DUBUQUE, Iowa — The annual trip to the Dubuque County Fair is a favorite each year for both fans and drivers. This year’s edition for the Sprint Invaders did not disappoint.
Jonathan Cornell emerged victorious for the second time this season with the series aboard the Howard Law No. 26. The win was worth $2,000.
Cornell shot out to the lead in the 25-lap feature from outside row one, ahead of Paul Nienhiser and Josh Schneiderman. Chris Martin, who had won the dash, was up to fourth from his starting spot outside row three.
The leaders were in lapped traffic by the sixth circuit, and Nienhiser was right on Cornell’s tail on the rough, banked third-mile oval.
Nienhiser shot below Cornell to take the lead on lap nine. Martin was moving forward as well, taking third from Schneiderman on lap 13, and second from Cornell on lap 15. He would bobble two laps later and lose position.
Up front, Nienhiser had opened a straightaway lead by lap 17, when disaster struck the Scott Bonar No. 50. A broken suspension sidelined the leader. Cornell assumed the lead over Martin, Schneiderman, Kaley Gharst and Ryan Jamison.
Cornell maintained a fast pace over Martin and withstood a final caution flag flown for Colton Fisher with there to go. Martin finished second, ahead of Schneiderman and Terry McCarl, who shot from sixth to fourth on the late restart.
“This place is radical,” said Cornell. “It’s a fair night, it’s awesome. I thought it would be a heck of a lot slicker than it was. We’re missing a big asset in Marty Howard tonight, but I think he’s watching at home. He, Lee Nelson and Tony Moro have done a heck of a job in putting this program together. The 50 car was kind of checked out. I don’t know that we would have caught him. I got a little too conservative when I was in the lead (early). I was missing my mark a little bit and the car got free on me. We crossed first though, so here we are.”
“There was a lot of chaos out there,” said Martin. “The car was performing really well when I wasn’t trying to wreck it! The redraw after the dash kind of put us behind the 8-ball, but I honestly thought we had a really good race car, especially around lap 14 or 15 when we got to lapped traffic and racing really hard. It was a good effort for our team tonight, and hopefully, we can pick up the win here next year.”
Feature (25 laps): 1. 26, Jonathan Cornell, Sedalia, MO (2) 2. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (6) 3. 88, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (4) 4. 99, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (9) 5. 78, Kaley Gharst, Decatur, IL (3) 6. 35, Ryan Jamison, Mediapolis, IA (8) 7. 13, Brayden Gaylord, Wever, IA (15) 8. 81, Tanner Gebhardt, Burlington, IA (14) 9. 29w, Wyatt Wilkerson, Morning Sun, IA (11) 10. 40c, Cody Wehrle, Burlington, IA (10) 11. 11, Colton Fisher, Mediapolis, IA (5) 12. 8L, Tom Lenz, Marion, IA (7) 13. 9, Daniel Bergquist, Burlington, IA (13) 14. 10T, Tim Moore, Moline, IL (16) 15. 50, Paul Nienhiser, Chapin, IL (1) 16. 83, Kurt Mueller, Reynolds, IL (12). Lap Leaders: Cornell 1-8, Nienhiser 9-17, Cornell 18-25.