Stephen Nasse’s name is listed in the record books as the official winner of the Baby Rattler 125 in 2016, but it is not a victory that he likes to boast about. On Saturday night, he earned his second career victory in the Pro Late Model race at South Alabama Speedway. This time it was a victory that he was proud of.
During that race in 2016, Nasse found himself riding in third on the final lap when Justin South and Bubba Pollard made contact in the final turn. Pollard spun and South was penalized by race officials for initiating the contact, which handed the victory to Nasse.
In victory lane on Saturday night, Nasse admitted that he didn’t consider that a true win. Five years later, Nasse left no doubt by dominating much of the 125-lap race and crossing the finish line first.
“I ain’t going to claim a trophy that I didn’t win on the race track. This is the first Baby Rattler of mine and it feels good to finally get it,” Nasse said. “The last one wasn’t a real trophy to me, and it feels good to finally get it for me and my team.”
After setting fast time in qualifying, Nasse dropped behind outside polesitter Evan Shotko during the early stages of the race. However, he didn’t take long to reclaim the top spot. On Lap 10, Nasse made his move to retake the race lead, where he would stay for the remainder of the race.
But his victory didn’t come without a few challenges. Lapped traffic created a nightmare for Nasse and allowed last week’s Alabama 200 winner Christopher Tullis to close the gap. After a three-wide move with a lapped car in the closing laps, Nasse was able to pull away to claim the checkered flag.
“I tried to give it away there,” Nasse said. “I had a pretty good lead and I was just so worried about those lapped cars. I was watching them and didn’t want to get wrecked or caught in some carnage. I had to run away from Christopher there. He used the lapped cars to get to me and I had to use the lapped cars to get away from him. He ran me as clean as he could, but I wasn’t going to let this one slip away. It’s been a long week and we have a couple of fast race cars, and we came here for checkered flags.”
One week after the biggest win of his career at Montgomery Motor Speedway, Tullis crossed the finish line in the runner-up spot behind Nasse. Florida driver Colin Allman finished third after battling in the top-five for much of the race, while Florida Fest 150 winner Steve Dorer finished fourth. Georgia native Kyle Plott completed the top five.
Upon climbing out of his car in victory lane, Nasse enjoyed the traditional date in victory lane with an Alabama rattlesnake. Now, with one meeting in the books, Nasse will look to sweep the weekend and meet the rattlesnake in victory lane once again on Sunday afternoon.
Race fans unable to make it to South Alabama Speedway will be able to watch the Rattler 250 live on Speed51.TV. Monthly and yearly subscriber will be able to watch the race, while non-subscribers can purchase a single-event pass for $24.99.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51 Director of Content – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51
Baby Rattler 125 Unofficial Results
South Alabama Speedway (AL) – March 13, 2021