Nasse Rises to Top of 36-Car Blizzard Series Field, Captures SERF 100 After Smith DQ’d in Tech Shedadmin
Nasse Rises to Top of 36-Car Blizzard Series Field, Captures SERF 100 After Smith DQ’d in Tech Shed, DQ’s on Sportsmen & Pure Stock Too.
By Chuck Corder
If Stephen Nasse’s relationship with Five Flags Speedway was a social media profile setting it would read: It’s complicated.
The 26-year-old short-track driver has experienced some gut-wrenching heartbreak at the famed half-mile asphalt oval. Nasse had the sport’s pinnacle prize stripped from him when he failed to pass post-race technical inspection at the 2019 Snowball Derby. He was inconsolable six months ago when his Snowflake 100 victory was overturned after officials determined Nasse wrecked Bubba Pollard as the two battled for the win in the final two turns.
But Pensacola’s high banks hasn’t always been so cruel to Nasse. He won two Deep South Crane Rentals Blizzard Series races for Super Late Models last year en route to the Southern Super Series title. Nasse exacted some more karmic revenge Friday at Five Flags when he was on the right side of a ruling.
Nasse won the Southern Super Series SERF 100, the Blizzard Series opener, against 35 of the sport’s best drivers when Sammy Smith’s unofficial victory was tossed because his Wilson Motorsports No. 22 had a carburetor that did not meet SLM class specifications.
Smith’s disqualification moved Nasse from second to first and delivered Nasse his third Blizzard Series win in less than a year.
“I think we had the best car for the long runs tonight,” Nasse said. “The car was a little off and we didn’t qualify where we wanted to. I tried to give it a ‘Hail Mary’ there at the end, and thankfully it worked. This is a good piece, but there’s work to do.”
Hunter Robbins impressed throughout and collected runner-up honors while California driver Jeremy Doss claimed the final podium spot following Smith’s DQ.
“We definitely had the fastest car at the end of the race,” Robbins said. “We just started way too far back and ran outta time.”
Smith had convinced everybody time was up when he took a stranglehold of the race for the final 30 laps of the SERF 100. An Iowa native, who won the Pensacola ARCA 200 in March, battled Chandler Smith from Talking Rock, Ga., for the lead in the opening two-thirds of the race. The two Wilson Motorsports machines were the class of the 36-car field Friday, and it was a two-car breakaway early.
Chandler Smith, a Kyle Busch Motorsports driver in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series, led comfortably until Lap 69. He was deftly weaving his way through lapped traffic when he experienced motor issues suddenly that forced him to park his No. 26.
Sammy Smith reclaimed the lead he had for the opening 14 laps and never relinquished it until he reached the “Tech Shed.”
His misfortune was Nasse’s fortune.
The sport giveth and taketh. Sometimes in the same moment.
Nothing complicated about that at all.
Final Order of Finish:
|1||8||Stephen Nasse||Pinellas Park, FL||#51N|
|2||21||Hunter Robbins||Pensacola, FL||#18|
|3||7||Jeremy Doss||Upper Lake, CA||#75|
|4||5||Matt Craig||Kannapolis, NC||#54|
|5||6||Kyle Plott||Marietta, GA||#4P|
|6||18||Jake Garcia||Monroe, GA||#35|
|7||9||Connor Okrzesik||Mobile, AL||#14C|
|8||11||John DeAngelis||Hubertus, WI||#7D|
|9||14||George Gorham||Winter Haven, FL||#03|
|10||3||Lee Tissot||Arden, NC||#62|
|11||19||Jett Noland||GROVELAND, FL||#81N|
|12||10||Micheal House||Columbia, TN||#1|
|13||20||Ross Kenseth||Defuniak Springs, FL||#98|
|14||22||Chris Davidson||Pearland, TX||#14D|
|15||16||Casey Smith||Austin, TX||#99|
|16||28||Grant Enfinger||Kannapolis, NC||#32|
|17||15||Jeff Choquette||Loxahatchee, FL||#21C|
|18||29||Kodie Conner||Kannapolis, NC||#45|
|19||13||Daniel Dye||Deland, FL||#43|
|20||33||John Bolen||Jasper, AL||#2|
|21||23||Jackson Boone||Franklin, TN||#7B|
|22||27||Johanna Long Robbins||Cornelius, NC||#10R|
|23||31||Jace Hansen||Evans, CO||#08|
|24||24||Justin Drawdy||Huntersville, NC||#12|
|25||25||Jeremy Pate||Pensacola, FL||#22P|
|26||30||Connor Mosack||Charlotte, NC||#15|
|27||32||Dusty Williams||Garden City, GA||#28|
|28||35||Kyle Bryant||Navarre, FL||#81B|
|29||34||Colten Nelson||Moss Point, MS||#8|
|30||12||Jake Finch||Lynn Haven, FL||#51F|
|31||4||Chandler Smith||Talking Rock, GA||#26|
|32||2||Jesse Dutilly||Bradenton, FL||#30|
|33||26||Nick Neri||Palmetto, FL||#17|
|34||17||Bubba Pollard||Senoia, GA||#26P|
|35||36||Ryan Crane||Panama City, FL||#10C|
|36||37||Kyle McCallum||Macon, GA||#4M|
|37||1||Sammy Smith||Des Moines, IA||#22S|
The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen
Brannon Fowler had a frog in his throat, but a hotrod underneath him.
After remaining perfect and running his winning streak to six Friday night at Five Flags Speedway, the Molino driver got emotional in Victory Lane. Fowler reflected on his unbeaten stretch in The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen class and praised his father, Glenn, and 12-year-old son, Collin, for their roles on this shared journey.
The Fowler men, young and old, work tirelessly on their car and call all the right shots when the lights are brightest.
“Six in a row!” a joyous Brannon Fowler announced after dominating another 25-lap feature. “It’s a testament to all (Glenn Fowler) does, all the experience he’s got. I love him. Collin, I love him. I’m thankful for all my family and what this team does. “It’s been a heckuva roll so far. And it starts with (Glenn Fowler). So many great people work on these cars. But I got the very best right here.”
Jonathan Langham (later declared the winner) and his younger brother, Maddox Langham, finished second and third respectively. The Langham boys, from the Mobile area, mixed it up with Pensacola driver Jim Pokrant on the final lap and into the podium celebrations. Pokrant turned Maddox Langham as the pair came out of Turn No. 4, battling for runner-up honors. Jonathan Langham retaliated by spinning Pokrant down the front stretch until Pokrant finished with a thud into the inside wall.
The drama continued in Victory Lane. Pokrant circled the famed half-mile asphalt oval once Fowler and the Langhams took their positions in front of the flag stand. He reached Jonathan Langham’s car and Pokrant pitched his nose into the right quarter panel of his rival. Jonathan Langham immediately rushed toward Pokrant’s window net but was held off by Escambia County’s finest ultimately.
“Guess, I missed a lotta action behind me,” Fowler deadpanned.
Editor’s Note: After publishing, track officials DQ’d Brannon Fowler in post-race inspection. Jonathan Langham gets the win, his brother Maddox Langham finished second and Darryl McDonald III completed the podium.
Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks
Bobby Suarez wasted no time in giving credit where it was rightfully due Friday at Five Flags Speedway.
“Bubba Winslow!” exclaimed Suarez, who most Five Flags fans know as an accomplished Demolition Derby driver. “He’s the reason I’m here.”
At the time he thanked Winslow, the defending Faith Chapel Outlaws track champion, Suarez was in Victory Lane accepting runner-up honors following the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks 20-lap feature. However, a career-best second quickly became Suarez’s first career 20-lap feature win when Caleb Burkett’s apparent victory was tossed in post-race technical inspection.
It was certainly a different night for the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks. While two-time winner Robert Loper was eventually awarded runner-up honors after Burkett’s disqualification, Cameron Leytham—Loper’s teammate who won the first three features of the year—struggled mightily.
Jimmy Hollingsworth rounded out the podium.
Final Order of Finish :
|1||5||Bobby Suarez||, FL||#30|
|2||1||Robert Loper||Theodore, AL||#88|
|3||4||Jimmy Hollingsworth||Mobile, AL||#27|
|4||8||Ira Roberts||Milton, FL||#33|
|5||7||Ryan Bleich Sr||Pensacola, FL||#13|
|6||3||Cameron Leytham||Mobile, AL||#8L|
|7||6||Parker McDonald||, AL||#29|
|8||2||Caleb Burkett||Pensacola, FL||#24|