PETERSEN MEDIA: Getting back to USAC action over the weekend in Indiana, Paul Nienhiser had quite the eventful weekend that has him excited to return to action this week as the series heads to the East Coast.
“Our results really aren’t great, but if you break down our weekend, we had a fast car, and that has me excited for a busy week out East,” Paul Nienhiser said. “Obviously there is going to be a lot of learning this year for me, but to work with this team so well so early in the season, and for us both to be able to adapt to each other so fast is really cool.”
Friday night, the Chapin, IL driver checked in at Bloomington Speedway in Bloomington, IN where he would time the Blue Blood Racing Oil/Roadworks/Peterbilt backed No. 5N machine in 5th quick after going out last to time in.
Trying out a new shock package on this night, Nienhiser was a fan, and it showed as he advanced from fourth to first in his heat race and went on to pick up the win in convincing fashion.
Taking the green flag from the second row in the feature event, Nienhiser would miss his line on the bottom and slide through the middle of the track. As he did this, a car behind him would have nowhere to go and make contact with Nienhiser’s left rear tire and force him to the work area.
Getting a fresh tire bolted on, and making what repairs they could make, Nienhiser would tag the rear of the field as he battled his way back to a 16th place finish on the tight confines of the Bloomington bullring.
Saturday night the scene shifted to Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, IN, a venue that Nienhiser has traditionally struggled at with a wing bolted on, and never made any laps at in non-wing competition.
Getting off to a tough start in preliminary competition by doing what KO Motorsports has had success with in the past, Nienhiser would end up timing in 29th fastest of the 35 cars checked in for action.
Making wholesale changes to their car for heat race action, Nienhiser would go from eighth to fifth until a caution flag waved. Looking to use the restart to overtake the fourth and final transfer position, it was actually decided that Nienhiser jumped the race’s initial start, and he was put back another position.
Finishing sixth in the heat, Nienhiser was head to the ‘B’, where he lined up in the 13th starting position.
Feeling good after his heat race, Nienhiser would turn heads at the start of the ‘B’ as he would find himself all the way up in third after the race’s first lap and was in the lead by lap three. Able to motor on to pick up the win, Nienhiser would keep his night going as he moved into the feature event and took the green flag from the 22ndstarting position.
Continuing to flex his muscle in the ‘A’, Nienhiser would slice and dice his way forward and find himself in the Top-10 in just eight laps, until a questionable move by a fellow competitor caused contact to Nienhiser’s mount and forced him to the back of the pack.
Just as he did in the first eight laps, Nienhiser had his elbows up as he worked his way back through the field for a second time. As fate would have it, contact form the same car again would get Nienhiser out of shape and derail what was a promising run as he would end up finishing 15th.
“I hated giving up such a good starting position on Friday night, but it goes hand in hand with those lumps you take as a rookie,” Nienhiser said. “I really have to commend the KO Motorsports team on doing a fantastic job of getting me comfortable by the end of the night on Saturday. I don’t think anyone will argue that we had one of the fastest cars in the feature. That alone has me really excited for this weekend.”
Nienhiser would like to thank CAM2 Blue Blood Racing Oil, Roadworks, Peterbilt, Mason Sound, Innovative Design, Bradshaw Custom Pumping, Wessler Bros. Agency, Bob Hawks Auto Body, Fierce Herbicide, Sunstoppers Window Tinting, Engler Machine and Tool, FK Indy, Rider Racing Engines, Kaeding Performance, Smith Titanium Products, Vortex Wings, Signature Signs and Design, and Team Simpson for their continued support.
2021 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-7, Wins-0, Top 5’s-1, Top 10’s-2
ON TAP: Nienhiser now heads East with USAC as he will be in action on Thursday night at Grandview Speedway, Friday night at Big Diamond Speedway, Saturday night at BAPS Motor Speedway, and Sunday night at Path Valley Speedway.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay updated with Paul Nienhiser by following him on Twitter @Paul_Nienhiser or by clicking over to www.paulnienhiser.com.
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