Austin Nason has put himself on the map this year and is proving he’s a contender at any race he enters. The Roscoe, IL driver picked up a pair of ARCA Midwest Tour wins this year and has earned top-five finishes in some of the more prestigious Super Late Model races in the country.
“We’ve been good this year,” Nason told Speed51.com. “We’re still trying to find more speed, but we are a top-five car everywhere we go.”
Nason credits some of his success to off-season preparation and bringing the right people aboard on the No. 14 machine.
“Me and the boys did our homework over the winter,” said Nason. “Brian Johnson is still crew chief for me, but we also have Rick Bolder back helping us too. He has brought a couple new things to us. I think we’re all just clicking right now and we hit on something that’s working for us.”
To say this is a breakout season for the 22-year-old driver would be accurate. Prior to 2018, Nason owned just one career Super Late Model win and a handful of top-five and top-ten finishes with the Midwest Tour, now he’s found Victory Lane twice and recently recorded third and fourth-place finishes in the Redbud 400 and Slinger Nationals respectively.
“I’m a little surprised,” said Nason. “We’ve been good the past couple years, just had bad luck. I think we finally got the monkey off our back. It felt really good to get that first Midwest Tour win, but I don’t think either win has really sunk in yet.”
Nason’s win at Rockford Speedway might even take a little longer to set in. For the Illinois driver, that win at his home track was a special one and something that eluded him in years before.
“The highlight of the season is probably the Rockford win,” said Nason. “We’ve been so close to winning there for a couple years, but to finally make it happen felt really good. It feels good to know wherever we go we have a car to win. We found something that works for us and we’ve stuck with it.”
Besides finding Victory Lane a couple times, Nason also leads the Midwest Tour points. He owns a 12-point advantage over Casey Johnson with five races left on the schedule.
“There were many goals for this year and two were to run for a championship and be up front,” said Nason. “We just have to make sure our cars are prepared at the shop and make sure we finish all the races. If we can do that, I think we’ll be there at the end. It would mean a lot, we’ve been close just haven’t had good cars and I think we have really good cars to finally close it out and win it.”
Besides the remainder of the Midwest Tour schedule, Nason has a few events at Dells Raceway Park (WI) on his schedule and will look to close out a Triple Crown Championship at Madison International Speedway.
-By Jana Wimmer, Speed51.com Midwest Editor – Twitter: @JWimm22
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com