No Touching Nasse During Winchester 400

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Stephen Nasse (51) races ahead of Donnie Wilson during Sunday's Winchester 400. (Randy Crist Photo)
Stephen Nasse (51) races ahead of Donnie Wilson during Sunday's Winchester 400. (Randy Crist Photo)

WINCHESTER, Ind. – Florida driver Stephen Nasse turned in an impressive run to win the 48th running of the Winchester 400 on Sunday at Winchester Speedway.

Nasse led 392 of the 400 laps to claim the victory in the season ending race for the ARCA/CRA Super Series.

On the strength of a seventh-place finish, Greg VanAlst was crowned the ARCA/CRA Super Series champion.

Nasse took the lead from pole sitter Travis Braden on the ninth lap with an inside move entering turn three and turned back strong challenges from Chandler Smith and Donnie Wilson through the remainder of the race.

The race was marked by three long green flag runs of 215 laps in the middle stages of the event.

Smith challenged Nasse just before the seventh caution flag waved on lap 312 by trying to make the pass on the inside coming off the fourth corner, but Nasse was able to maintain the momentum and the point.

Following that pit stop Smith’s car faded with Cory Heim, who started 15th in the 26-car field, taking over the second spot on lap 318.

The final caution flag waved on lap 378 for a spin by Steve Wallace setting up a 15-lap run to the checkers.

Nasse pulled away to win by 2.3 seconds over Heim, Cody Coughlin, pole sitter Braden and Brandon Watson, the only cars on the lead lap.

Stephen Nasse holds the Winchester rifle he earned for winning Sunday's Winchester 400. (Randy Crist Photo)
Stephen Nasse holds the Winchester rifle he earned for winning Sunday’s Winchester 400. (Randy Crist Photo)

It was the second consecutive victory in the Winchester 400 for the Florida based Jett Motorsports team, which had Jeff Coquette hold off Smith to win in 2018.

“Smith (Chandler) had me worried a couple of times,” Nasse said in victory lane. “He gave me a god run. I was going to hold the top groove all day long.

“All in all it was a good weekend,” he said.

Heim said Nasse’s car was really strong on the restarts.

“We kept working on the car all day,” he said. “We just couldn’t keep up with the 51 (Nasse) car.”

Coughlin said the team had several strong runs in the beginning of the race.

“We just came up a couple of spots short,” he said.

Wilson ran with Nasse for the first 144 laps, but following the first pit stop for the leaders he lost the handle on his car and went five laps down before the next caution period waved on lap 230.

Justin Haley, a winner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona Int’l Speedway in July, was never a factor, parking his ride after 139 laps.

There were eight caution periods for 44 laps.

The finish:

Stephen Nasse, Cory Heim, Cody Coughlin, Travis Braden, Brandon Watson, Chandler Smith, Greg VanAlst, Josh Brock, Donnie Wilson, Steve Wallace, Hunter Jack, Jack Dossey III, Bob Varney, Kyle Crump, Dalton Armstrong, Eddie VanMeter, Johnny VanDoorn, Brandon Oakley, Justin Haley, Brandon Varney, Dakota Stroup, Jaren Crabtree, Jon Beach, Zach Stacy, Chris Fleming, Tanner Jack.