A new rivalry has been born within the Super Late Model ranks. A rivalry which began at the All American 400 in Nashville (TN) with shenanigans under caution, escalated to another level Sunday afternoon when one driver called the other a chicken-you-know-what during an interview on Speed51.com’s live broadcast of the Winchester 400. And it doesn’t appear that this rivalry will be ending with a handshake or apology anytime soon.
A couple of days after the late-race tangle between Dalton Sargeant, Stephen Nasse and Raphael Lessard, Nasse is still steaming.
“I still feel the same way I felt Sunday,” Nasse told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I’m still pretty upset. I’ve watched the video a few times now. I still the feel the same way. I’d been running that lower line all day long. I was too free up there.”
Nasse also stood by his post-crash comments despite issuing an apology on Twitter for the language he used in the live interview.
“About him being a chicken-s**t p***k? Of course,” Nasse replied. “I don’t remember much more than that because I was really mad, but I think that’s what I said and I stand by it. I think that’s how he races, and I’ve seen him do it to a few other people and to me.”
If you’re unsure of how this all began, Nasse and Sargeant raced hard together for much of the All American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in Tennessee two weeks ago before getting together under caution. The contact resulted in Sargeant’s car breaking and being left too damaged to finish the race.
From there the two went to Winchester Speedway (IN) one week later for the Winchester 400 where the two again raced hard much of the race without incident. Then contact was made with less than 10 laps to go.
Nasse executed a bump-and-run on Lessard for the lead in turn three. Lessard paid him back in turn two with a stronger bump that put Nasse into the wall. As those two worked to get their cars back under them, Sargeant dove to the bottom into three. Sargeant and Nasse then made contact, which sent both Nasse and Lessard into the wall and resulted in Nasse’s expletive-filled interview.
“I’d been running that lower line all day long,” Nasse explained. “I was too free up there. I couldn’t keep up with anybody if I tried to run the top. Going into turn three there I ran the same line I’d been running the whole race. Sargeant went down on the apron pretty much. He was pretty far down there. I’ve watched it at least 20 times. There was nowhere for him to go but up into me. I get that we’re going for the win, but there’s got to be a little give and take. I don’t think that he gave any.”
“With about five to go racing for the lead there’s no room to give at that point,” Sargeant said Sunday after the race. “(Nasse) moved (Lessard) and decided to come down the track. When he came down the track I was there and it obviously didn’t end too well for him.”
Speed51.com reached out to Sargeant in the days immediately after the Winchester 400, but Sargeant politely declined to comment further.
“With about five to go racing for the lead there’s no room to give at that point,” Sargeant recapped following the race on Sunday. “(Nasse) moved (Lessard) and decided to come down the track. When he came down the track I was there and it obviously didn’t end too well for him.”
Nasse, who was scored in the seventh finishing positon, said that the issues between he and Sargeant will continue if Sargeant doesn’t change the way he races.
“If that’s how he wants to race then we can continue to race that way. I’m not going to get over it over night. I guess we’ll just see what happens when we get to the Derby.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com