With all the hype surrounding the inaugural Short Track U.S. Nationals, which is set to roll at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN) this Saturday and Sunday, one storyline that has passed under the radar has been the fact that all races will count towards the points championship of their respective sanctions. For the Super Late Models, it’s a bit more complicated with points being available for the ARCA/CRA Super Series, CARS SLM Tour, and Southern Super Series.
On the Southern Super Series front, the consistent finishes of Stephen Nasse have put him on top of the Southern Super Series standings after the first four races of 2017. That consistency has earned him a guaranteed provisional for the race, but consistency is not on his mind heading into Bristol.
“I have a problem with (racing like) that. Obviously, I’ve been racing smarter but I’m going to keep the same pattern I’ve had going,” Nasse told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I’m not going to go in and take it easy for the race. I want to win this race, it’s Bristol. There aren’t a lot of opportunities to get there. I’m going for nothing but a win.”
As for his chances of victory, Nasse is as confident as always, especially coming off the open test held at the track last Saturday. While there was a minor snafu in the engine, he feels they are more than ready to take on the “Last Great Colosseum”.
“We’re ready to go. We actually made a motor change along with the other work we’ve done since we got to the shop,” Nasse explained. “The test was great, had good speed in the car. We did change the motor because of some problems, it was bogging a little bit down the straightaways for some reason. We just want to make sure everything is 100% for the race, so we went ahead and put a fresh motor in there.”
While the race distance of 100 laps around the half-mile concreate high-banks is far from being the longest Super Late Model race, it is panning out to be one of the most demanding, in terms of equipment. The short distance along with wear and tear is creating a big question for drivers: how aggressive can you be? Nasse believes that finding the right balance in this area will be the key to winning the race.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about how the race is going to pan out after testing there. We didn’t really get to do a long run, so I don’t know how it’s going to turn out on a long run. I’m a little nervous about that because just on a short run guys are pushing so hard to run those times. I don’t know how far they are going to back off,” Nasse stated. “I don’t know if the cars are going to be able to run hard for too long. I think stuff is going to start breaking when you try to run them hard every single lap. If you get into the gas before the center of the turns each lap, you’re putting a lot of stress on that car center off. I want to try and roll the center off, but if you have everyone pushing a high pace, it’s hard to back off. I’m interested to see what everybody’s plan is going into the race.”
In the end, he is ready to take on the challenge of the track, and is hoping that the top drivers will be on hand, to make the show that much better.
“Whenever I go racing, I like to race against the best, that way I can say I beat the best.”
Nasse will try to be the best this Saturday and Sunday during the inaugural Short Track U.S. Nationals. Fans unable to make it to the race will be able to watch all of the action via a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com. Live video tickets are available at an early bird discounted rate until Friday at midnight ET by clicking here.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com