While he kicked off Sunday afternoon with a win in the Pro Late Model, Stephen Nasse admittedly struggled throughout the All American 400 weekend in the Super. However, he and the Jett Motorsports team were able to climb through the field during the 300 lap affair, making the necessary adjustments and finishing third.
Nasse’s podium run run was enough to earn him his second Southern Super Series championship over Jeremy Pate and Jake Garcia. He is the second driver to win multiple titles in the series, joining All American 400 winner Casey Roderick.
“We were just a little bit too tight in the center, I just couldn’t get to the throttle and carry the momentum off. Jett Motorsports worked so hard all day. We just didn’t have the car we needed, we worked and worked and changed everything we could but it didn’t work,” Nasse said.
“That’s racing, we made good adjustments and we were able to get ourselves into the top-three and have a shot at least to win. I can’t thank them enough and hopefully we can go on to the next one with some momentum.”
He won three races with the Southern Super Series in 2020, more than he had won in previous years combined. Nassebookended the Blizzard Series with wins, while also going to victory lane at Crisp Motorsports Park back in August. His worst finish during the Southern Super Series season was a sixth in the second Blizzard race at Five Flags Speedway.
While he would have liked to leave Nashville with two guitars following the All American 400, being able to take a championship with him back to Pinellas Park, FL acts as a bit of a consolation prize.
“I’m a little bummed out, I’m not going to lie. I race to win and that’s it. A championship’s nice and on the ride home that’ll be a little bit sweeter. I wanted to win this race, I felt like I had some unfinished business from last year and I just didn’t get to clarify where I thought I was best. It’s not from a lack of effort from the Jett Motorsports guys, it’s a heck of a team.”
Jeremy Pate entered the finale with a slim points lead in the standings, but a slow start would doom him in the series championship race. He fell off the lead lap early in the event and would finish 16th in the All American 400 after motor issues made him pull off before the conclusion of the race.
“We had dug a hole in qualifying and we knew it was going to be an uphill battle. Going uphill against Nasse and those guys is a tall order, we try to do it every weekend,” Pate said. “We knew what we were up against and we still went with our business-like approach and stuck with it.
“We were 10 laps shy of getting a second lap down and if we wouldn’t have gotten that I feel like it still could’ve worked out to where we got close at the end. We just didn’t have the raw speed they did this weekend.”
Even with coming up short in the Southern Super Series championship picture, Pate is still proud of what he and Larry Blount Motorsports accomplished in their second year together. They scored three top-fives and finished in the top-ten just once all year while being competitive in nearly every race.
On the heels of the championship loss, Pate still looks forward to the Snowball Derby and what 2021 will provide for the team.
“We’ve gotten to where we’re so close to being on the verge of making that jump to where we’re top two or three every week and winning races. We’re hungry for wins and getting these championships but we also have to put it in perspective with what we’re dealing with.
“To beat those next two or three guys is a pretty big undertaking. We gained over half the gap we had on them last year so I think if everything goes right and things start falling in place, we could possibly be able to step up our game again next year.
A replay of Sunday’s All American 400 is now available on Speed51.TV.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo