Now Introducing Stephen Nasse, Mentor and Coach

The driver of the famed 51 is coaching Michael Hinde into a winner.

Share

Top
hero image for Now Introducing Stephen Nasse, Mentor and Coach

Tired: Classy Nasse.
Wired: Nasty Nasse.
Inspired: Coach Nasse.

That’s the world we have come to inhabit in 2022 that Stephen Nasse, is not only a driver coach and mentor, but also one that seems to be having a significant impact on a the career of a Florida top prospect.

Michael Hinde joined Stephen Nasse Racing once Nasse and crew chief Chris Cater launched their own race team last summer, but the relationship is so much more than just mechanical support, as the 17-year-old now has a instructor who has experienced a little bit of everything in both racing and life over the past decade.

Think about it:

Yes, Nasse has started to win marquee events and has become a top national contender at events from border to border, but he’s experienced a lot on the personal front too. As a 14-year-old NASCAR hopeful, he came down with a debilitating case of pneumonia that caused him to rapidly lose 50 pounds and very well could have killed him.

He lost almost half a year of his racing career and it took him much longer to feel completely back to 100 percent.

Nasse has generated no shortage of headlines over the past five years with high profile rivalries and dramatic outbursts. He has also matured a lot during that time and has become more thoughtful in his delivery -- even when feeling the need to levy a criticism.

At almost 27-years-old, this is Nasse the 15-year short track veteran, and he has much to offer 17-year-old Hinde looking to become a top-level short track star as well. Toss in the experience and perspective offered by Cater, and Hinde has a found the foundation to build his future upon.

Right now, that means specifically taking the success he has started to garner in the Pro Late Model and translating that to the Super Late Model. Both Stephen Nasse Racing cars are competing in the full Southern Super Series in 2022, while also both entering no shortage of Pro Late Model races together.

That is presenting a unique challenge for Hinde, according to Nasse.

"I think, and I've told him this too, but a lot of people that come into the Late Model scene, they don't come in and do a Pro and Super in the same year and at the same time," Nasse said. "Those who race both are usually veterans that have already figured them out one at a time.

"So, to go to the race track and try to master both at the same time, it's hard because they are really different cars and require different feels behind the wheel and are really different styles of racing."

Pro Late Models have lost a lot of horsepower in recent years and are more momentum based than ever before. Hinde won the Pro Late Model portion of Speedfest and captured the World Series of Asphalt championship.

Nasse wasn't surprised.

"I think Michael's style really fits the Pro car right now because he likes a free race car, and you can really drive the wheels off that one," Nasse said. "The Super Late Model just takes a lot more finesse."

Hinde once again plans to jump back and forth on Saturday at Watermelon Capital Speedway in a Pro Late Model – Super Late Model doubleheader.

"I think it's only going to be something that's going to come with age with Michael and he just has to learn the throttle response needed to get on top of these cars," he said. "It takes a lot of years and took me a long time too.

"But him being able to run so good in the Pro definitely gives me a lot of confidence in the Super that he will get it and start catching on. It's just going to take some time."


The Hindes recently purchased some inventory from Kyle Busch Motorsports and he was surprised how immediately comfortable he felt with the HAMKE. The success in the Pro to start this year has Hinde feeling confident about this summer.

"I think doing good in the Pro means I can take the next step," Hinde said. "I feel like having that success, not that it means I’m ready for the Super, but I do think spending as much time in any cars really helps."

Especially against the caliber of competition in the Southeast right now.

"I want to get top-5s, but a top-10 would mean everything to us where we are right now," Hinde said. "We have better cars this year and if we can just keep our nose clean and stay out of wrecks, hit our marks just right, we should be there at the end of these races."

Nasse has confidence based on what he's seen too.

"I tell him all the time that nobody starts out on Pros and Supers and that's what he's doing," Nasse said. "And it's starting to pay off. He wants to race all the time but jumping back and forth is just an extra learning curve he's going to have to overcome.

"They're along for the ride and I'm just really grateful for the opportunity they've given me to help them. I'd definitely like to see them get a couple of Super wins this year too."