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Nienhiser Opens Season With Top-10 at Air Capitol Shootout Opener


PETERSEN MEDIA: Finally getting his 2018 Sprint Car season underway over the weekend in Kansas with the NCRA, Paul Nienhiser had a great showing that saw him finish 10th on Friday night before charging from 23rd to 15th in the rubber on Saturday night.

“It was great to get out and run our new Rider 360,” Paul Nienhiser said. “It made a ton of speed, and we ran really well despite the track conditions being a bit rough.”

Kicking the weekend off by lining up third in his heat race, Nienhiser would get off to a great start as he jumped into second aboard the CAM2 Blue Blood Racing Oil/Mason Sound/Innovative Design backed No. 9x. Making a couple of bids for the lead, Nienhiser would lose some momentum and actually fell back to finish third.

Lining up sixth in his second heat race, the Chapin, IL driver still continued to show some great speed as he earned valuable points by way of his third place finish which was good enough to give him one of just 22 spots that were up for grabs in the opening night feature event with 50 cars packed into the pit area.

Sitting 12th in points, Nienhiser lined up in the sixth row for the feature event on a surface that already had rubber built up on it before taking the green flag. With the field running bumper to bumper, Nienhiser would take advantage of a couple of mistakes made by drivers in front of him and would work into 10th where he would go on to finish.

Saturday night saw a single heat race format in play. On an extremely slick racing surface, Nienhiser would line the Bradshaw Custom Pumping/Wessler Bros. Agency/Bob Hawks Auto Body machine up in the second row of his heat race.

Making an admitted mistake when the race came to life, Nienhiser would lose several positions but did a great job of rallying. Able to finish fifth, Nienhiser would have to make a stop in the semi for one final shot and moving into the $13,000-to-win feature event.

As track conditions continued to worsen through the night, Nienhiser would have to make something happen as he started fifth and only the Top-Four moved on. Pouncing on a mistake, Nienhiser would jump into fourth where he would finish and punch his ticket to the shortened 25-lap feature event.

Playing the tire ware game in the feature, Nienhiser was very patient from the 23rd starting position. Running a patient race and keeping his tires under him, Nienhiser was one of the bigger mover and shakers on this night. Picking up positions where he could, he would close out his night with a 15th place finish.

“Overall it was a pretty good weekend finish wise considering everything,” Nienhiser added. “I feel like we met expectations with a tough field of cars, and us bringing out a brand new car and brand new engine. I wish we would have had more track to use because we certainly had some good speed when we could show it. Unfortunately I have prior commitments this weekend so I have to miss a couple of races of a couple of great tracks, but I am looking forward to taking on the Outlaws when we get back to racing on the 13th.”

“I really have to thank everyone on this team for all they do,” Nienhiser continued. “My dad John, Ralph Willhite, Roger Staake, Craig Grimsley, and Greg Ford do a lot for me and I appreciate how hard they work for me!”

Nienhiser would like to thank CAM2 Blue Blood Racing Oil, Mason Sound, Innovative Design, Bradshaw Custom Pumping, Wessler Bros. Agency, Bob Hawks Auto Body, Littleton Storm & Timber, Fierce Herbicide, Sunstoppers Window Tinting, Engler Machine and Tool, FK Indy, Rider Racing Engines, Kaeding Performance, and Steve Thomas Racing for their continued support.

2018 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-4, Wins-0, Top 5’s-0, Top 10’s-1

ON TAP: Nienhiser returns to action when he battles the World of Outlaws at Jacksonville Speedway on April 13th and takes on the ASCS Warrior Region in Moberly, MO on April 14th.

STAY CONNECTED: Stay updated with Paul Nienhiser by following him on Twitter @Paul_Nienhiser or by clicking over to

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