Nasse Snaps Winless Streak with World Series Triumph

Stephen Nasse hadn't won in a Late Model since last summer.


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It never really felt like it over the past year, but Stephen Nasse was in a bit of a slump.

Prior to Sunday night in Race Two of the World Series of Asphalt, Nasse hadn’t won since June 4 in the Southern Super Series at Five Flags Speedway. It wasn’t a slump in the traditional sense in that Nasse had remained competitive, but it was a winless drought, nevertheless.

There were seven podiums between that night and Sunday night, mostly against top level competition, and that was the caliber of field Nasse defeated at New Smyrna Speedway.

Nasse posted the fifth fastest time in qualifying but an eight-car invert placed him fourth at the start of the race. He used the outside row to his advantage on the start to move to second and only needed to pass Sammy Smith to take the win.

The field included Bubba Pollard, William Byron, Justin Mondeik, Derek Griffith and Smith.

"Any win in the World Series is a big deal," Nasse said. "We've come here some years and didn't come away with any wins and that's a bummer. This is a home track, even though we've had some pop back up closer to home, just so many good memories here."

Smith drives for Donnie Wilson Motorsports, the undisputed top organization in the discipline right now and Nasse believes it was a statement to break the winless streak by defeating the No. 22.

"Sammy has been really good this past season with big wins and big races," Smith said. "It’s not just him, but anyone who drives their cars are winning and to beat them shows we are going in the right direction. We just have to work on our long run speed a little bit more and I think we’ll be winning a lot more often."

Nasse first started to challenge Smith for the lead on Lap 5 and completed the pass on the outside five laps later but couldn’t immediately drive away. Smith even started to peek under Nasse again inside the final five laps but couldn’t find a way back around.

"We just got too tight," Smith said. "We were just a little off on stagger. Overall a good night again, but starting on the front row with track position, Stephen and I were really close and congrats to him. Frustrating."

It had rained earlier in the afternoon, and that was replaced with a dew that settled over the Florida half-mile for the feature that made completing passes really challenging.

"The track was kind of not good tonight," Smith said. "Qualifying was slow and the track was soggy from the rain. There was some Modified rubber laid down too. We tried to do some things to react to that and it didn’t really work."

Justin Mondeik posted the third fastest time in qualifying and raced from sixth to third by the finish. But he suffered from the same challenges as everyone else.

"Track wasn’t great," Mondeik said. "It wasn’t anyone’s fault but there was water seeping through the cracks in 3 and 4 and couldn’t get as low in 2 to make passes, and made adjustments to the car to try to deal with it."

With two runner-up finishes, Sammy Smith takes an early World Series championship lead over Derek Griffith with finishes of third and fourth, and Brad May, who finished fifth after winning on Opening Night.

NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron finished ninth after starting at the tail-end of the field.

2022 World Series of Asphalt
Super Late Models Race 2

1. Stephen Nasse
2. Sammy Smith
3. Justin Mondeik
4. Derek Griffith
5. Brad May
6. Bubba Pollard
7. Jake Finch
8. Jesse Love
9. William Byron
10. Gabe Sommers
11. Kaden Honeycutt
12. Jackson Boone
13. Justin Drawdy
14. Austin Thom
15. Dakota Stroup
16. Todd Stone
17. Justin Crider
18. Michael Hinde
19. Max Calles-McDonald
20. Patrick Thomas
21. Daniel Dye
22. Steve Weaver, Jr.
23. Hunter Wright
24. Morgan Hoover
25. Bobby Good