Stephen Nasse will see yet another track for the first time when he heads to Madison International Speedway for the Joe Shear Classic on May 7.
The 2023 season is bringing new elements to Nasse racing program. He is back to racing under the Stephen Nasse Racing stable, bringing a new Crew Chief with him. However, the goal for the defending Winchester 400 and All-American 400 winner is the same – win races.
The ASA STARS National Tour opener at Five Flags Speedway did not go as planned after an incident took him out of the race just before the halfway point. That result isn’t deterring Nasse from a potential shot at the ASA STARS championship.
“It’s always exciting to go to a new place but there’s always a bit of worry. I think the locals there will be really good, but we deal with that everywhere we go. It’ll be another race in a way, just hope that we’re going to be on our A-game and have a good run, maybe even contend for a win.”
Nasse has made a home at the Slinger Nationals, having made the trip for the event every year since 2019. He has gotten progressively better with each trip to the quarter-mile, with his best finish being a sixth in last year’s race.
He then added a second track in the Badger State in August last year, teaming up with Steve Apel to run the Gandrud Auto Group 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway. Coincidentally, Nasse also finished sixth in that race after starting on the pole.
Additionally, he has sponsorship from WABAM, owned by Slinger Elite 8 Super Late Model driver Ryan DeStefano.
“I really enjoy racing up there. The people are really great, I made a really great friendship with the Apel’s, with Ryan (DeStefano) and WABAM and all those people.
Just a lot of good fans and a lot of fun in that area not just in the racecar, but out of the racecar as well. I get along with a lot of people and it’s always fun to make the trip up there.”
Admittedly, Nasse’s knowledge of Madison International Speedway is at a minimum. But from what he’s seen of the facility so far, he thinks it will be a track he can get comfortable at quickly.
“I’ve watched a couple videos on it, it looks like any racetrack I think I could be pretty good at. It doesn’t look like a track I’d struggle at, in my opinion. It has a little bit of banking, a little bit of speed. It should be pretty good.”
Nasse races about as close as to year-round as you can get in Super Late Model racing, consistently averaging one of the higher race counts in the discipline. He says that’s a big difference between racing in the Southeast and racing in the Midwest, something that he enjoys anytime he gets to go to Wisconsin to race.
“The Apel’s and those guys, they only get to race a certain time of the year. I feel like it’s almost like how racing kind of used to be back in the day. It’s family-oriented and local, I think that’s how to describe it. At the same time, they’re all really good and competitive. At our local tracks in the Southeast they struggle, and we struggle when we go up there to race. They don’t mess around and when they’re not able to race, they’re working hard and only thinking about getting back out there and being able to race.
“We, being able to race all year, it gets tough because it never stops. You can say on one hand it’s really good, but on the other hand we never get the time to sit back and relax and think on things the way we should because we’re always trying to get a car ready for the next race. We can race every weekend out of the year really if we wanted to, it seems like. I really like that atmosphere. They race together, they drink together, eat together, do everything together. I enjoy that.”
The Joe Shear Classic 200 will mark race two of the inaugural ASA STARS National Tour schedule, set for 2:00PM CT on Sunday, May 7. Advance tickets are available by visiting the track website at misracing.com/tickets, or at the track office during regular business hours. Madison International Speedway is located ten minutes south of Madison, on Sunrise Road off of Highway 51 between Oregon and Stoughton.
The Joe Shear Classic will be live-streamed on Racing America, MidwestTour.tv and TRACKTV.com. MAVTV will air the event on a tape-delayed basis.
The ASA STARS National Tour opened the ten race, six-state schedule at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL on March 11. Georgia racer Casey Roderick won the Sunshine State 200.
For the full ASA STARS National Tour schedule, plus Super Late Model rules and other information, please visit the series website at starsnationaltour.com, or be sure to follow the series on social media (Facebook: STARS National Series | Twitter: @racewithstars | IG: @starsnational).
ASA STARS National Tour
The ASA STARS National Tour debuted in March of 2023 for Super Late Model racing in America. Announced last October, many of the best drivers in America will compete in the ten-race national tour with a minimum $100,000 point fund. The championship team will be guaranteed $25,000.
The ASA STARS National Tour is made up of three races from each of the regional pavement Super Late Model Series under the Track Enterprises banner; the ASA CRA Super Series, the ASA Midwest Tour and the ASA Southern Super Series.
The Team Construction Winner’s Circle program has been announced as a part of the ASA STARS National Tour for licensed drivers/teams with perfect attendance. The program provides additional financial incentives to those teams who support the Series, thanks to Team Construction.
Track Enterprises, a Racing Promotions Company based in Illinois, will operate the ASA STARS National Tour. It announced the acquisition of the CRA sanctioning body in January and followed that up with the purchase of the Midwest Tour in July. In October, Track Enterprises President, Bob Sargent announced a partnership with the Southern Super Series which set the table for the formation of the ASA STARS National Tour.