When Paul Nienhiser talks about his outstanding career, it’s not about what he has accomplished thus far. Instead it’s about three heartbreaking car failures which might have made his racing resume even more outstanding.
Winning is everything for this Chapin, Ill., sprint car driver.
At age six, he started his racing career in quarter-midgets in 2003. He competed in the quarters for three years and achieved quite a bit of success while competing in several different classes.
Highlights included winning the I-70 QMA March Madness Series Light B title, first in the THQMA Dirt Grands in the Light B Class, and the CCQMA Indoor Junior Stock dirt championship.
At age nine, Nienhiser began competing in the Restrictor micro-sprint class at Pike Speedway in Pittsfield, Ill., earning 19 top-fives and seven wins.
In 2008, at age 11, he raced a partial schedule with the POWRi micro-sprints. He ran a full schedule with the series in ‘09, ’10 and ’11. In 2010, he became the youngest driver to ever win a POWRi feature when he earned his first of two wins at age 13.
He also won the micro-sprint point championship at Jacksonville Speedway in Illinois.
In 2012, at age 15, Paul moved to a full-sized 410ci winged sprint car, running the full MOWA schedule. He also competed in several World of Outlaws events, making the show at 10 races.
In 2013, Nienhiser again competed in the full MOWA schedule and also ran the full Sprint Invaders schedule. He finished the season third in points in both series. He also competed in four WoO shows, making the show in three of them.
He continued in the sprint car in 2014, and in ‘15 was runner-up in MOWA points with four series wins. In 2016 he competed at Badlands Motor Speedway.
DOB: – December 24, 1996
HOMETOWN: – Chapin, Illinois
SERIES: – POWRi, MOWA, Sprint Invadors, WoO, and the All-Stars
SPONSORS: – CAM2 Blue Blood, Mason Sound,
Innovative Design, Wessler Bros.,
Bradshaw Custom Pumping, Bob Hawks Auto Body,
Littleton Storm & Timber, and Fierce Herbicide.
Paul moved to the All Star Circuit of Champions series for 2017, earning two runner-up finishes.
His 2018 efforts saw a flexible season which featured 305, 360 and 410 sprints. He garnered an impressive nine wins across those division and saw an introduction to ASCS competition with the Warrior Region.
Until this point in the 2019 season, he’s concentrated on the 305 cars, where he has taken the checkered flag four times. He also tested some non-winged 410 sprints.
“I really enjoyed running without the wing where the car isn’t planted,” said Nienhiser. “I’d like to run them some more in the future.”
To date, Nienhiser’s career stats include 20 mini-sprint and 31 sprint car wins.