Stephen Nasse has been chasing a championship in the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing for what seems to be his entire life.
This time around, he wants to seal the deal.
The 23-year-old, Pinellas Park, Florida, driver is heading back to New Smyrna Speedway for the 52nd annual short-track showcase – which starts on Friday night – hoping to end up in Victory Lane.
More importantly, Nasse is hoping to notch that elusive championship crown.
“I really want to win this championship, it’s been a thing that’s on my list for a long time,” Nasse said. “But, to be honest with you, I’ve come so close to winning it that sometimes I forget I haven’t won a Speedweeks championship, just because I’ve been right there in the running for it. I still go out there and I strive to do it.”
All nine nights of racing from New Smyrna will stream live on FansChoice.tv
Nasse’s week of preparation leading up to the first green flag included practice on Thursday. He says the high-banked 0.500-mile oval is one of the more difficult he drives during the year.
As a young driver visiting New Smyrna for the first time, Nasse didn’t shy away from the speed of the high-banks – and he feels that has aided in his success.
“I’ve always had a thing for the faster race tracks, I’ve always liked that speed,” Nasse said. “That doesn’t scare me away. When I first went to New Smyrna, the speed excited me. Some other kids my age may have been intimidated by it, but I took off and ran with it. I got a fresher start than some other people. Being able to really grab this place by the throat and not be afraid of it helps. I’m hard on the gas, and when I need to, I’m hard on the brakes.”
His success of the past isn’t necessarily a lock to translate to this week, and he knows that. He made a change with his racing recently that has allowed him to team up with Jett Concrete Motorsports, the same team that fields a car for Jeff Choquette – who won the first two Super Late Model races of the season at New Smyrna in 2018.
“I’m in a little bit different situation, in all of the years past, I was driving for the same team, DLP Motorsports,” Nasse said. “We split up earlier this year and now I’m with Jett Concrete Motorsports. This week is really going to be a big learning curve for us as a team. We’ve only worked together two or three times.”
After practicing on Thursday, Nasse is confident the team will be ready for Friday night.
“I’m really proud of what we have already done,” Nasse said. “But we need to get a little bit better. In practice, we made a good step towards doing that.”
Nasse will be joined by some top Super Late Model talent from across the country, including 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Harrison Burton, and New Hampshire SLM standout Derek Griffith. Burton won the Super Late Model title at New Smyrna last year.
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