Speaking for the first time since his disqualification from the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL), Stephen Nasse joined Speed51’s “The Bullring” to discuss his thoughts on what unfolded at the prestigious Super Late Model race in December.
Nasse took the checkered flag first 42 days ago, overcoming an early power steering failure and a 36th-place starting spot. However, Nasse’s car failed post-race technical inspection due to a titanium violation in the brake system of the car.
“It’s obviously still a big heartbreak,” Nasse said. “That’s the biggest race of the year. I thought me and my guys worked real hard to get that win. Having the power steering go out on lap 60, 80, whatever it was and then to fight all the way to the front to get the win, straight up. My car was meant to be there. I raced there all day. I ended up winning the race, so it felt amazing.”
Nasse discussed the disqualification on Monday, sharing what he believed was an inconsistency within the event’s rules.
“I’ve had multiple, multiple people, up in the hundreds, message me talking about the rulebook and how they read it, how it contradicts itself. Something needs to be done, for sure. I’m a guy that supports every single series, I think anyone who knows me knows I wouldn’t flat-out cheat. It’s not worth it. We put too much time and effort and money into this to have that chance of being tossed. We try to do everything we can to prevent these things from happening.”
Nasse believes much of the confusion stems from the way the Five Flags Speedway Super Late Model rulebook allows titanium in some parts of the car, such as the engine, but forbids it in other areas.
“We went on to the new brake manufacturer, he read the rules the way he read them. It didn’t say no titanium in the brakes like it does in the body,” Nasse said. “I think that’s the misconception some people have, it says no titanium or exotic metals anywhere on the car. Well, that’s the body section of the rules. When you go to the motor section, you’re allowed to have titanium. If I’m not mistaken, the motor is part of the race car, just as much as the brakes are. That part really confused me and I don’t see how that can work, saying there can be absolutely no titanium or exotic metals and then later on saying, well, you can use titanium here.
“In the titanium section, it says no titanium rotors. It doesn’t say no titanium at all like it does in the body section. I think they’re really contradicting and, from an outsider’s standpoint, it’s easy to read through that and get confused and think it overlaps itself.”
Nasse is known for his outgoing, candid personality, which attracts friends and opponents alike. However, Nasse has been largely silent on the disqualification outside of the occasional social media post.
For Nasse, life has gone on since the Snowball Derby, which has prevented him from lurking on Twitter and stewing about the disqualification.
“When I’m out here working every day, it’s tough to harp on that when I’m busting my butt trying to get these jobs done. That’s the good thing. Me working and staying busy is probably the best thing for me. If I was just at the shop, working on the car full-time right now, I would probably be a lot more vocal and say a lot more dumb things because I’d have more time to sit and think about it and get myself in trouble.
“I’m maturing a little. I’m keeping myself busy. I have goals that I’m trying to achieve in my life outside of racing, in business as well. I can’t keep making a fool of myself all the time. I’ve done plenty of that. I know people that do like it, but there are people that hate it.”
Nasse believes he has also matured in how he handles disappointments in his racing career, but insists he still has a burning passion to excel.
“I definitely think you see a changing side of me, but that hot-head still pops out sometimes on the race track. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. You have to have passion and know what you want.”
Perhaps most importantly, Nasse is convinced he and his Jett Motorsports team will be just as capable of winning a future Snowball Derby.
“I truly believe we excel so much at the big, long races that I am confident, the next year we go back, we will have a shot, as long as we can minimalize all the mechanical issues, the power steering, the wheels coming loose, the little things that hold us back from being dominant.
“I keep harping on my guys, this isn’t it. We’re going to win it, and I can feel it.”
While on the show, Nasse also discussed attempting double-duty this weekend at Crisp Motorsports Park (GA) at CRA SpeedFest, his plans to race a Late Model Stock Car in two races this year including Martinsville’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 and much more. To watch the full interview with Nasse, watch the on-demand replay of “The Bullring” by clicking here.
“The Bullring” airs on Mondays at 7:00 a.m. for free from Studio 51 in Concord, N.C. Fans can watch each week on Speed51 or on Speed51’s Facebook Feed presented by Five Star Bodies.
-Story by Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51Photos.com