El Cajon, CA, April 17, 2017- (by Scott Daloisio Sports) For the past few seasons, Spring Valley, California’s Jarrett Kramer has been an infrequent competitor in the California Lightning Sprint Car Series. After the first three races in 2017, his fellow competitors are hoping he goes back to the infrequent schedule as last Saturday night at the Bakersfield Speedway, Kramer won his second main event of the campaign at round #1 of the “Civil War Challenge” matching the CLS against the cars from the Bay Cities Racing Association.

Twenty-eight cars signed into the pits at the longtime track commonly referred to as the “Okie Bowl.” When the qualifying was done, second year CLS competitor Bruce Douglass of Ventura had turned in the fast time with a lap of 13.059. Oakdale’s Craig Dillard was second quick just a tick behind the 65-year-old Douglass with a lap of 13.187 and Kramer was third at 13.193. Four-time series champion Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita never got as far as qualifying as engine problems on the second lap of hot laps ended his night.

Kramer, 2016 Rookie of the Year Cody Nigh of Camarillo, Aiden Lange of Lakewood and Jeff “Ponch” Dyer of Victorville won the eight lap heat races.

For the 25-lap main event, Kramer was on the outside of the third row with Lange next to him. Dyer was on the pole with Chino’s Pat Kelley, the 2015 Rookie of the Year, outside of him. The second row had Murrieta’s Chris Dickey on the inside with Nigh starting just to his right.

Dyer, who three weeks earlier graduated from the California Highway Patrol Academy, got the jump at the drop of the green and immediately put some distance between himself and Kelley. Nigh and Kramer were third and fourth at the end of the first circuit. Former United States Army demolitions expert Dyer continued to pile up his advantage and by the end of the third circuit, had more than a half straight away cushion between himself and Kelley. Just before the end of the third tour, Kramer inched ahead of Nigh to break into the top three.

Dyer, who will be driving a 410-sprint car in the USAC/CRA Series at Perris Auto Speedway this Saturday night, continued his impressive run and piled up the real estate between himself and his closest pursuer Kelley. He started hitting the lapped traffic on the fifth go round, but that did little to impede his powerful run at the front.

After passing Nigh for third, Kramer whittled away the distance between himself and second place Kelley. At the end of the eighth circuit, he passed Kelley and set his sights on the top spot.

While Kramer was inching closer, Dyer still had things well in hand when his car slowed suddenly with electrical problems coming off turn two on lap 12. A lapped car drove into the back of the leader and sent him back on his way. However, the handwriting was on the wall. His car slowed on the front straight at the end of the 14th lap before kicking on again. Coming off turn two, Dyer’s #4 slowed dramatically and Kramer, in the Melicious Liquids/Anarchist Manufacturing/Vapor Threats/Black Rhino Performance/BK Wings/Mars Customs/Showtime Motorsports/FJR/Christian Stover Foundation/ Henchcraft /2008 Suzuki GSXR 1000, took full advantage and flew by for the lead. At the end of the lap, Dyer’s night ended and he pulled off into the pit area with a frustrating 17th place finish.

The race stayed green until lap 16 when the first and only yellow slowed the proceedings. It also spelled the end of the night for Kelley, who was on a good run, when his car coasted to a halt on the front straight.

For the restart with nine laps to go, Kramer had a lapped car between himself and impressive CLS sophomore Nigh. Dillard was third. Nigh made quick work of the lapped car passing him as they came off turn two on the 17th lap, but Kramer had already built up a healthy lead. The soon to be 35-year-old Los Angeles Kings fan continued to build on his lead and even though he got into the lapped traffic again on the 22nd circuit, he still had a half straightway lead three laps later at the finish. Nigh stayed in second for the duration with the top BCRA driver, Dillard, third. Waterford’s Dakota Albright was the race hard charger coming from 14th on the start to finish fourth. Fast qualifier Douglass rounded out the top five.

After three races, 2010 CLS champ Kramer has an impressive record with two wins and a second-place finish. That equals up to a 29-point lead over Nigh in the championship standings. Two-time series champion Brent Sexton of Lakeside is third and is followed by Lange and Dyer. Ken Coulston of Bermuda Dunes, who placed 10th in the main, leads the rookie point standings.

The CLS gets this weekend off, but will be back in action on April 8th at its home track, the Ventura Raceway. It will be the first of seven races for the CLS at the ocean side oval in 2017. Two weeks after that the CLS will be back at the Bakersfield Speedway on April 22nd.