Stephen Nasse prepares for qualifying ahead of a CARS Tour race at Southern National Motorsports Park. (Andy Marquis photo)

Super Late Model’s most entertaining and polarizing driver will be competing in Saturday’s CARS Tour season opener at Southern National Motorsports Park.

Stephen Nasse, 23, from Pinellas Park, Florida is one of the most prolific drivers in Super Late Model racing.  He’s known for his talent on the track, but also for his passion and his emotion.  This weekend, he hopes it’s “Classy Nasse” standing in victory lane at Southern National as he enters the CARS Super Late Model Tour opener fresh off a win at Showtime Speedway in Florida.

“Yeah, you know I think with our package we have going with the Senneker cars is really good,” Nasse told  “I heard Kenly is lacking in grip lately so that makes it even better for us with that car.”

Nasse has competed at Southern National Motorsports Park in previous CARS Tour races at the 4/10-mile track in Lucama, North Carolina, but his results have not been what he would hope. His best finish was an eighth-place finish back in March 2015.  He also has results of 13th and 12th.

“I remember like it was just a couple weeks ago,” Nasse said.  “We really struggled.  We didn’t have the right gear in the car.  That really killed me off the corner trying to race people.  So our car didn’t have enough gear that weekend and that really killed us.  This time, going back, last time we were running around outside the top-five.  This time, I’m hoping to capitalize.  I feel like I learned the track enough in that time to take it to this one and capitalize on the whole race.”

This weekend’s Solid Rock Carriers 300, which features 150-lap, $10-000-to-win races for both the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and CARS Super Late Model Tour, is expected to bring two of the most competitive fields in Southern National Motorsports Park’s history.  Nasse will compete with Bubba Pollard, Steven Wallace, Jared Fryar, Matt Craig, Brandon Setzer, and Preston Peltier, among others.

“I think it’s going to be a challenge because obviously, Fryar and other guys that run the Carolinas more than I am, they get to run the track,” Nasse remarked.  “With them running that track more than I am, it makes it a little tougher on me trying to learn.  Even though I have run there, I’m still far from perfect.”

While Nasse is not a regular on the CARS Super Late Model Tour, he has scored two wins in his 17 career series starts – Orange County Speedway in 2016 and South Boston Speedway in 2017.

“We definitely didn’t run last season,” Nasse commented.  “Season prior, we ran a race or two.  Obviously, I go to the CARS Tour and do have good finishes, it’s just the lack of time I have at the tracks that puts me behind.”

Nasse is one of the top names in Super Late Model racing not just for his results on the track, but also for the occasional extra-curricular actions.  Nasse famously wears his emotions on his sleeve – something that’s resulted in him in adopting two nicknames, “Classy Nasse” and “Nasty Nasse.”

He attributes his emotion to how long he has been racing.

“I’ve been racing since I was four years old,” Nasse explained.  “It’s just been a lifelong deal of mine that I’ve just been so serious about.  I’ve missed a lot of things over racing.  I spent a lot of time where normal kids would be at parties, I was at the racetrack trying to make myself the best possible driver I could be.  Obviously, I have a family history of racing.  I carry the same attitude my father does, maybe a little more extensive at time.  It’s just something I’ve been doing for so long.

“When you’ve done something that long, it’s hard not to get upset over bad things or stupid things that happen to me.”

Nasse’s involvement in a number of incidents has made him Super Late Model racing’s most polarizing figure.  However, whether fans love him or hate him, they know there will be excitement when he’s at the track.  For his part, Nasse knows he entertains and he relishes that role.

“Racing is boring right now, dead,” Nasse stated.  “NASCAR and our sport is dying as well as far as Super Late Model racing goes.  You just look around.  Races are boring, single file, no action.  I try to bring some of that.  Who wants to watch single-file racing and watch somebody let somebody win or let somebody pass?  Nobody, that’s who.  That’s why there’s nobody in the stands.  I try to change that.  People appreciate that.

“They don’t want to watch single file racing.  I know I don’t when I go in as a fan.  I’ve had people reach out, big names too, NASCAR guys, I have a lot of support out there so I’m going to keep trucking.”

Often times, Nasse takes to social media after the races, engaging with his fans and those who aren’t fans.  While he does not particularly care if people like him or not, he certainly sees it – and often times “likes” many of those posts.

“I definitely read them,” Nasse said.  “I read a lot of them.  People want to see what people are saying about them.  I don’t regret what I’ve done.  I read people’s comments.  It doesn’t bother me.  It probably does make me a little angry at times and make me want to defend myself, but I try not to poke that too much.”

Last year, Super Late Model racers Corey Heim and Bubba Pollard both dipped their feet into Late Model Stock Car racing with success, most notably at Martinsville Speedway where both drivers had a legitimate shot at victory.  When asked if Nasse would pursue a run for the grandfather clock at Martinsville, he said his main focus was Super Late Model racing – but he didn’t shut the door on the possibility of running a Late Model Stock Car.

“I don’t have anything in the works for that,” Nasse commented.  “I’ve had people offer rides and things of that nature or even offering help getting me a deal.  I’m so focused on the Super Late Model deal and also family business back home.  It makes it tough to throw in those extra deals.  If something does come around, I definitely want to.”

This year, Nasse is more or less picking and choosing where he races.  He plans to run more in the CARS Tour in 2019, while also running races in the Midwest.  His main goals this year, aside from winning as much as possible, are winning the Snowball Derby and the Governor’s Cup.

“The Snowball Derby is up there,” Nasse explained.  “The Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna, my home track.  That’s where it started for me in Late Models, New Smyrna.  That race has slipped away from me a couple of times, more than that actually.  On top of the Derby for me is the Governor’s Cup.  We talked about running the big Canadian race.  I think we’ll be there this year too.  Slinger Nationals, I know I said that last year, but I’m 99% positive it’s going to happen this year.  There are a few more.

“I’m not going to stick to the script like I usually do.  I’m going to get out there – Midwest Tour and things of that nature.”

The Solid Rock Carriers 300 at Southern National Motorsports Park will go green at 3pm EST on Saturday. will have live updates of practice, qualifying and the race on RaceDay Live.  Additionally, the race will be broadcast live on CARSTour.TV by Pit Row TV.