As we prepare for the draft, we’ll be taking a look at a handful of drivers and providing scouting reports just like you would see ahead of the NFL Draft. These scouting reports will take a look at a driver’s on-track performance, as well as other qualities that may make or break their chances of making it to the top levels of NASCAR.
Our first scouting report for 2018 will be on Super Late Model driver Stephen Nasse.
Hometown: Pinellas Park, FL
Last Year’s Draft: 16th
Highest Pick: 5th (2011)
Anticipated Draft Pick: 10th-20th
The Skinny: After a consistent 2010 season in Super Late Models at the age of 15, Nasse was voted into the top five during the 2011 Draft, with experts expecting a large string of victories to follow. While victories did come, it was not in an expected quantity, with Nasse ranking in the middle of future drafts.
Consistent driving has paid off for Nasse as he has stuck with Super Late Models, especially in the past year, winning two major championships. However, he has only taken down two wins in the past year. Nasse has made it no secret that this is something that needs to change if he wants to move up through the racing ranks.
Rising, Falling or Holding Steady: Holding Steady
While a low number of wins would usually cost a driver ground in the draft, Nasse’s stock has remained in the top 20 with his two titles. Had those two titles been coupled with more wins, we probably would have seen his draft stock rise in 2018.
On-Track Accomplishments: B+
Nasse is competing against one of the strongest corps of drivers in all of short track racing, often facing even stiffer competition during certain major Late Model events. While winning is paramount to stay in the mix race after race, finding an edge on the competition is a very difficult task, which he did last year to win his first Southern Super Series championship and this past February for his first World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing title.
While Nasse is always high on determination to win on track, he is always thinking of others while out of the car, especially family and fans. He is never one to hide what is on his mind, including when he gets fired up, but it has earned him a mark as an honest driver.
His nickname, ‘Classy’ Stephen Nasse, has been well earned and accurate during his racing career.
Sponsor Appeal: B+
Nasse is a driver that is always mixing it up at the front of the field and has received championship-level exposure, but most of that exposure came at the end of the racing season in 2018.
With wins comes more sponsorship exposure, which is something that needs to become more regular.
Nasse’s personality could be the determining factor in his sponsor appeal. If a potential sponsor is looking for a driver who isn’t afraid to speak his mind like Kyle Busch, Nasse would be their pick. But if they’d rather have a by-the-book type of driver who says what a PR rep tells him to say, Nasse could be a tough sell.
Social Media: B-
Nasse is very much about the news of racing and not too much else across social media on both Twitter and Facebook. There are times when Nasse is more open with his thoughts on Twitter, such as after his altercation with William Bryon following the 2016 Snowball Derby. Following that race, Nasse had the attention of the short track racing world on social media.
Nasse does have an Instagram, but he has yet to utilize it. For that, we have to take some points away in this category.
Nasse will again pursue the title in the Southern Super Series while attending additional marquee SLM events in 2018. This season Nasse will have the backing of Jett Motorsports, which has shown great success with Jeff Choquette. This may be just what Nasse needs to tip the scales in his favor in his quest for race wins.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com