Super Late Model practice for the Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway proved to be the Stephen and Steve Show, as Stephen Nasse and Steve Wallace paced the two practice sessions.
Wallace, a former winner in the UARA STARS Late Model Series at Bristol, was quickest in the first round of practice at 14.788 seconds around “The Last Great Colosseum.” Nasse had the overall fastest lap of the day at 14.571 seconds in the second round of practice, before rain washed out the third round.
Nasse carries confidence into Saturday’s 100-lap Super Late Model feature, tri-sanctioned by the ARCA/CRA Super Series, CARS Tour and Southern Super Series.
“We obviously had to fight the weather all day,” Nasse told Speed51.com. “I felt like we had a good handle on the car. The first practice, we ended up third. Second practice, we were fastest. We had good raw speed in the car, still had the same old tires on. I feel pretty good about it. Obviously time will tell what will happen in the race.”
Nasse was so pleased with his car’s speed, he had no intentions of participating in the final round of practice even if it Mother Nature had not intervened. He preferred to conserve his equipment rather than turn more laps on Friday evening.
“I wasn’t even going to go out this last practice that got rained out,” he said. “It’s so rough on equipment, I don’t want to abuse it too much. Tomorrow we’re going to go out in the 30-minute session, work on it a little bit more.”
Wallace was also content with the day, showing speed in a brand-new race car.
“It started out really well,” Wallace said. “We had a good car that first practice. I was really excited about it. It drove really good. The second practice was really the same thing. I was really excited with how the car handled.
“It’s a brand-new car, I just got done with it about a week ago,” he added. "It turned out really well. The car is really strong. A couple guys mocked up towards the end. I just ran on the same tires. I feel really good about it, I’m really excited. I think we’ll be in good shape.”
While the day went well for Wallace and Nasse, it was not so kind to others. Trey Bayne, the younger brother of former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, had his first day at Bristol cut short after an incident in the first round of practice.
“Went in the corner and bottomed out, it felt like something broke,” Bayne said. “I tried to save it and yanked the wheel left, it got loose and smacked the wall. It’s frustrating but there was nothing I could do about it. It sucks. We worked hard on it all week. It’s unfortunate.”
The ARCA/CRA Super Series, CARS Tour and Southern Super Series teams compete Saturday for the crown of Short Track U.S. Nationals Super Late Model champion. Speed51 will provide a live pay-per-view broadcast of the event, which also features Pro Late Model, Street Stock and Compact racing.
Click here to order your video ticket today.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 photo