By Bill W
Vinton, IA, July 4, 2021 – With a team put together in the offseason to tackle the Sprint Invaders schedule, Jonathan Cornell struck with a win Sunday night in the Sprint Invaders first ever appearance at the Benton County Speedway in Vinton, Iowa. The team constructed by Marty Howard, Lee Nelson, Tony Moro and others had difficulties in the Sprint Invaders opener but topped a stacked field for a $2,000 payday. It was the multi-time ASCS Warrior champion’s first official win with the Sprint Invaders.
Two-time and defending series champion, Chris Martin, led early in the 25-lap feature ahead of Austin McCarl, Cornell and Ayrton Gennetten. Cornell moved under McCarl to take second on the second circuit. The leader was into traffic on lap six on the quarter-mile bullring. Spins by first-time Sprint Invaders starter Luke Verardi and Braydn Greubel brought a caution on lap nine.
Cornell shot by Martin in turns one and two on the restart and began to pull away in the lead. As he approached lapped traffic with ten to go, the second running Martin did a 360 spin and had to restart at the rear.
McCarl briefly shot ahead of Cornell on the restart in turn two, but Cornell crossed over and stormed back to the point on the backstretch. A caution for a spun Tim Moore on lap 17 afforded Gennetten the opportunity to get by McCarl.
Two more cautions were flown, but Cornell stood the test every time to take the win ahead of Gennetten, McCarl, Riley Goodno and Kaley Gharst. Hard-charger Colton Fisher, Rob Kubli, Verardi, Cody Wehrle and Brayden Gaylord rounded out the top ten. McCarl, Martin and Gennetten were heat race winners, and Gennetten also won the Shake-up Dash. Dugan Thye flipped out of the park in turn four after contact from another car in his heat. He was uninjured, and made enough repairs to start the main event.
“I’m sure you guys were just as tired of that as I was,” said Cornell to the packed house in attendance of the number of restarts. “It’s been a crazy year with all the rain (three of four Sprint Invaders shows have been rained out), and I can’t thank this team enough. It’s a first-year operation. We knew the track was going to (attain rubber), so we had to make our moves early, or really quick on the starts. (McCarl) slid me on the restart there, so I knew I needed to make my line a little lower.”
“Obviously, Scott and I have run well together,” said Gennetten of his car owner, Scott Bonar. “We made a Dash with the World of Outlaws a few weeks ago, and have run second a couple times here together. It was kind of ironic that both times I got beat by someone from Missouri that I watched growing up. The #50 car is fast, and we’ll take it to Moberly next week and see what we can do.”
“The racetrack was tricky all night,” said McCarl beside the Jimmy Davies Racing #99. “It was a little treacherous on the top and just really slick and tricky. You had to have your car just right. When the rubber came, I had the wing a little too far back, and didn’t do a good job of getting it ahead soon enough. We about lost a spot to Goodno. The yellows kind of saved me a bit, but I smoked the tires trying to get to Cornell. All in all, it’s a cool little racetrack.”
The next event for the Sprint Invaders will be Friday, July 9 at the Randolph County Raceway near Moberly, Missouri. 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. 26, Jonathan Cornell, Sedalia, MO (3) 2. Ayrton Gennetten, Gravois Mills, MO (4) 3. 99, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (2) 4. 22, Riley Goodno Knoxville, IA (9) 5. 78, Kaley Gharst, Decatur, IL (6) 6. 11, Colton Fisher, Mediapolis, IA (12) 7. 23K, Rob Kubli, Milo, IA (13) 8. 28, Luke Verardi, Taylorville, IL (8) 9. 40c, Cody Wehrle, Burlington, IA (5) 10. 13, Brayden Gaylord, Wever, IA (15) 11. 81, Tanner Gebhardt, Burlington ,IA (11) 12. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (1) 13. 88, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (10) 14. 51J, Blain Jamison, Mediapolis, IA (14) 15. 83, Kurt Mueller, Reynolds, IL (19) 16. 33, Alan Zoutte, Knoxville, IA (21) 17. 10T, Tim Moore, Moline, IL (18) 18. 9, Daniel Bergquist, Burlington, IA (16) 19. 8L, Tom Lenz, Marion, IA (17) 20. 29w, Wyatt Wilkerson, Morning Sun, IA (22) 21. 99x, Braydn Greubel, Lacona, IA (20) 22. 35, Josh Higday, Des Moines, IA (7) 23. 11T, Dugan Thye, Burlington, IA (23). Lap Leaders: Martin 1-9, Cornell 10-25. KSE/$75 Christine Wahl-Levitt Hard-charger: Fisher.
Randall’s Performance Heat one (started), 8 laps: 1. Austin McCarl (2) 2. Riley Goodno (1) 3. Josh Schneiderman (3) 4. Josh Higday (7) 5. Brayden Gaylord (4) 6. Blain Jamison (8) 7. Kurt Mueller (5) 8. Wyatt Wilkerson (6)
Joshua Denning & Associates Heat two (started), 8 laps: 1. Chris Martin (1) 2. Kaley Gharst (5) 3. Tanner Gebhardt (2) 4. Luke Verardi (7) 5. Rob Kubli (6) 6. Tom Lenz (3) 7. Braydn Greubel (4) 8. Alan Zoutte (8)
Mohrfeld Solar Heat three (started), 8 laps: 1. Ayrton Gennetten (4) 2. Cody Wehrle (6) 3. Jonathan Cornell (5) 4. Colton Fisher (2) 5. Daniel Bergquist (3) 6. Tim Moore (7) 7. Dugan Thye (1)
Shottenkirk Automotive Shake-up Dash (started), 6 laps: 1. Ayrton Gennetten (1) 2. Cody Wehrle (2) 3. Kaley Gharst (3) 4. Chris Martin (5) 5. Austin McCarl (4) 6. Jonathan Cornell (6)
MPD Racing: Chris Martin
CenPeCo: Wyatt Wilkerson
Ti22: Blain Jamison
$50 Mystery Spot: Tim Moore