Last week, Stephen Nasse was enjoying a cruise with his extended family. This Tuesday will be anything but a leisurely ride along the waves, as he’ll tackle the 33-degree banking of Slinger Speedway (WI) in the 40th Annual Slinger Nationals.
Nasse joined Speed51’s “The Morning Bullring” Monday to discuss the upcoming race after a busy day of travel to get to the Badger State.
“I was on a week-long cruise with my family,” Nasse said. “I got in yesterday, had to do a lot of traveling, got stuck at the airport, had some delays, had some trouble getting the rental car. It can make for a long day, for sure.”
While he didn’t get into town early enough to check out Sunday’s Prelude to the Nationals at Slinger Speedway, many of his crewmembers attended the race. Nasse is eager to take to the race track first-hand after many positive reviews.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I’ve got some Snapchats from my crew last night, they were watching the race. It looks really cool, really fast, like a track that’s my style. Hopefully the shoe fits, and we can go out there and have a good run.
“Anybody I’ve ever talked to has said Slinger is my kind of track,” Nasse added. “Even watching the videos, what really caught my eye was the Erik Jones-Matt Kenseth race [in 2016]. They can get very rough around there. It’s very racey, and that’s my style. That’s what brought me up here, to get some hard, good racing in.
“I want to have some of that good, hard racing. These short, small banked tracks are usually the ones to bring that, so that’s what I’m looking for.”
Embracing hard-nosed racing has given Stephen Nasse a reputation and more than a few nicknames along the way in his racing career, but Nasse is just as quick to embrace that persona.
“That was the plan, to go with that Dale Earnhardt effect,” he stated. “I’m glad I’ve been able to make something of it. I don’t think it works 100 percent of the time. People still push your buttons, but that’s racing. Everybody’s got to push the envelope trying to get what they can out of the race track so I can’t blame them when they do. That doesn’t change how I react.”
The Slinger Nationals often draws several marquee opponents as a Tuesday night race, when drivers from NASCAR’s national series are not competing. This year’s entry list includes Matt Kenseth, Daniel Hemric and Johnny Sauter along with some of the best Super Late Model racers in the country.
Nasse sees these races as a chance to show he stacks up with the best in racing, like Connor Okrzesik did at Crisp Motorsports Park (GA) in January when he beat Kyle Busch to win CRA SpeedFest.
“I want to beat them even more,” Nasse said of big-name opponents. “I want to be able to prove that they’re not the best of the best. The best of the best are still hidden at the short tracks. If I get around Kyle Busch, I want to make him cry a little bit from roughing him up.
“When they come down, they out-resource you big-time, but Connor Okrzesik proved you can do it. If I have a good enough car to get up there, I’m definitely going to ruffle some feathers. I’m not going to wreck them, but I’m not going to give them much room.”
Of course, a trip to Wisconsin wouldn’t be complete without some cheese curds. Nasse also discussed the area’s finest cuisine during his Morning Bullring appearance.
“I can’t lie, I’m more of a mozzarella stick guy,” said Nasse. “They’re kind of the same thing, I guess. I’ve never traveled up this way too much, so I don’t know much about the cheese curd. I’ll have to look into it, I’m not scared.”
Fans unable to make the trip to Slinger, Wisconsin for Saturday’s 40th Annual Slinger Nationals can watch the race live on Speed51’s pay-per-view broadcast. Click here to order your video ticket today. The broadcast is subject to a 100-mile blackout range.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo