The featured division in Saturday’s Short Track Nationals at the Bristol Motor Speedway was the Super Late Model class. The race was co-sanctioned by the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the CARS Super Late Model Tour, and the Southern Super Series. Ultimately, Stephen Nasse crossed the finish line ahead of the pack after an improbable run from front to the back and back to the front again to take the trophy away from the track that hosts two NASCAR weekends each year.
Nasse set the fast time and established a new track record for Super Late Models at BMS in qualifying around the high-banked half-mile with a lap of 14.526 seconds to beat out Scotty Tomasik, Josh Brock, Casey Roderick, Anthony Sergi, Austin Reed, Augie Grill, Steve Wallace, Matt Craig and Corey Heim.
At the start of the 100-lap feature it was Tomasik who went to the early lead with Nasse, Roderick, Brock and Sergi following. But it would not be long until the fast qualifier moved to the front as Nasse drove under and around Tomasik.
Wallace showed early strength was he moved quickly into the top-5 then went by Brock for fourth on lap 10. However, a caution for an incident involving Trey Bayne and Greg Van Alst slowed the action and bunched the field.
Roderick took second away from Tomasik on the lap 11 restart then Wallace moved around Tomasik to grab third. Over the next several laps Wallace would harass Roderick as those two contested the runner-up position. At the same time, Nasse began to flex his muscle as he put distance between himself and the rest of the field as the race ran caution free over the next 19 laps.
However, a lap 30 caution for a spin by Brandon Herbert caused the yellow flag to wave once more. A big development occurred under the caution as Nasse pulled into the pits just before the field was coming to the green flag due to a loose wheel but the No. 51 crew was able to send their driver back out before losing a lap.
Wallace then asserted himself as he bolted to the lead on the lap 30 restart but a hard crash involving John Coffman and Jeff Gordon again brought out the yellow flag just two laps later.
Wallace and Roderick broke away from the pack following the lap 32 restart with Tomasik, Brock and Craig filling out the remainder of the top-5. Meanwhile, early leader Nasse began roaring back through the field as he pulled all the way back up 12th from the tail by lap 43 then cracked the top-10 when a crash eliminated Tomasik and Hunter Jack on lap 45.
Following the lap 45 restart Roderick began to torment Wallace for the lead. Finally on lap 56 Roderick made the move that put the No. 18 car on top of the leader board. At the same time, Nasse began a march back through the field as he broke into the top-5 on lap 60 then progressed past Craig for fourth, Brock for third then Wallace for second by lap 72.
A caution for the stalled car of Austin Kunert regrouped the field once again on lap 73. On the restart Wallace retook the runner-up position from Nasse but two laps later Nasse went back to second when Wallace slipped up the track.
Giovanni Bromante spun to bring out yet another yellow flag on lap 75.
From that point the race would be settled between Roderick and Nasse. Once Nasse cleared Wallace he set sail for the lead car. Nasse continued to close as the laps clicked off until he finally reached the rear bumper of the No. 18 with five laps to go.
On lap 97 Nasse pulled right to the rear bumper and then employed the ‘bump-and-run’ maneuver so associated with the Bristol Motor Speedway then drove to the checkered flag.
Feature Finish: 1. Stephen Nasse, 2. Casey Roderick, 3. Steve Wallace, 4. Josh Brock, 5. Anthony Sergi, 6. Matt Craig, 7. Corey Heim, 8. Nolan Pope, 9. Trevor Noles, 10. Jeremy Pate, 11. Austin Reed, 12. Brandon Watson, 13. Jared Fryer, 14. Matt Wallace, 15. Augie Grill, 16. Jack Dossey III, 17. Logan Runyon, 18. Giovannti Bromonte, 19. Austin Kunert, 20. Jake Crum, 21. Jett Noland, 22. Scotty Tomasik, 23. Hunter Jack, 24. Alexa Anderson, 25. Jeff Gordon, 26. Brandon Herbert, 27. John Coffman, 28. Tate Fogelman, 29. Mark Wilkins, 30. Connor Okrzesik, 31. Greg Van Alst, 32. Trey Bayne, 33. Justin Crider
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association
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