Stephen Nasse completed the most dominant performance in Winchester 400 history on Sunday, winning the annual Indiana fall classic after leading 392 laps against a considerably stacked field by modern standards.
The 24-year-old from Pinellas Park, Florida withstood a valiant restart from Corey Heim, who jumped from third to second in the first corner with 20 laps to go, but just didn’t have enough grip to get under and around Nasse.
Nasse remained unchallenged for the remaining 19 laps to complete the most important victory of his career.
“I couldn’t have done it without my guys, first of all,” Nasse said in victory lane. “Chandler had me worried a few times there, gave me a good run for my money. We just had a dominant car. It was going to be tough for anyone to get by me on the bottom and I was going to hold that top groove all night as best I could.”
For a majority of the race, it was the pair of 51 cars — Nasse and Smith — running nose-to-tail across various pit strategies and a handful of cautions. Ultimately, Nasse just outlasted the ARCA race winning youngster to collect the second big money win of his season.
Nasse actually opened the 2019 season by taking a full-time hiatus, picking-and-choosing marquee races and has been twice rewarded. He won the U.S. Short Track Nationals in June at Bristol Motor Speedway and now has the legendary Winchester riffle in addition to $16,000 base purse for the winner.
With lap led bonuses, Nasse accumulated over $20,000 in winnings on Sunday.
“I can’t say enough about this Jett Motorsports team,” Nasse said. “They gave me a hell of a car. This is awesome. Second year in a row for them. To have my mom and my buddies come down for this, this is incredible.”
Corey Heim was denied yet another signature victory, this time finishing second to Nasse at Winchester. Heim has been famously denied signature wins at South Boston and Martinsville in a Late Model Stock but felt content with Sunday’s performance.
“This felt like a redemption race for us,” Heim said. “We just didn’t quite have enough for that (Nasse) car but I don’t think anyone did. We deserved second and we earned second. We’re proud of that.”
Travis Braden, the 2016 winner and 2019 pole winner, had an opportunity on the final restart but just didn’t have the speed or grip.
“These Platinum guys gave me a great race car,” Braden said. “We just got behind when we were sticking to our strategy. But we stuck to it and it worked out. It was a great effort to get back on the lead lap and be there at the end. To get a top-five was a strong effort against this field and we’ll come back next year and give it another go.”
With a seventh-place finish, Greg Van Alst was crowned the CRA Super Series champion for the first time in his career. Using the NASCAR-style Championship 4 format, Alst was the best finisher of himself , Josh Brock (eighth), Hunter Jack (11th) and Jack Dossey III (12th), with Alst winning over Brock by just several car lengths after the last restart.
The complete results can be found below.
- Stephen Nasse
- Corey Heim
- Cody Coughlin
- Travis Braden
- Brandon Watson
- Chandler Smith
- Greg Van Alst #C
- Josh Brock #C
- Donnie Wilson
- Steve Wallace
- Hunter Jack #C
- Jack Dossey III #C
- Bob Varney
- Kyle Crump
- Dalton Armstrong
- Eddie VanMeter
- Johnny VanDoorn
- Brandon Oakley
- Justin Haley
- Brandon Varney
- Dakota Stroup
- Jaren Crabtree
- Jon Beach
- Zach Stacy
- Chris Flemming
- Tanner Jack