Stephen Nasse lays all the blame on his Snowball Derby crash and tirade on Roush Fenway Racing pit crew coach Brad Robison.
On the Bottled Up racing podcast with host Jeff Maconi on Saturday night, the polarizing Super Late Model star called Robison a ‘fraud’ and explained that he wanted to make sure that no one ever rented from his development team ever again.
Nasse rented a pit crew from Robison and crashed his car in the middle stages of the race when his left rear tire was twice left loose. Nasse says he suspected the crew would cause him trouble from the moment they stepped foot on the property.
“I could tell that it wasn’t going to be that great of a day when the guys that were there to pit on my car showed up, dropped their bags and walked over to their buddies instead of looking over the car, the studs, checking the jack post and making sure their stuff was good,” Nasse said. “So when I had to get onto them that morning, telling them ‘hey you guys have a job to do and this isn’t time to hang out with your friends,’ I thought that would put some sense into them.
“Obviously, it didn’t.”
Nasse said his first stop was slow but otherwise fine, but the problems began manifesting itself after the second stop. At that point, he developed a vibration but was saved by a caution several laps later.
During that stop, he said the team admitted there was a loose lug, claimed they fixed it, and sent him back on the track. Several laps later, the vibration worsened and he attempted to spin himself out intentionally to avoid having to pit under green.
He succeeded in spinning himself out, but the loose wheel completely came off and that sent his No. 51 into the Turn 3 retaining wall.
He immediately marched from his crashed car to his pit stall and didn’t like what he saw waiting for him.
“After the fact, I come down pit road and they have a smirk on their face like they had done something good,” Nasse said. “No one looked upset, no one apologized, every single one of them had a smile on their face and at least five people could confirm that, and that’s why I lost my temper.”
Nasse tossed his helmet and HANS device towards his hired ‘over-the-wall crew and had to be separated from them.
“I tossed my helmet and shouted ‘who was changing the rear’ and they all turned and looked towards the one guy and that’s how I knew it was him. It just went down from there. They didn’t let me get to him. That guy cost me about 40 grand and a good run in the Snowball. I wish I could have done a bit more.”
He claims that the crew was just in it for the money and street cred of saying that participated in the Derby, likening them to a crew ‘that just came from McDonald’s.’
And then there’s Robison.
“After the whole deal went down, that Brad Robison guy first talked to the crew, and then he talked to me,” Nasse said. “This is how you know the guy is a crook. He tried to blame it on me. He asked why I didn’t come down under green if I knew it was loose, why didn’t I spend extra time on pit road if I knew that there was a problem, after his guys told me we were good. I don’t race for money. We don’t make money on this. It’s a hobby and it’s fun to us. I’m not going to whine or cry about the money lost because it’s done and gone.
“The deal is done, and like I told him, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that no one ever rents from him again. The guys who were on the crew, maybe it’s not all their fault, but they weren’t experienced enough to know how big of a deal this way. I really blame this on Brad Robison.”
OTHER NOTES FROM NASSE ON THE PODCAST
On his personality and polarizing nature
“I consider myself a Tony Stewart. I grew up watching that man. I have a different personality. Some love that. Some don’t and they’re probably too wound up for me, wound too tight. Everything can be a joke in life. Some people don’t see the money my family and crew lost that weekend… I had never met these guys before, they went and goofed off with their buddies and didn’t check the car. It was a crappy ordeal and they didn’t give 100 percent. Our cars cost almost $100,000 and they just came in to collect a paycheck and say they did something at the Snowball Derby. That ain’t right. That’s what those guys were doing. They’re airheads.”
What’s next for Nasse?
“We’re talking about trying to do the Kern County Winter Showdown. That’s the beginning of February. That may be our first one of the season. It takes a lot to go to California, but we’re trying to find a deal so me and Jeff Choquette can do that whole weekend.”
On the Facebook comment threatening to run the pit crew over
“A lot of people got butt hurt over that one, including the girl I responded to. Me and Andy (Marquis, Race22.com) have been buddies for a few years after he interviewed me at Southern National. He’s a supporter of mine and tags me in some stuff. So I saw that and obviously, I’m a jokester. Anyone who has met me understands that about me. Anyone offended by that are probably the same people that got Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer taken off TV for bullying. I liven up the racing community with a breath of fresh air. Obviously, I’m not going to hit people with my car. It was a joke and people take things too literally.”