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What’s happening with Stephen Nasse’s Late Model Stock deal?

It’s time for Stephen Nasse Racing to figure out what to do with their LMSC

Brandon Zumbach Photography

For Stephen Nasse and his nascent Late Model Stock operation, it’s getting close to put up or shut up time.

Nasse acquired a Forrest Reynolds chassis last summer, made a handful of starts and announced plans to contest the full CARS Tour season in 2024. He was supposed to do it with successful crew chief Chase Pistone but Reynolds himself took over operations before the start of the season and they failed to make the season opener in March at Southern National.

It sat dormant until last week when they took it to North Wilkesboro, working alongside Chad Bryant Racing but those races were rained out so Nasse doesn’t know what the future holds as it pertains to his perimeter chassis car.

“We’re just behind the eight ball in it,” Nasse told Short Track Scene on Thursday at Hickory Motor Speedway.  “I thought that working with Forest was going to be really be good and really, I thought we’d hit it off and we just kind of struggled a lot more than we expected.

“We got some help from Chad but the car still isn’t quite there. It needs more work. It’s not about being able to drive them. People ask me all the time about the difference behind the wheel and there’s no difference, it’s all setup

“When you’re working with those truck arms and everything, it’s just a different, different animal. And those guys are so good. If you’re off just a little bit, it makes you look that much worse, you know?”

And that’s the part that stings the most, his pride, in that his Late Model Stock starts make him look way less capable of driving one compared to the straight rail Super and Pro Late Models. He wants to compete admirably against the likes of Chad Bryant Racing, JR Motorsports and Lee Pulliam Performance but only if he feels like his program is capable of reaching that level.

“I don’t want to go back and struggle,” Nasse said.

He was planning to race Tri-County on Saturday night but he still did not feel like his car could go out there and compete in a CARS Tour race and give him the same kind of shot he expects on Thursday night in his Super Late Model program in the ASA STARS series.

“We are going to comb through the car and I am going to give it one more shot and if it doesn’t work, I’m just going to cut my losses with it and maybe rent a car from a really good team,” Nasse said. “I like having our own but I didn’t think it was going to be this tough.

“But really, everyone you want to hire to work on these cars, they’re really good, so they’re already booked up and I just need someone who has a lot of experience with these cars. It’s just been a hard deal.”

Nasse says he almost thinks something is broke on the car, which is why he wants to tear it apart one more time and put it back together, piece by piece.

“We are fighting something right now that acts like it’s bent somewhere,” he said. “No matter what we’ve done to it, it’s just tight. Nothing is responding the way it should.

“So I don’t know when our next race will be but we’re starting to get our Super program turned around and I don’t want to take away from that. Those cars are just so finicky and like I said, when you’re off just a little with those cars, they’ll make you look like it’s a lot.”

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

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