What started as a one-race trial run has turned into a loaded schedule full of some of the most prestigious short track events in the country for 19-year-old Stephen Nasse and the Illinois-based Adrian Carriers team.
On the heels of a strong debut together in March at the Rattler 250 Southern Super Series event, Nasse, of Pinellas Park, Florida, will drive an extensive Super Late Model schedule with the Gary and Liz Adrian-owned No. 29 car for the remainder of the 2014 season. Nasse will pilot the Adrian Carriers car in prestigious events such as the ARCA Fest Howie Lettow Memorial at the Milwaukee Mile in June, the World Crown 300 at Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia in August, the Winchester 400 at Indiana's Winchester Speedway and the Florida Governor's Cup 200 at New Smyrna Speedway in October, the All-American 400 at Tennessee's Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville and the December 7 Snowball Derby at Pensacola, Florida's Five Flags Speedway as well as several other Southern Super Series and ARCA Midwest Tour events throughout the season.
After several years and lots of success with his family-based Stephen Nasse Racing team, the opportunity to partner with the Adrian team is one that has the 19-year-old excited for a return to victory lane in 2014.
"The Adrians are hard-working family people and I'm really happy that things worked out that they liked me and I liked them from day one," said Nasse, who already has four Super Late Model wins in 2014 in his family's No. 51 car. "I think things went well at the Rattler and we can only get better together moving forward in some of these big Super Late Model races."
Nasse made his debut in the Adrian Carriers No. 29 Super Late Model at the March 22 Rattler 250 event at South Alabama Speedway. Nasse finished sixth in the event in a long grind that saw him communicating with crew chief Nick Carlson to get the No. 29 dialed in to the changing track conditions throughout the race. The positive communication between Nasse and the crew helped create more opportunities for the young driver to pilot the No. 29 in 2014.
"I've been used to running our own thing with our crew chief Buggy Pletcher. We've always had a family atmosphere around our team. It took a bit of getting used to working with a new team, but I think we worked really well together. Nick (Carlson) is a really smart guy. He's pretty quiet, but he's really easy to work with. They're really a family-based team too, which I think is why we will continue to work together so well."
Nasse and the Adrian team are attacking the 2014 schedule head-on, competing in the toughest and most star-studded fields in all of short track racing. The competitive spirit of Nasse wouldn't have it any other way.
"Going for wins in these races is what it's all about," said Nasse. "We've talked about how I really haven't had the best luck in some of these bigger races. We've always had a fast car and we've run up front, but something really minor has seemingly taken us out of these big races. When you run the biggest races in the country, it's heartbreaking when something minor takes you out of it. But the Adrian team has won some big races before, they're a high-class organization and they've got a lot of respect around the pit area. I think with Stephen Nasse Racing, we've built up a pretty good name for ourselves, but now I hope to make the Adrian Carriers name even bigger than it already is with some success on the track together."
Nasse's return to the Adrian Carriers No. 29 machine will come on May 23 and 24 in the Southern Super Series Gulf Coast Doubleheader. He will compete at Pensacola, Florida's Five Flags Speedway on Friday, May 23 as well as the following night at Mobile, Alabama's Mobile International Speedway.
Based in Milan, Illinois, the Adrian Carriers team has fielded NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entries for several drivers in recent seasons. By partnering with the Adrian team on the Super Late Model side of the shop, doors could be opening for Nasse to further his career in NASCAR's national series down the road.
"It's hard to tell when it's someone's time to get a shot or if they're ever even going to get a shot. Racing is so hard to get into professionally. It's really a money-driven sport that can chew you up and spit you back out. But I'm glad to have the opportunity to run with the Adrian Carriers team. Hopefully we can run well and that success together can open some doors to run in one of the top-three series."
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