The Blizzard Series is meant to be a heavyweight showdown on the track between the best Super Late Model drivers in the country, but Stephen Nasse and Donnie Wilson took the intensity to the next level by brawling after a crash in the first half of the Southern Super Series race on Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway.
The ordeal began on a Lap 50 restart when Wilson struggled from third to get up to speed from the bottom lane. Bubba Pollard was on his back bumper, and got to the bottom. That allowed Nasse to get to the outside and he came together with Wilson at the entrance to Turn 1.
The melee collected multiple cars and included eventual race winner Bubba Pollard, Kyle Plott, Augie Grill and Casey Smith.
Furious, Nasse climbed out of his car and immediately began throwing punching at Wilson inside his car, at least 15 times. Track officials eventually separated Nasse from Wilson’s car, allowing Wilson to climb out and engage Nasse.
The argument turned into another brawl, with both drivers punching each other with their helmets on. They were again separated, eventually facing each other on pit road, where they fought each one more time.
Nasse believes his frustration will be validated by the race replay and GoPro footage, even if he regrets how it escalated, calling his actions immature.
“I’m going to try to be smart about my words,” Nasse told Short Track Scene. “He crowded me going to the wall more than once. I’m ready for that GoPro video to come out so we can see what happened… I had my nose there for sure, it wasn’t like I was sticking it in a spot that wasn’t there. I had the spot, but it’s really unfortunate the way it turned out.
“I feel like people are really making me out to be the bad guy as the easy way out of this wreck. Everybody is saying, ‘oh Nasse is involved,’ but uh, I don’t know, I’m just ready for the video to come out so we can really see what happened tonight.”
Nasse said he was actually set off by words that Donnie said to him as he approached the car.
“There’s no hard feelings for me and Donnie right now,” Nasse said. “When I walked up to the window net, there were definitely some words thrown back and forth that didn’t help my temper. So I kind of took the wrong way out of it. I realize now that’s definitely immature, and it isn’t the smartest route to go, but man those tempers are flaring, there is so much money and work we put into these race cars. There is so much money and work we put into these race cars.”
That last point is probably the one thing both drivers agree about wholeheartedly.
“Look, he apologized, and I appreciate that, but the point I needed to make known is that this was 50 laps into the race,” Wilson said. “We spend too much money and work way too hard to make decisions that tear up this many cars.
“I know the inside was terrible, and I did spin my tires, but it was way too early for that. And he needed to apologize, too. But what I didn’t get was why he was mad in the first place. I’m like, ‘dude, you wrecked me.’ This doesn’t change the fact that he has a reputation and he needs to get that under control before tracks and series start telling him that he’s not welcome here.”
Ultimately, Nasse and Wilson had one more chat in a motorhome, and left on cordial terms. Nasse doesn’t expect there to be a problem between the two moving forward.
“I don’t think there’s gonna be a grudge held between me and Donnie,” Nasse said. “You know, I told him he could take me in the motorhome and throw a couple blows if he wanted. I do felt like I owed him that. So we’ll move on and hopefully next race will be a little bit better.”
Wilson wouldn’t say he was over it, but didn’t leave the track harboring ill-will against Nasse.
“This is just a hard pill to swallow,” Wilson said. “We’ve had so much bad luck since winning the All-American 400. We’ve torn up five cars, and most of them, because a younger driver didn’t have any patience. That’s a big problem right now, younger drivers not showing patience.
“I expected better in that situation. So I guess, I just need to remember how people race me and that’s what Stephen needs to understand. People are going to remember this stuff and eventually it’s going to be too many things running against him.”
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