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With 10 wins for the week at the Darke County fair, Jeff Nisonger won the annual Chip Noble
Award for being the winningest driver of the week. CNO File Photo by George Starks
 
Nisonger wins Noble award
By George Starks

GREENVILLE- It was August of 2014 when the harness horse racing world lost Sam “Chip” Noble. Noble was one of the best in the field of the sport, losing his life at the age of 60.

At the Great Darke County Fair, his memory lives on as the winningest driver for the week, is named the winner of the Chip Noble Award.

Friday night, before the start of the eighth race at the fair, Jeff Nisonger was named the winner of the award.

Now 36, Nisonger started his racing career at the age of 16, getting his very first career win at Darke County.

After 20 years, Nisonger has amassed over 3,000 wins, with number 3,000 coming this past winter at the Miami Valley Raceway, and is one of the most sought after drivers around.

“This means a lot to me because it’s here at home,” said Nisonger, a Greenville native. “I started my career here and got my first win here. It’s fun for me to come here and winning this in memory of Chip is even better. Chip was one of the best and I don’t thinks there is a horseman in Ohio that didn’t learn something from Chip at one time or another. Weather it was training or driving, Chip was a fountain of knowledge and he’s missed. I always considered him a friend.”

Year in and year out, Nisonger seems to shine at his hometown fair.

“I set up for this,” exclaimed Nisonger. “I have my own horses here, the ones I train and that makes it easier. This fair means everything to me because this is where I came from. I always want to come home but because of changes, you have to move away sometimes. It’s financially easier for me where I’m at but I make it a habit every year to come home.”

Nisonger had the privilege to drive My Hero Ron to a second place finish in the Gene Riegle Memorial Friday.

Sports Sinner with Jack Dailey in the sulky, won the $42,000 purse in a time of 1:53.4


 
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