For all the animosity and shenanigans in pavement short track racing over the past week, it was Stephen Nasse and Bobby McCarty that delivered a professional racing clinic and show of respect over the final 25 laps of the CARS Tour race on Saturday at Tri County.
The two champions from two different disciplines, whom had never raced each other until Saturday, raced side-by-side for fifth for over 25 laps without taking each other out. It was the hard racing you would expect from both veterans but never getting out of hand.
There was an occasional touching of doors but the battle never felt out of control.
After the race, McCarty waited outside of the Nasse hauler for five minutes for Nasse to return from technical inspection purely because he wanted to thank him for the race and issue a show of respect. They laughed it up and the Nasse crew even gave McCarty a beer.
It seems Bobby McCarty thought as much of his battle with Stephen Nasse as I did
Bobby waited for Stephen just so they could shake hands and laugh about their battle
Bobby says he hopes Stephen can come race with them more
Stephen says he would love to pic.twitter.com/p63oplWnu2
— Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverRA) October 22, 2023
If you know anything about McCarty, you know that’s his de facto love language.
“I mean, if you look at the race between me and Nasse, we raced hard and we doored a little bit, a little bit of smoke but neither car got sideways, crossed up or out of line,” McCarty said. “It was hard racing and that’s what you do.
“You race hard, come back and shake hands and say ‘man, let’s do it again,’ because the next time the shoe could be on the other foot. I could be on the top holding him up and because I showed him respect tonight, he won’t drive through me for fifth or whatever.”
That was it was about to the three-time CARS Tour champion and two-time Southern Super Series champion — a matter of respect.
“It says a lot about what respect does,” Nasse said. “Bobby and I respect each other. We’ve known each other over the years when I was running CARS Tour Super races. We’ve had some talks and developed a friendship. He respects me and I respect him.”
Respect has been in short order lately.
“Racing is a big circle,” McCarty said. “I’ve been on the receiving end and I’ve been on the giving end. I know what it’s like. Stephen is like me. He doesn’t give it to you unless you gave it to him first. I’m the same way. Some of these young kids, listen, I started my own program and worked my ass off to get to this point.
“And there are these kids with zero accountability and wiping cars out because it’s 35 laps to go and do whatever they want to do.”
As for the beer, Nasse knows McCarty likes to drink and he hopes this isn’t their last time sharing a laugh and brew.
“Oh, I’ve heard and I haven’t been able to sit down and drink a couple of beers with him yet,” Nasse said. “We plan to race with these guys a little bit more next year so hopefully we can do it again.”