Stephen Nasse stole the headlines Sunday by leading 392 laps on his way to winning the 48thAnnual Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway (IN). Although Nasse’s dominance was the biggest story, there were several other interesting storylines from the crown jewel Super Late Model race.
We look at a few of those stories in our Winchester 400 notebook below.
Lone Canadian Impresses at Winchester
Making the nearly 500-mile trip from Barrie, Ontario, Canada, Brandon Watson turned in an impressive performance in Sunday’s Winchester 400. Finishing third in the JEGS/CRA All Star Tour on Saturday, the former APC United Late Model Series finished fifth after the checkered flag flew on Sunday.
“We started off with a good car,” Watson said. “Unfortunately, we got quite loose mid race and we tried to make some adjustments here and I just kept chasing it.
“We're definitely happy with the fifth-place finish here and a third place yesterday in Pro Lates,” Watson added. “We can't thank everyone for supporting us and making a trip down here. We had a lot of fun.”
Watson concluded his 2019 Canadian tour with three wins in three starts, including a fifth-place finish in the 2019 Canadian Short Track Nationals.
Braden’s Perfect Streak Snaps
All weekend long Travis Braden had been perfect. Winning the JEGS/CRA All Star Tour finale race and the pole for the Winchester 400 Saturday, the Wheeling, West Virginia driver had an opportunity to finish off one of the best weekends of his career with a second Winchester 400 victory.
After leading the first eight laps, Braden gave up the lead to eventual race winner Stephen Nasse. Despite falling back through the field and even being lapped at one point, Braden battled back late to finish fourth.
“It's a big, big deal, I think to be able to bring home a top five,” Braden said. “We struggled really, really bad all day long and we were nowhere near a top five competitor.
“To come home fourth shows the effort that was put in,” he added. “These guys no matter what, they'll just keep fighting, and then I do my best to find speed in the car, so I'm still very proud of a fourth place. “
Justin Haley’s Luck Runs Out
NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Justin Haley made the trip back home to Indiana to run the Winchester 400. Running the No. 99 for KBR Development, Haley was locked in many fierce battles with the likes of Josh Brock and Chandler Smith during the first half of the 400-lap race.
However, Haley would encounter mechanical problems and his Winchester 400 came to an end just shy of the halfway point.
“We broke a right front spindle,” Haley said. “We were a lot freer than I wanted to be and I was trying to hang on there to the competition caution which they said was going to be in three laps and it ended up being like 15 laps.
“I was blocking Nasse because they said three laps to go,” he added. “I felt bad that I held him up so much because CRA didn't do what they said they would do. So, good effort by KBR but we just didn't have it today.”
Haley was credited with a 19th-place finish at the conclusion of the 400-lap race.
Coughlin Nabs Two Podiums
For Cody Coughlin, two strong Winchester finishes are something to be celebrated. Finishing second in Saturday’s JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour race and third in Sunday’s Winchester 400, the Delaware, Ohio driver knows the areas his team can improve one.
“I think it was a strong effort,” Coughlin said. “We just need to get our technology up to date. The guys that are the best every week, they’re about a tenth and a half faster and so that's what we need.”
Coughlin, a former ARCA/CRA Super Series champion, will look to return in 2020 with a new and improved program.
-Story by: Alex Gallacher, Speed51 Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51Photos.com