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Stephen Nasse is likely two races away from winning his first Super Late Model touring championship but finds it a hallow accomplishment should he not make it to Victory Lane before the end of the season.

The 22-year-old leads the Southern Super Series standings by 11 points over Chandler Smith but hasn’t won a race all year. He leads the Southern Super Series, competed for the New Smyrna World Series title and has made one CARS Tour and CRA start respectively.

That’s zero wins in 17 Super Late Model appearances.

The way he sees it, Nasse can’t call himself a champion until he can break through and reach Victory Lane.

“I’ve got to get a win,” Nasse said. “This championship won’t mean anything to me unless I win a race. In the past, I’ve talked about people who win championships but don’t win a race. That’s never set well with me because that’s not a championship season.”

Even without a win, Nasse has enjoyed a competitive season. He opened the year with a championship caliber effort in the World Series at New Smyrna and finished third in both the Redbud 400 and Speedfest 200.

He has three second-place finishes in Southern Super Series competition including one two weeks ago on August 19 in the Lee Fields 150 at Mobile International Speedway. He feels good about his overall pace but just can’t overcome the victory bug.

And again, doing so will determine how he feels about a potential championship.

“I don’t want to win one like that,” Nasse said. “Even if we do end up winning it without winning a race, that wouldn’t feel like a championship to me.”

The penultimate race of the Southern Super Series season is on Saturday night at Watermelon Capital Speedway. That’s the site of his podium finish back in January.

The SSS season ends on September 23 at Five Flags Speedway. If he hasn’t met his own personal championship by then, he’s also racing in the Winchester 400 and All-American 400 in October. Then of course, there’s the Snowball Derby in December.

Nasse is likely going to be a champion by then, but he’s going to have to prove it to himself first.

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 is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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