Since the announcement of the Southern Super Series in December, Super Late Model drivers from the Southeast and beyond have been eagerly anticipating the start to the series’ inaugural schedule. Those drivers all hope to take the first-ever series title at the end of the 16-race slate at tracks in four states. One driver in particular, however, is looking for the Southern Super Series championship to be his first-ever series crown after several years of victories in big events throughout the region.
Seventeen-year-old Stephen Nasse will attempt to run the entire Southern Super Series season in 2013 and try to snag the inaugural title. Nasse is a winner of some big races in his career, including the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) and the Red-Eye 100 at New Smyrna Speedway in 2011 and again in 2013, but he and his Stephen Nasse Racing team have not competed for a season-long championship in a number of years. Now, he has his shot with the Southern Super Series.
“We haven’t really gotten to run for a championship too much in Super Late Models,” said Nasse, a native of Pinellas Park, Florida. “I think the closest thing was at Speedweeks at New Smyrna (FL). I came pretty close to that title one time. We haven’t been really ‘championship racing,’ just racing to win. I think we will have a good season and we have some of the old crew guys back. I think we got all the pieces together to run well and we can win this championship.”
The 16-race tour will take drivers to four different states and five different tracks across the South. While Nasse has experience at some of the tracks, he will be venturing to one for the first time.
The first ever Southern Super Series race will take place in April at the historic Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.
“I’ve never been there before,” said Nasse about Nashville. “I have no idea what it’s like and I have never even seen the place, but it’s going to be exciting when I do get there and see what we can do. It’s not a guarantee I will run good and it’s not a guarantee I will run bad. We are always pretty competitive no matter where we go, so I see no reason why it would change when we go there.”
Throughout his young career, Nasse has gone wheel-to-wheel and door-to-door with some of the Deep South’s premier drivers. By running the Southern Super Series, Nasse will do battle with the best the South has to offer on a regular basis.
“It is pretty exciting, but I don’t look at those guys any different,” said Nasse. “I have beaten them before, and I can do it again. Bubba Pollard, Augie Grill and John Hunter Nemechek are all great drivers. They and all the other guys that are running the Southern Super Series are all tough competitors, but maybe we can come in and sweep them away.”
The races in the Southern Super Series will consist of 125 green-flag laps. With the extra distance, and the ‘halftime break’ at lap 75, the races will often come down to tire and pit strategy. Nasse said his crew will have to take in to account the new variable and are game-planning accordingly.
“We haven’t had too much strategy racing here lately. I think that more of that will help me and my team prepare and move on to the next level. It definitely puts a bigger thinking cap on our head. We will have to think a lot more during the week about what we are going to do in certain spots. Hopefully we can put it all together and get some wins.”
Nasse has enjoyed his brief time off since running the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in December. Fresh off a win in the season-opening Red Eye 100 at New Smyrna Speedway, Nasse said he is focused on having a big 2013.
“It hasn’t felt like four weeks off,” Nasse said. Those couple of weeks let you step back and let your mind clear things out. With the rough season we had in 2012, we definitely need to clear our mind and get a good thought for the fresh season.”
Further announcements on drivers competing for the 2013 Southern Super Series championship will follow in the coming days and weeks.
For more information on the Southern Super Series, a temporary website, www.southernsuperseries.com, has been launched. 51 Sports, of Concord, North Carolina, will continue the development of a full site in the coming weeks. The Facebook page for the Southern Super Series is located at www.facebook.com/southersuperseries and on Twitter it’s @SoSuperSeries. For advertising or sponsorship questions, we invite you to contact the track representatives. For media inquiries, please contact Matt Kentfield at 51 Sports via firstname.lastname@example.org.