(Torrance, CA, July 10, 2019) Two-time POWRi Lucas Oil California Lightning Sprint Car Series champion Jarrett Kramer kept up his domination of the Ventura Raceway last Saturday night when he scored his fourth win in four 2019 appearances at the track. The victory allowed the veteran driver to increase his lead in the championship standings to 42-points as the season reached the halfway point.
Eighteen cars signed into the CLS pits for the race at the track located on the Ventura County Fairgrounds. California Highway Patrol officer Jeff “Ponch” Dyer of Bermuda Dunes, ended up being the fastest qualifier on the night with a lap of 11.818. USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series regular A.J. Bender of San Diego was second quick with a time of 11.952 and Santa Clarita’s Gage Cheek was third when he timed in at 11.975. Kramer was 11th fast qualifier with a time of 12.400.
Ventura local Bruce Douglass captured the first eight-lap heat race. Kramer rebounded from the disappointing qualifying run to win the second heat. Five-time CLS champion Bobby Michnowicz, who had an electrical problem that caused him to miss qualifying, won the third heat.
The inversion for the 25-lap main event saw Spring Valley resident Kramer on the pole. Lakewood teen Aiden Lange was alongside. The second row featured Palmdale’s Eric Greco and Bakersfield veteran Wink Schweitzer. San Diego State University graduate Cody Nigh of nearby Camarillo and Kingsburg’s Doug Nunes were in row three with Bender and fast timer Dyer in row four.
The drop of the green flag produced exactly what everyone would expect with Kramer on the pole when he launched into the lead in the Malicious Liquids/Anarchist Manufacturing/AK Hardparts/Reber Reber Inc./Finest City Dog Training/BK Wings/Guhl Motors/Victory Graphix/Kramer Brothers Racing/DLX/Kawasaki ZX10R #1. However, it all went for naught when Michnowicz and “Rockstar” Jon Robertson of Torrance got together in turn three. Robertson flipped into the infield and Michnowicz coasted to a stop bringing out a red flag. Fortunately, Robertson was okay, but his car was done for the night.
Michnowicz pushed his bent, black racer back to the pits with a broken left front shock, destroyed left rear tire and wheel and the steering arm hanging off the car. Several crews jumped in to get it fixed, but not in time for the restart.
Apart from Robertson and Michnowicz not being on the track, take two on the main was much like take one. Kramer again zoomed into the lead, but the aeronautics was not done. This time Jonathon Conley, a regular at Ventura in the Dwarf Cars, got upside down coming out of turn four. That brought the proceedings to a halt again, but not before the field had completed lap one.
Oxnard inhabitant Conley was okay and was able to restart at the back. And, so was Michnowicz, but he was a lap down. Once the race got going again it was business as usual for 37-year-old Kramer. He built a lead up over Lange, Greco, Schweitzer and Nunes.
Nunes, who came into the race second in points and tied with Kramer on three wins for the year, began his usual march forward when he relegated Schweitzer back to fifth on lap three. He then steered his pretty white and red #7 into third when Greco got sideways coming off the fourth turn on lap seven. By that time, Kramer was already into the lapped traffic.
Nunes forward progress continued when he passed Lange for second in what was a near disaster. As the pair was approaching a lapped car, they swung wide to go around it. Lange was the meat in the sandwich. Nunes, on the outside, was going by Lange for the runner-up spot when his left rear contacted Lange’s right front. Nunes literally bounced down the back chute but somehow managed to hold onto his newly acquired position.
While Nunes was getting used to having all four tires on the ground again, Kramer was sailing out front and was nearly a half straight ahead. It was going to take a yellow or a red flag for Nunes to mount a real challenge and that is exactly what happened. With four laps to go, a lapped car slid to a stop in between turns one and two forcing a yellow flag.
When the race resumed, Nunes tried a wide line going into turn one, but that did not work and it allowed Kramer to advance his lead. Going into one on the next lap, Nunes hauled it in on the low line and nearly clobbered the rear of Kramer’s car. He then slid up the track scrubbing off some speed. That, combined with a momentary bobble exiting turn four, was all Kramer needed to seal the deal. He stayed out front and remained perfect on the season at Ventura with his fourth win. Nunes hung onto second with Bender third. Youngsters Lange and Greco rounded out the top five.
Gardena’s Dominic Del Monte was the race “Hard Charger” as he came home ninth after starting 17th.
The CLS is off until July 27th when it will make its only appearance of the year at the Santa Maria Raceway. Going into that race, Kramer has a 42-point advantage over Nunes in the championship standings. Michnowicz, who finished 11th in the main, has fallen 102-points behind Kramer. Greco and Nigh close out the top five. The best battle currently going on in the standings is sixth through ninth where the four drivers battling – Dyer, Lange, Bender and Del Monte – are only separated by 27-points.
The POWRi Lucas Oil 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 #
Ventura Raceway Results (with starting positions)
1. Jarrett Kramer – Spring Valley, CA -1st
2. Dou Nunes – Kingsburg, CA – 6th
3. A.J. Bender – San Diego, CA – 7th
4. Aiden Lange – Lakewood, CA – 2nd
5. Eric Greco – Palmdale, CA – 3rd
6. Cody Nigh – Camarillo, CA – 5th
7. Bruce Douglass – Ventura, CA – 10th
8. Gage Cheek – Santa Clarita, CA – 13th
9. Dominic Del Monte – Gardena, CA – 15th
10. Jason Arnolde – San Diego, CA – 9th
11. Bobby Michnowicz – Lomita, CA – 12th
12. James Heling – San Bernardino, CA – 16th
13. Jonathon Conley – Oxnard, CA – 14th
14. Pat Kelley – Chino, CA – 17th
15. Greg Sandling – Laguna Beach, CA 18th
16. Jeff Dyer – Bermuda Dunes, CA – 8th
17. Wink Schweitzer – Bakersfield, CA – 4th
18. Jon Robertson – Torrance, CA – 11th