Stephen Nasse has plans to only run a handful of Pro Late Model races in 2016, but so far he’s found success each time. The Pinellas Park, Florida driver picked up a win in the Baby Rattler in March and more recently scored a top-10 finish in the Champion Racing Oil Masters of the Pro’s 144 Saturday at I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Missouri.
“I just haven’t raced a lot of crate stuff. We ran the Rattler, ended up winning that, but I haven’t run much crate stuff in three or four year. I’ve been doing a lot of super stuff, so there’s a little bit of a learning curve. I need to get used to it again,” said Nasse. “But the guys at Rick Turner Racing do such a good job preparing this car for me to come run it, I think we are going to do about five or so of these crate races. They bring fast pieces everywhere we go, so I think we can get a few more wins.”
Nasse qualified 17th for the 144-lap event, but quickly worked his way towards the front. By lap 50 he moved into the top 12 and then the Pinnellas Park driver found himself in the 10th position at the lap 100 break.
Over the final 44 laps, Nasse fell back to 11th, but made the pass for 10th with just two laps to go to bring home a top-10 finish.
The 21-year-old driver felt he had a really good car Saturday afternoon and if he would have been able to qualify a little better, he could have competed for the win.
“We were really good,” said Nasse. “I think lap 50 someone got in my left rear and I think it might have twisted up the rear end a little bit, I got really tight after that. The problem today was I messed up in qualifying and drove too hard. “I’m so used to the Super Late Model and just thought I couldn’t over drive the crate car and sure enough I did. It just kind of messed us up and started back there in 17th and that’s just too far back. Everyone is so equal here, it’s so hard to pass. I really think if we could’ve started in the top five I would’ve had a shot to win this thing or top three for sure, the car was just so good in the beginning.”
Nasse climbs back behind the wheel of his Super Late Model next weekend for the CARS Tour event at Southern National Motorsports Park. This marks Nasse’s second trip to Southern National this year; he finished 12th there with the CARS Tour back at the beginning of April.
“We need to try to get our Super Late Model program a little better,” said Nasse. “We’ve been struggling the last couple races. We are trying to find a better set-up and trying a lot of stuff with our new LFR car. I think we are going to do some testing this week and hopefully we’ll be better going into the next one.”