and Darren Hillberg in third.
Three-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series Champion Bobby Michnowicz swept the show as he would record fast time, win his heat and would cap it off with his eighth main event victory in his last 13 starts at Bakersfield Speedway in Bakersfield, CA.
For the 20-lap main event, Bobby would start on the outside of the fourth row. When the green flag dropped, James Heling, from the outside of the front row would be the first driver to reach turn one. Pole sitter Jon Robertson was second with A.J. Bender of third. By the end of the first lap, A.J. had moved into second place with Jeff Dyer third. Bobby Michnowicz would be already up to fourth. As the race continued Bobby was able to take and maintain the lead by the end of the fourth lap, even dealing with cautions and restarts. He would come from his eighth starting spot to take the win. A.J. Bender would follow in second and James Heling, with another podium finish, taking third.
Alex Grigoreas would score his second 2016 win in three races with the California Lightning Sprint Car Series at the Ventura Raceway in Ventura, CA.
For the 20-lap main Dale Gamer and Darren Hillberg would sit on the front row and would bring the field to the green flag. As they shuffled around on the back straight, Darren would emerge with the lead and was chased by Jeff Dyer and Dale Gamer. Kevin Michnowicz, who was making his first start of the year would race into third by turn three on the first lap with James Heling and Alex Grigoreas making their way into fourth and fifth by the end of the first lap. With the mid-race interruptions over, there would still be eight laps to go and Hillberg was where he had been the entire race and that was leading the race. The restart had Grigoreas parked right on Hillberg’s tail. Hillberg’s older brother Dan was third and Chino’s Pat Kelley was fourth. As the final five laps dwindled it would be Grigoreas beating Darren Hillberg to the checkered flag with some extra room to spare. Dan Hillberg crossed the line third, but was disqualified after being 11-pounds light in a post-race inspection. That moved Pat Kelley up to third.
Alex Grigoreas continued his domination of the California Lightning Sprint Car Series when he won the feature event at Santa Maria Raceway in Santa Maria, CA.
Once the green flew again after the final red, Alex would take to the top of the track for the final four-lap showdown, while Craig Dillard used the bottom. Building his momentum on the top, Alex would nearly steal the lead coming off the second corner on lap-19, but Craig would hold him off. One lap later on the same spot on the track after they took the white flag, Alex would take the lead with a daring “win it or wear it pass” for his third win of the year and his second ever at Santa Maria. Craig would follow in second to the checkered flag and third spot would go to rookie Cody Nigh.
The California Lightning Sprints will next be in action April 30th at Bakersfield Speedway.