Comments and video from the Stephen Nasse vs Bubba Pollard incident
Stephen Nasse is stuck in a time warp. Back to back years, the driver has been penalized after the finish at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Social media has erupted following last night’s drama.
Watch the Snowflake 100 video below.
Last year, Nasse drove to victory lane in the famed 300-lap Snowball Derby. In tech inspection, officials found an illegal part in the Brembo brake system. At the time, Nasse stated PFC Brakes, a sponsor of the event tipped off the officials.
A year has passed. Nasse has once again unloaded for another week long super late model show on the half-mile asphalt track. He’s competing in both the Super Late Model (Snowball Derby) and the Pro Late Model (Snowflake 100) divisions.
The No. 51 driver built a brand new chassis for the Snowflake division. Nasse qualified 3rd for Saturday’s Snowflake 100 main event.
Stephen Nasse vs Bubba Pollard
When the green dropped on the Snowflake 100, Nasse drove it to the front. With 22 to go, Nasse put the bumper to Derek Thorn, who had worn off his tires. Nasse grabbed the lead for the first time in the race.
With 17 to go, arch rivals, Nasse and Bubba Pollard lined up on the front row for a restart following a caution. Pollard got the jump on the outside lane and won the race through the corner. Nasse later hinted that Pollard jumped that restart, which is certainly up for debate.
For the remainder of the race, Nasse was on the bumper of Pollard in the battle for the win. On the final lap, Nasse drove it deep into turn three, tagging Pollard in the rear bumper.
Pollard chased his car up the track and appeared to be near saving it from spinning. Off turn four, he then came back down the banking and spun as Nasse drove to the the finish line and took the win.
“Just a racing incident I guess. At the end of the day everyone is going for the win. We’ll try again,” Bubba Pollard commented via social media.
Stephen Nasse penalized
To me, it looked like Pollard was trying to beat on the door of Nasse, just after nearly losing his car. The attempt of getting back to Nasse is what caused the spin through my eyes, but that’s just an opinion. Without that, it looked like Pollard was going to save the car, but he wasn’t going to win. He made an effort to save the car and the win which didn’t work out.
Nasse sat in victory lane on the front stretch as the officials saw it differently.
At first, it was announced over the loud speaker that Nasse was disqualified. That was soon corrected as a penalty. Nasse would be sent to the tail end of the lead lap in the official finishing order.
Despite the penalty, Nasse’s car went to the tech shed. In the hours that followed, the track owner and officials sat in a closed meeting with Stephen Nasse.
After the meeting, Jake Johnson was officially declared the race winner after the penalty as he was handed the trophy in the shed. Johnson transferred into the main event after winning the LCQ race.
“The contact that created the event is what caused Bubba to spin, off the nose of the Nasse car. He was DQ’d and sent to the tail end of the lead lap cars, race director Nicholas Rodgers explained.
Yet again, the race at 5 Flags Speedway wasn’t declared until officials stepped in to declare the winner. It’s a bit of a trend at the Florida short track.
“We did what we could last night, but that’s over now. Today’s a new day and the biggest race of the year. I’ve waited all year for my chance at this again. Let’s go,” Stephen Nasse commented via social media.
On Sunday, it’s the big one. Five Flags Speedway is set to run the 300 lap Snowball Derby paying $25,000 to win. Both Pollard and Nasse are in the field.
Related: Snowball Derby Starting Lineup