By Bill W
West Burlington, IA, May 24, 2020 – Tracy, California’s Kyle Offill took a quick liking to 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa, in his first visit and endured a two-hour rain delay and several restarts to claim his first career win with the Sprint Invaders. The victory, aboard the Country Builders Construction #88w was worth $2,000 and was his fourth career sprint car win.
The event took place without fans in the stands per Iowa law in relation to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Mother Nature tried to throw another curve when rain fell before the feature could get underway. Work by the track crew saved the track and the 30-lap main event.
Brayden Gaylord streaked to the early lead in the feature, with Offill and Paul Nienhiser on his heels. 2018 IRA champ, Jake Blackhurst, suffered a flat left rear four laps in, ending his night. Gaylord led Offill, Nienhiser, John Schulz and Chris Martin back to green.
Offill, who won the Shake-Up Dash with a last lap pass, used a similar low line to gain the point from Gaylord on lap ten. Five laps later, he was navigating lapped traffic. The California youngster put some distance between himself and his pursuers.
On lap 16, Nienhiser worked by Gaylord for the runner-up spot, and Martin followed him into third two laps later. Dustin Selvage stopped his car on the front straight with eight laps to go, bringing caution. Nienhiser applied huge pressure on the restart, but things were slowed again when Carson McCarl turned over in turn four. He was uninjured.
Nienhiser hit the high side of one and two and applied pressure again to the leader, but Offill maintained his fast low line before Josh Higday and Ricky Montgomery tangled with four to go. Offill was able to pull away the last four laps for the win, ahead of Nienhiser.
Austin McCarl put on the show of the night. After his car would not fire for his heat race, he won the C. Starting fifteenth in the B, he stormed to pass for the win on the twelfth and final lap. He was the hard-charger in the feature, driving from seventeenth to third. Martin and Gaylord were fourth and fifth.
McKenna Haase, Colton Fisher, John Schulz, Stu Snyder and Joe Beaver rounded out the top ten. Montgomery, Martin, Haase and Snyder won heat races.
“I was able to find the bottom early, and in the heat race we were able to go from ninth to third,” said Offill. “We won the Dash on the bottom, but it started going away before we went out for the feature. Then the rain came. It was brought back. I knew we were fast down there, and I knew we’d have to win on the bottom. That’s what happened. The motor stumbled on the first restart, and that opened the door a little for (Nienhiser). Luckily, the last two restarts it didn’t stumble and we were able to get going.”
“It’s always a pleasure running for Scotty (Bonar) and the #50 guys,” said Nienhiser. “It’s just a shame we haven’t got that first win. We’ve been knocking on the door every single time. I felt like we threw everything at Offill tonight, and he was just a little bit better. I couldn’t follow him to pass him, and we tried something to get around him. I about got into him a couple times, but we were right there. It was a great race from the cockpit…it was just a shame no fans were here to see it in person.”
“We had a couple of bad plugs and couldn’t start the heat,” said Austin McCarl. “It was really fun. I thought we may win the C, B and A, but probably needed 40 laps and more traffic. All in all, it was a great race. If you told me when the night started, this is how it would end, I would have taken it. Running these Outlaw shows has really helped me. It’s warfare every time you hit the track with those guys. It makes you better. It was a great night. I thought Brandon (Ikenberry) and I made some good decisions. If my brother and I couldn’t win, we’re happy for the #88 team to get it.”
The Sprint Invaders hit the high banks of the Randolph County Raceway near Moberly, Missouri on Sunday, June 14. For more information on the Sprint Invaders, visit www.SprintInvaders.com.
Sprint Invaders A main (started), 30 laps: 1. 88w, Kyle Offill, Tracy, CA (4) 2. 50, Paul Nienhiser, Chapin, IL (6) 3. 17A, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (17) 4. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (8) 5. 13, Brayden Gaylord, Wever, IA (2) 6. 55, McKenna Haase, Des Moines, IA (1) 7. 11, Colton Fisher, Mediapolis, IA (10) 8. 99, John Schulz, West Burlington, IA (3) 9. 23s, Stu Snyder, Waverly, NE (7) 10. 53, Joe Beaver, Knoxville, IA (21) 11. 9, Daniel Bergquist, Burlington, IA (20) 12. 81, Tanner Gebhardt, Burlington, IA (18) 13. 83, Rob Kubli, Milo, IA (16) 14. 66M, Ricky Montgomery, Lakewood, CO (5) 15. 35, Josh Higday, Des Moines, IA (22) 16. 27, Carson McCarl, Altoona, IA (9) 17. 45, Monty Ferriera, Fresno, CA (12) 18. 88, Dustin Selvage, Indianola, IA (19) 19. 24N, Nate Mills, Bondurant, IA (13) 20. 6R, Ryan Bunton, Morton, IL (14) 21. 5J, Jamie Ball, Knoxville, IA (15) 22. 99J, Jake Blackhurst, Hanna City, IL (11). Lap Leaders: Gaylord 1-9, Offill 10-30. Hard-charger: A. McCarl. KSE Hard-charger: Bergquist.
Randall’s Performance Heat one (started), 8 laps: 1. Ricky Montgomery (1) 2. Carson McCarl (4) 3. Jake Blackhurst (6) 4. 51J, Blain Jamison, Mediapolis, IA (2) 5. 40c, Cody Wehrle, Burlington, IA (3) 6. Daniel Bergquist (5) 7. Tanner Gebhardt (9) 8. 7TAZ, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (7) 9. 11c, Mason Campbell, New Berlin, IL (8) DNS – Austin McCarl
CenPenCo Lubricants Heat two (started), 8 laps: 1. Chris Martin (4) 2. Nate Mills (3) 3. Kyle Offill (9) 4. Brayden Gaylord (10) 5. 78, Dugan Thye, Burlington, IA (1) 6. 22, Ryan Leavitt, Knoxville, IA (7) 7. 29w, Wyatt Wilkerson, Morning Sun, IA (5) 8. Josh Higday (8) 9. 1K, Kelby Watt, Adel, IA (2) 10 69, Justin Buchholz, Davenport, IA (6)
Paisano’s Ristorante of Preston, Illinois Heat three (started), 8 laps: 1. McKenna Haase (5) 2. Paul Nienhiser (10) 3. John Schulz (9) 4. 2, Matt Johnson, Melcher-Dallas, IA (1) 5. Rob Kubli (7) 6. Dustin Selvage (6) 7. 29K, Dan Keltner, Wapello, IA (3) 8. 15, Christian Bowman, Altoona, IA (8) 9. 01, Travis Pence, Stronghurst, IL (4) 10. 14R, Sean Rayhall, Woodstock, GA (2)
Heat four (started), 8 laps: 1. Stu Snyder (2) 2. Colton Fisher (4) 3. Monty Ferriera (6) 4. Jamie Ball (5) 5. Ryan Bunton (9) 6. 3P, Sawyer Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (7) 7. 13x, Tyler Duff, Weldon, IL (1) 8. Joe Beaver (8) 9. 7, Lance Fassbender, Burnett, WI (3) 10. 2A, Austin Archdale, Brimfield, IL (10)
C main (started), 6 laps: 1. Austin McCarl (4) 2. Josh Higday (2) / 3. Mason Campbell (1) 4. Travis Pence (3) DNS – Austin Archdale, Lance Fassbender, Justin Buchholz, Sean Rayhall, Kelby Watt
Budweiser King of Beers – Golden Eagle Distributors Shake-up Dash (started), 6 laps: 1. Kyle Offill (1) 2. Ricky Montgomery (2) 3. Paul Nienhiser (4) 4. Stu Snyder (3) 5. Chris Martin (7) 6. McKenna Haase (8) 7. Brayden Gaylord (5) 8. John Schulz (6)
B main (started), 12 laps: 1. Austin McCarl (15) 2. Tanner Gebhardt (2) 3. Dustin Selvage (8) 4. Daniel Bergquist (4) 5. Joe Beaver (13) 6. Josh Higday (16) / 7. Sawyer Phillips (6) 8. Ryan Leavitt (5) 9. Christian Bowman (12) 10. Cody Wehrle (3) 11. Matt Johnson (1) 12. Tasker Phillips (9) 13. Wyatt Wilkerson (10) 14. Tyler Duff (14) 15. Dugan Thye (7) 16. Dan Keltner (11) DNS – Blain Jamison
Pyrotec – Jamie Ball
Saldana Racing Products – Tanner Gebhardt
Kreitz Oval Track Products – Dustin Selvage