Bay Cities Racing Association Lightning Sprints
LIGHTNING SPRINTS EXCITED FOR 2022
The Bay Cities Racing Association Lightning Sprints have released their 19 race 2022 schedule consisting of races at 6 different tracks in California. Antioch, Bakersfield, Marysville, Merced, Placerville and Silver Dollar Speedway will host the BCRA Lightning Sprints this coming season. BCRA has been sanctioning races since 1939 and the Lightning Sprints since the 1994. The division was formally known as the BCRA Midget Lite division, but a name change last season was made to keep up with current times.
Lightning Sprints are versions of Midgets that run smaller engines than the full BCRA Midgets. The cars use the same sized chassis as a full Midget but run 1000-1200cc motorcycle engine powered, chain driven cars that run winged and non-wing events. The BCRA Lightning Sprints are an economical class for the up-and-coming driver looking to race at bigger tracks and in front of larger audiences. The division boasts veteran drivers, some who have raced in the division for 20 years or more, and younger up and coming drivers who stay a few years to develop their skills to move up the racing ladder to Midgets and Sprint Cars. Multi time World of Outlaws Champion Brad Sweet and USAC Midget Champ Logan Seavey have competed in BCRA Lightning Sprints in their younger days and Seavey as recently as last year.
Once again, this season will see the return of the popular North vs South "Civil War" series between the BCRA Lightning Sprints and the California Lightning Sprints in a five-race series run on 4 tracks. The opener will be the 8th Annual "Wayne Albright Memorial" at Merced Speedway on April 2nd that will be run non winged. The second and third will be on back-to-back nights at Silver Dollar Speedway on Friday August 26th and Placerville Speedway Saturday August 27th. Bakersfield will host the final two series races on September 24th and the final on November 15th. Southern driver David Gasper won last season's series.
Placerville Speedway has hosted the most BCRA Lightning Sprint races in the history of the series and will host 8 races in 2022. The final will be the 3-day co-sanctioned event with the California Lightning Sprints during the Hangtown 100 USAC Midget race promoted by Matt Wood November 17-19. The unique track located in the Gold Country town of Placerville at the El Dorado Fairgrounds is unique in that the pits are up on a hill with the 1/4-mile track below making a great view of all the on-track action. Placerville is known for its banked red clay track and is promoted by Scott Russell and Kami Arnold who were just named Promoters of the Year by the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame for the second time. Both have supported the BCRA since their taking over Placerville Speedway years ago. Multi-time BCRA Lightning Sprint Champion Scott "the Bandit" Kinney has the most Lightning Sprint wins at the Speedway. Placerville's first race was in 1965 and drivers have been chasing checkered flags there ever since.
Antioch Speedway "Where Action is the Attraction" will host 3 BCRA Lightning Sprint races in 2022. The track has hosted its share of BCRA Lightning Sprint races in series history, but a recent hiatus of many years was seen. It is good to be back racing at Antioch Speedway's 1/4-mile clay oval. Hunter Kinney won the return of the BCRA Lightning Sprints to Antioch last season. The track located at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds has hosted weekly auto racing since 1961 and is now promoted by former racer Chad Chadwick.
Bakersfield Speedway "The West's Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Speedway" has longtime been a track where Northern competitors meet Southern teams to do battle on the fast 1/3rd mile. Both visits to the track will be "Civil War" co-sanctioned events with the California Lightning Sprints with the second being when the USAC National Midgets are in town. The track has been hosting automobile races since 1945 and celebrates its 77th year of racing this season under the direction of Scott Schweitzer.
Merced Speedway has hosted many BCRA Lightning Sprint races through-out the years and will see 2 appearances this season. Promoter Doug Lockwood has been scheduling more and more open wheel divisions and the BCRA Lightning Sprints are happy to be a part of that. The "Wayne Albright Memorial" has been held there for years and this season the 8th edition will be run. They have been racing at Merced Speedway since 1950.
Marysville Raceway promoted by Dennis Gage will host 2 BCRA Lightning Sprint races this season. The track has hosted many past BCRA races and will again in 2022. The north state 1/4-mile oval always provides close racing. The track has been hosting racing events since 1967 or 1968 depending on who you talk to.
Silver Dollar Speedway "Home of the Gold Cup Race of Champions" in Chico will host two races. The second will be a "Civil War" Series event. The track has a new promotion team that includes NASCAR Cup Champion Kyle Larson, World of Outlaws Champion and former BCRA competitor Brad Sweet and Sprint Car ace Colby Copeland. The 1/4 mile track is the home of the "Gold Cup" and the BCRA/California Lightning Sprints are glad to be racing at the Silver Dollar Speedway twice this season. Racing has been seen at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds since 1962.
Dakota Albright is the defending BCRA Lightning Sprint Driving Champion and the Savage Racing team led by Brian Fonseca captured the Car Owner title in 2021. 56 drivers competed last season.
2022 BCRA Lightning Sprint Schedule
MARCH 26...........Placerville Speedway
APRIL 2............Merced Speedway - 8th "Wayne Albright Memorial" - "Civil War #1" with CLS *NW
APRIL 16...........Placerville Speedway
MAY 7..............Placerville Speedway - "Tracy Taylor Memorial"
MAY 21 ............Marysville Speedway
JUNE 4.............Silver Dollar Speedway
JUNE 18............Antioch Speedway
JULY 9.............Placerville Speedway
AUGUST 13..........Antioch Speedway
AUGUST 26..........Silver Dollar Speedway - "Civil War #2" with CLS
AUGUST 27..........Placerville Speedway - "Civil War #3" with CLS
SEPTEMBER 3........Merced Speedway
SEPTEMBER 24.......Bakersfield Speedway - "Civil War #4" with CLS
OCTOBER 8..........Antioch Speedway - *NW
OCTOBER 29.........Marysville Speedway
NOVEMBER 15........Bakersfield Speedway - "Civil War #5" with CLS
NOVEMBER 17........Placerville Speedway - "HANGTOWN 100" with CLS *NW
NOVEMBER 18........Placerville Speedway - "HANGTOWN 100" with CLS *NW
NOVEMBER 19........Placerville Speedway - "HANGTOWN 100" with CLS *NW
*CLS=Co-Sanctioned event with the California Lightning Sprint Series *NW=Non-Winged Event
Article Credit: Mark Sublett
Submitted By: Dakota Albright