Stephen Nasse appeared to be the class of the field for much of the Orange Blossom 100 on Saturday night at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). The Florida driver led the majority of the 100-lap Super Late Model event before eventually surrendering the lead late and settling for a runner-up finish.
Nasse, driving the DLP Motorsports No. 51, started the day off exactly the way he wanted by setting fast time in time trials for the race. An invert of four would have him starting on the outside of the second row for the main event, but he didn’t waste any time jumping into the lead by lap 10.
From there, Nasse set a fast pace up front before the No. 97 of Cole Anderson began knocking on his back bumper looking for the lead. Nasse was able to fend off multiple attempts made by Anderson before eventually giving up the lead on lap 98. He admitted after the race that he was shocked to see Anderson attempt the pass for the lead on the outside.
“He was working the outside there and I was protecting the bottom, I knew he looked underneath me that one time and I kind of chopped him down a little bit and got him loose,” Nass explained. “I was guarding the bottom again and he rolled to my outside. He schooled me, I’ll say it. He did something I didn’t expect him to do.
“I was expecting him to just work the bottom. When I heard outside I was shocked, my jaw dropped. With less than five to go they’re tough to lose.”
Despite having to settle for a second-place finish, Nasse was very pleased with the performance of his DLP Motorsports team. The speed the team was able to put on display by leading the most laps has Nasse anxious to get back into the car during SpeedFest 2016 at Crisp Motorsports Park in Georgia.
“We were real good,” Nasse said. “DLP Motorsports and all of the guys have been working at the shop trying to get this car ready. It’s been a long week, so to come out and lead all of the laps we did and finish second I couldn’t be more proud. This type of run makes me very excited to get back into the car soon.”
Nasse will compete in the ARCA/CRA Super Series 200-lap race at SpeedFest before returning to New Smyrna for the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing beginning on February 12.
For more information on Stephen Nasse, follow him on Twitter at @StephenNasse.