Nienhiser Wins Sprint Invaders Main at 34 Raceway

Paul Nienhiser. (Bill Wright photo)

From Bill Wright

BURLINGTON, Iowa, (May 30, 2021) — Paul Nienhiser took a break from the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car series Sunday night, and emerged victorious with the Sprint Invaders at 34 Raceway near West Burlington, Iowa. The win was worth $2,000 for the Chapin, Illinois driver aboard the Scott Bonar/Midland Performance #50. It was Nienhiser’s fourth career Sprint Invaders win, and his third at 34 Raceway.

Nienhiser shot out from his starting spot outside row one in the 25-lap main event. Josh Schneiderman settled into second, followed by Tanner Gebhardt. The leader extended his advantage, and entered lapped traffic on the sixth circuit. Cody Wehrle, the 2018 series champion, entered the top three on lap nine with a pass of Gebhardt.

While Nienhiser and Schneiderman navigated lapped traffic well, the battle for third, fourth, fifth and sixth became intense. Wehrle, Gebhardt, Chris Martin and Sawyer Phillips traded punches for several laps.

The lone caution came when Gebhardt’s good run came to an end with a spin in turn one. Blain Jamison was caught in the incident, spoiling a top ten run of his own. Neinhiser led Schneiderman, Wehrle, Martin and Phillips back to green flag racing.

On lap 13, Wehrle shot by Schneiderman for second, and Martin followed suit a lap later, as the two battled for position. As they put on their show, Nienhiser pulled away. Jamie Ball’s threat for a top five run ended over the top of turn two. He steered towards the pit area to avoid a collision with the backstretch wall with ten to go.

Up front, it was all Nienhiser, who won by a straightaway over Wehrle, Martin, Schneiderman and Phillips. Josh Higday, hard-charger Kaley Gharst, Brayden Gaylord, Colton Fisher and Tom Lenz rounded out the top ten. Nienhiser, Phillips and Wehrle won heat races. Phillips also claimed the Shake-up Dash.

“Track position was big tonight, especially in the heat race to give you position in the feature,” said Nienhiser. “We always have a gameplan of attack. Starting in the front row, objective number one was to get the jump and get out in clean air. Then get a good enough pace for it to be tough to have someone drive by us. (Driving with the wing) is kind of like riding a bike. We’ve run with the wing a couple times this year. Scott (Bonar) puts a great car underneath me. We struggled for a couple years there to get a win. Now it seems like the dark cloud over our head is gone. Hopefully, we can pick up a couple more.”

“To run as well as we did and be competitive with those guys who have a lot more laps than us this year felt good,” said Wehrle of his second-place run. “With Chris and Paul, and the other guys…they’re going to drive hard, but you know they’re going to drive clean. It makes it so much easier knowing that. That was a hoot! We struggled with this car all year last year, so our expectations coming into the night were not high at all. It was a double bonus to do well in this car.”

“I like the work they did on the track,” said Martin. “It reminds me of how it was years ago in 2016 and 2017. It seemed to have a little too much moisture in it the last few years. It makes me excited to come back. We try to race clean, but we’re also out there at war with each other. We want to race hard, and every position matters to me and the majority of the competitors. It was a lot of fun racing tonight. I do wish we could have started a couple more rows up…maybe next time.”

Sprint Invaders Association
34 Raceway
Burlington, Iowa
Sunday, May 30, 2021

Heat Race #1
1. 50-Paul Nienhiser[1]
2. 81-Tanner Gebhardt[4]
3. 13-Brayden Gaylord[2]
4. 9-Daniel Bergquist[5]
5. 83-Kurt Mueller[7]
6. 26-Jonathan Cornell[3]
DNS: 29W-Wyatt Wilkerson

Heat Race #2
1. 3P-Sawyer Phillips[4]
2. 88-Josh Schneiderman[5]
3. 44-Chris Martin[7]
4. 11T-Dugan Thye[3]
5. 33-Alan Zoutte[6]
6. 99X-Braydn Greubel[2]
7. 78-Kaley Gharst[1]

Heat Race #3
1. 40C-Cody Wehrle[2]
2. 99-Jamie Ball[3]
3. 35-Josh Higday[6]
4. 8L-Tom Lenz[1]
5. 11-Colton Fisher[4]
6. 51J-Blaine Jamison[7]
7. 41-Noah Samuel[5]
8. 10T-Tim Moore[8]

Dash #1
1. 3P-Sawyer Phillips[1]
2. 44-Chris Martin[3]
3. 88-Josh Schneiderman[2]
4. 50-Paul Nienhiser[6]
5. 81-Tanner Gebhardt[5]
6. 40C-Cody Wehrle[4]

1. 50-Paul Nienhiser[2]
2. 40C-Cody Wehrle[4]
3. 44-Chris Martin[6]
4. 88-Josh Schneiderman[1]
5. 3P-Sawyer Phillips[5]
6. 35-Josh Higday[7]
7. 78-Kaley Gharst[18]
8. 13-Brayden Gaylord[9]
9. 11-Colton Fisher[15]
10. 8L-Tom Lenz[14]
11. 9-Daniel Bergquist[10]
12. 99-Jamie Ball[8]
13. 41-Noah Samuel[19]
14. 11T-Dugan Thye[12]
15. 83-Kurt Mueller[11]
16. 29W-Wyatt Wilkerson[20]
17. 81-Tanner Gebhardt[3]
18. 51J-Blaine Jamison[16]
19. 33-Alan Zoutte[13]
20. 10T-Tim Moore[21]
21. 26-Jonathan Cornell[17]