After watching the fun at New Smyrna Speedway on opening night last Friday, Stephen Nasse made the decision to head across the state of Florida to the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, starting with Saturday night’s event. The next night, the reigning Southern Super Series champion also brought out the team’s Pro Late Model for the week.
It took nearly a week, but Nasse turned around a trying week and rallied late to win the 100-lap Pro Late Model finale. The victory was his first Pro Late Model win at the World Series since 2010.
After losing the lead on a restart with 17 to go, Nasse ran Jett Noland back down with a strong long-run car, passing the fellow Florida native with six laps to go for his first win of 2021.
“I knew he was going to make it tough on me and he knew he had one coming from me, too, running me up the track like that. I know Jett really well,” Nasse said on the NBC Trackpass Broadcast. “Coming out of there without wrecked race cars is what’s most important, to get a win for the Jett Motorsports team at the end of the week is real cool. It’s been a heck of a week and a hard struggle, to be able to come out on top says a lot about our team and how much work we put in.”
With his first win of the week out of the way, Nasse now turns his attention to Saturday night’s Super Late Model finale and his first Orange Blossom 100 win to close out the week.
“My Super is a lot like my Pro car, it’s better on the long run. The cars are very similar, just different motors. All we can do is go out there and try our best and hopefully get us another good run.”
Jett Noland led the most laps after setting fast time in qualifying, but a late-race pass would deny him his third win of the World Series. He improved his finishing spot from last year’s finale by one, capping off a strong week for he and Anthony Campi Racing on the Pro Late Model side.
“We’d been tight since about lap 50 and the top was faster but we picked the bottom so we could get a better run off the corner. We had a good race with Nasse,” Noland said. “Maybe we can come back out here next year.”
By virtue of an eighth-place run Friday night, Kody Swanson was crowned the 2021 Pro Late Model champion. The five-time USAC Silver Crown champion and three-time Little 500 winner had never been in a Pro Late Model prior to making the trip to New Smyrna with Team Platinum, but one win and strong finishes throughout the week would put him on top at the end of the week.
“it sure means a lot, there’s so many wonderful people in my life, from my family, my wife and kids, and this team. The chance to meet them and for them to take a chance on me and bring me down here to one of the toughest racetracks for one of the toughest weeks to run Late Models and try to learn,” Swanson said. “To come away with the success we had and to win a championship is wonderful.
“I know it was anti-climatic but it was a battle to survive to the end. We had a lot of moments where we were dodging guys around us and I’m thankful to bring it home and finish it for them. Those guys deserve it, I’m thankful for Team Platinum for all their effort.”
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-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51/Will Bellamy
Pro Late Model Night #8 Unofficial Results: