From Bill Wright
WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa (June 27, 2020) — Paul Nienhiser had been knocking on the door of his first Sprint Invaders win with car owner Scott Bonar, and Saturday, he busted it down at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. The Chapin, Illinois driver had registered some podiums in the #50, but Saturday marked his first win with the team. It was his second career win at 34 Raceway, and his third overall with the series.
Tasker Phillips, who won the Dash, started outside row one and led Nienhiser and McKenna Haase early in the 25-lap feature. Phillips got into lapped traffic by the eighth circuit, and Nienhiser reeled him in, catching him behind a lapper to surge into the lead.
Haase challenged for second at that point, and she and Phillips came together. Phillips rolled to a stop ten laps in, bringing a caution flag. Meanwhile, Nienhiser had made enough contact with the lapped machine of Wyatt Wilkerson to dent his top wing.
Nienhiser maintained the point on the restart, while Ball briefly got by Haase for second. Haase battled back on the low side, regaining the spot. Meanwhile, Ayrton Gennetten, who had to pass seven cars in the B main to gain the final transfer, had moved up to fifth (from 16th) by lap 13.
Rob Kubli flipped several times over turn two 16 laps in. He walked away. Haase had been gaining on Nienhiser, and challenged for the lead a couple of times. Nienhiser would keep the lead on the restart and sailed to the win.
Following Nienhiser across the line were Haase, Ball, Ryan Bunton and Chris Martin. Hard-charger Gennetten, Cody Wehrle, Riley Goodno, Colton Fisher and Dustin Selvage rounded out the top ten. Ball, Nienhiser, Josh Schneiderman and Wilkerson won heat races. Kubli claimed the B main.
“I told Scott (Bonar) before the race I thought that (lapped traffic) would play to our advantage,” said Nienhiser. “When you’re leading the race and they’re side by side, it’s not ideal. This just felt like a win that had been a long time coming, especially at Burlington. I’ve lost track how many times we’ve run second. I’m happy for him and Matt and everyone on this racecar. It was kind of a love tap (his contact in traffic). It looked worse than it was.”
“I was trying to be patient through the middle of the race,” said Haase. “But once (Nienhiser) he got into lapped traffic and I saw what he was doing, I thought for sure we could have passed him. Unfortunately, that red came out, and we really didn’t need that at all. He changed his line after that. I tried to do what I could, but it just wasn’t enough. I wish we could have come out on top. I hate to be this close.”
“My car really takes off well,” said Ball of the restarts. “I actually enjoy the restarts now. We just made some mistakes. We’ve been really good. We got a third and a first at Knoxville, and fourth last night at I-80. As long as we can keep getting the podium spots, I think the wins will be coming this year.”
The Sprint Invaders will venture to the Randolph County Raceway near Moberly, Missouri, Sunday, July 5. For more information on the Sprint Invaders, visit www.SprintInvaders.com or look us up on Facebook.
Sprint Invaders A main (started), 25 laps: 1. 50, Paul Nienhiser, Chapin, IL (4) 2. 55, McKenna Haase, Des Moines, IA (1) 3. 5J, Jamie Ball, Knoxville, IA (6) 4. 6R, Ryan Bunton, Morton, IL (10) 5. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (9) 6. 3, Ayrton Gennetten, Gravois Mills, MO (16) 7. 40c, Cody Wehrle, Burlington, IA (5) 8. 22, Riley Goodno, Knoxville, IA (3) 9. Colton Fisher, Mediapolis, IA (18) 10. 88, Dustin Selvage, Indianola, IA (10) 11. 35, Josh Higday, Des Moines, IA (11) 12. 13, Brayden Gaylord, Wever, IA (13) 13. 22L, Ryan Leavitt, Knoxville, IA (20) 14. 69, Justin Buchholz, Davenport, IA (19) 15. 81, Tanner Gebhardt, Burlington, IA (14) 16. 8L, Tom Lenz, Strawberry Point, IA (15) 17. 29w, Wyatt Wilkerson, Morning Sun, IA (7) 18. 83, Rob Kubli, Milo, IA (17) 19. 7TAZ, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (2) 20. 76, Brad Comegys, Bondurant, IA (12) DNS – 99J, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA. Lap Leaders: T. Phillips 1-8, Nienhiser 9-25. KSE Hard-charger: Fisher. Hard-charger: Gennetten.
Randall’s Performance Heat one (started), 8 laps: 1. Jamie Ball (1) 2. Cody Wehrle (4) 3. Josh Higday (5) 4. Ryan Bunton (7) 5. Tom Lenz (6) 6. 83K, Kurt Mueller, Reynolds, IL (2) 7. 44m, Cam Martin, Ankeny, IA (8) 8. 9, Daniel Bergquist, Burlington, IA (3)
CenPenCo Lubricants Heat two (started), 8 laps: 1. Paul Nienhiser (2) 2. McKenna Haase (4) 3. Brad Comegys (1) 4. Ryan Leavitt (3) 5. Colton Fisher (5) 6. Tanner Gebhardt (7) 7. 78, Kaley Gharst, Decatur, IL (6)
Paisano’s Ristorante of Preston, Illinois Heat three (started), 8 laps: 1. Josh Schneiderman (2) 2. Riley Goodno (6) 3. Tasker Phillips (7) 4. Brayden Gaylord (5) 5. 11c, Mason Campbell, New Berlin, IL (3) 6. 51J, Blaine Jamison, West Burlington, IA (1) DNS – 41, Noah Samuel, Burlington, IA (4)
Heat four (started), 8 laps: 1. Wyatt Wilkerson (1) 2. Dustin Selvage (3) 3. Chris Martin (6) 4. Justin Buchholz (2) 5. Rob Kubli (4) 6. 99, John Schulz, West Burlington, IA (7) 7. Ayrton Gennetten (5)
Budweiser King of Beers – Golden Eagle Distributors Shake-up Dash (started), 6 laps: 1. Tasker Phillips (2) 2. Riley Goodno (1) 3. Paul Nienhiser (3) 4. Cody Wehrle (5) 5. Jamie Ball (7) 6. McKenna Haase (6) 7. Wyatt Wilkerson (8) 8. Josh Schneiderman (4)
B main (started), 12 laps: 1. Rob Kubli (3) 2. Tanner Gebhardt (4) 3. Justin Buchholz (1) 4. Ayrton Gennetten (11) 5. Colton Fisher (2) / 6. Mason Campbell (6) 7. Blaine Jamison (9) 8. Daniel Bergquist (13) 9. Cam Martin (7) 10. Noah Samuel (12) 11. Kurt Mueller (8) 12. John Schulz (5) 13. Kaley Gharst (10)