Stephen Nasse made the 1,000-plus mile trip from Pinellas Park, Florida to Winchester Speedway in Indiana with two cars and one goal: sweep the weekend with JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and ARCA/CRA Super Series wins. He crossed off one of those items off the list Sunday night, winning his first-career All-Stars Tour race in dominating fashion at the World Stock Car Festival.
The victory was also the first of his career at the historic Winchester, Indiana oval.
Nasse, the 2017 Southern Super Series champion, used lapped traffic to take the lead from Jake Garcia on Lap 18 and went unchallenged over the remainder of the race. He had a big lead during the final 10 laps before a late-race yellow bunched the field back up with just seven laps to go. He used the preferred outside line to his advantage, jumping back out front and cruising to the victory.
“I had a really good car all night and was able to get out there to the lead pretty early thanks to some lapped traffic,” Nasse told Speed51.com. “The car stayed under me pretty good, we ended up running our fastest lap of the race at lap 70 or 80 there. The car was just on a rail tonight, just one of them nights. I really hope we can come out tomorrow and execute the same way.”
It took eight starts for Nasse to find JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour victory lane. He had been in contention in the season championship race at Winchester the past two years, before an accident took him out of the race while leading in 2017 and a runner-up finish in last year’s event.
“It really feels good, I’ve come close in the past,” he said. “Two years ago I really should’ve won the race but I blew a right front going into one, and last year I got beat by a little bit running second. It feels really good to get it out of the way and hopefully I can click off many more here.”
Former JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour champion Dan Leeck made a late-race charge to finish second. As the only driver locked into the championship race at the fast, half-mile oval in October by virtue of his regular season championship, he feels his strong run gives his team a little extra confidence going into the final two races of the 2019 season.
“I was just waiting to go there at the end and finally we got those couple late cautions there and it was time to go,” Leeck said. “We got a couple of those guys there on the final restart and tried to run Stephen down. I don’t know if he had a better car, he just got that clean air and was gone. I’m still happy. First time here with this car and chassis; she was a rocket.”
Defending World Stock Car Festival winner Mason Keller started off with a bang, setting a new track record during qualifying. However, he would settle for a third-place finish after running in second most of the race.
“We had a good car, especially for qualifying,” Keller said. “We thought we had it working good but the track changed on us. I kind of expected it to free up since it’s a day race compared to a night race at the 400. We started snug and it hurt us on the long run. All-in-all it’s in one piece, so I’m not mad. I hate losing but you can’t win them all.”
Jack Dossey III drove through the field to finish fourth after starting at the rear, while Jaren Crabtree earned a career-best fifth-place finish.
Highlights from Sunday’s race will be available in the coming days on the Speed51 Network.
The penultimate race for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour will be at Lucas Oil Raceway on September 15 as part of the Fall Brawl weekend. After that race, four drivers will compete for the series championship at Winchester Speedway during Winchester 400 weekend on October 11.
JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour – Winchester Results:
- Stephen Nasse
- Dan Leeck
- Mason Keller
- Jack Dossey III
- Jaren Crabtree
- Josh Smith
- Mandy Chick
- Jaden Cretacci
- James Kreuger
- P. Crabtree
- Trever McCoy
- Billy VanMeter
- Brandon Oakley
- Rick Turner
- Cody Coughlin
- Jonathan Martin
- Jake Garcia
- Kyle Jones
- Chad Pendleton
- Tyler Mackenzie
- Ron Beauchamp
- James Kirby III
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3