The Short Track Report: 4 high-octane questions for Stephen Nasse
Stephen Nasse is one of the stars of the CARS Late Model Series, the premier short-track racing series in America. Not only is he one of the most talented drivers out there, but he is always going to say what's on his mind and that makes for some of the best interviews. He was nice enough to talk to me about his racing plans for the rest of 2020, give a recap of his run in the Winchester 400, and a lot more.
SportsMap: So first and foremost, what an excellent drive you had in Sunday's Winchester 400, coming back from a penalty and then some mechanical issues as well. While it may not read as win on the stat sheet, it's got to feel good to get such a good result after all you went through.
Stephen Nasse: Yeah, you know it's definitely tough to swallow. I was pretty upset in the time being with the issues we were having. I felt like they were issues that could have been avoided by me and my guys but at the end of the day, my guys worked harder than anyone else. I feel in that pit area, they want to win just as bad as I do, if not more. So you can't be too mad at them. But at the end of the day, it was good to come back and have the car in one piece, so that's all you can really ask for.
SM: The penalty you guys got was kind of controversial as you were cleaning off some of the leaves on your grill. Can you kind of expand on that a bit and talk about what happened there?
SN: Yeah, I don't understand their thought process on some things. Winchester is notorious for having leaves on the back straight away. And this year it was much worse and it didn't take a very smart person to realize that they should have blown off or drove over before the race because those racecars should not be cleaning off that racetrack. I mean everyone who comes here spends way too much money to have to come here and deal with that. My water temp was pegged out and I wasn't going to spend the money just to keep my spot, but it was unfortunate.
SM: Talk a little bit about how you got your start in racing.
SN: Well growing up, my grandfather was big into racing, and they finally had a boy after having two girls. So when they finally had a boy, it was time to go racing! So they bought me a dirt bike, and I was falling off every 25 feet, so they decided it was time to go to four wheels. So after that we got a go-kart, and we moved up to Pro Late Model cars and on to Supers and it went on from there. But it's always been something I wanted to do and I love doing it.
SM: For some of the newer viewers of Late Model Racing like myself, can you kind of explain the differences between each class like the Super Late Models and the Pro Late Models?
SN: Well when you are looking at it visually, you can't really tell a difference but it mainly comes down to speed. In the Pro Mods, you have a Crate Motor which makes about 500 horse power and it's more of a level playing field. And when you look at the Supers, it's making about 650 horsepower and there is a lot more to control.
You can hear the entire interview on Audioboom below.