Holds Off Sam Mayer For His First New Smyrna Title
NEW SMYRNA, Fla. – A little over a week ago, Stephen Nasse pulled into New Smyrna Speedway with a few question marks.
Even though he was set for action with his new team, Jett Concrete Motorsports, Nasse was confident they would get things started off on the right foot.
Fast-forward a whole week and the confidence is overflowing for the Pinellas Park, Florida, native.
Nasse won the opening-night Super Late Model feature as part of the 52nd annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing and followed that with six straight top-five finishes, which was enough to hand him the crown by a mere one point over Sam Mayer.
“It was a little bit difficult, our first week working together, things are always going to be a little bit rocky at the start,” Nasse said of his relationship with his new team. “I had worked with the Jett guys once or twice before, but a few of the guys, it was my first time seeing them. It took us a couple of days to get adjusted. I had to learn them and they had to learn me.”
Nasse’s week got started on the right foot with the victory, but he wasn’t necessarily pleased with the way he concluded the week. He was hungry to win even more.
“We were actually really lucky that first night, we had some clean air and we had a good starting spot,” Nasse said. “It’s kinda hard when people are behind others and have some dirty air. We had a good car.”
Although some of the top stars of the short-track level competed during the week — including current NASCAR Next member Harrison Burton, who won the 100-lap finale Saturday night – Nasse was able to outlast them all, including Mayer, his closest challenger.
“It’s definitely one of the strongest fields for the whole week, normally the heavy hitters don’t come until the end of the week,” Nasse said. “But guys like Burton and Ty Majeski – they made it tough. All I can do is keep trying my best and giving the feedback that I can. I just keep driving the tires off it.”
Finally – after what felt like forever for the 23-year-old – he finds himself a champion in the record books of the World Series at New Smyrna.
“My girlfriend asked me why I wasn’t excited, she said it was something I had been shooting for,” Nasse said. “I spent so much time, I’ve been running it since I was like 13. I came down to one point from winning the title before, and in my mind, I had already won this championship, it just wasn’t there on the books.”
“A couple hours after the race, it started to hit me a little more. I wanted to go in there and win as many races as possible. At the end of the day, they didn’t have anything on the championship rules that said you had to win X amount of races to win the title.”
All nine nights of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing aired live as a stream on FansChoice.TV. In the Tour-Type Modifieds, Matt Hirschman finished second in the Richie Evans 100 to conclude the week, but won the championship.