Nate Dussel… All About Being No.1

Nate Dussel poses by his no.1 305 Sprinter at Attica Raceway Park.
Nate Dussel poses by his no.1 305 Sprinter at Attica Raceway Park.

When it comes to racing at Attica Raceway Park, there is no doubt that the weekly draw is the incredibly competitive 305 Sprint division.  With an abundant amount Sprinters coming to do battle on a regular basis, just making the A-Main is a challenge.  Winning a feature or a track championship puts any 305 driver in an elite group, a group that in recent years has been led by one man.  Back-to-Back Attica 305 champion Nate Dussel is a very formidable foe.   The young driver from Bradner, Ohio was raised on dirt and race fumes and his no.1 Sprinter is never too far from victory lane.

Dussel’s interest in the sport was sparked by his father George who competed locally before focusing his racing efforts on Nate’s brothers Mike and Craig., “My brothers starting racing go-karts and they were already into it full swing when I came around.   I started bugging my dad when I was two-years-old to get a go-kart and finally when I was four he got me one!” Dussel laughed.   Nate competed in the kart ranks for 8 years before hanging up his helmet to focus on full-sized sprinters, “By the time I was nearing my teens, my brother Mike had been racing Sprint cars for a while so I took a few years off from racing to help him and learn.  Instead of just hopping in a car I got to be involved in the team and I learned the cars and the terminology and knew what was going on before I ever stepped foot in a car.”

Although Nate enjoyed his time working on family race team, there was no doubt that he craved being behind the wheel and five years ago he strapped into the family’s 305 Sprinter.  Unlike Mike and Nate, Craig decided that his passion lied within the role of crew chief, a decision that Nate has been really pleased with, “Craig’s decision has paid huge dividends for Mike and I,” smiled Dussel, “He does such a great job getting the car so fast that I hardly even have to say anything when I come in off the racetrack!”

The combination of Craig’s ingenuity and Nate’s pure talent has made the team a top contender at Attica and Fremont Speedways in the 305 ranks.

The black no.1 Sprinter has become one of the most highly recognized at Attica Raceway Park, but according to Dussel, the number was not his automatic choice;  “I was always a Jeff Gordon fan so in karts my number was no.24” Stated Dussel before adding with a chuckle, “But Honestly when we started this team we didn’t have a lot of money so I figured if we crashed a wing the easiest number to replace would be no.1 so that’s what we did and it just stuck.  Something about the number has just grown on me!”

From a logistical standpoint, the number was the perfect choice for Nate who will be completing his Finance Specialization degree from the School of Business at BGSU this fall; and from a competition standpoint the number is perfect for Dussel who has captured over a dozen feature victories and back-to-back Attica points championships all since 2008.

From the first night Nate strapped into the machine he proved he was going to be a force to be reckoned with.  While still wearing his rookie stripes Dussel captured his first A-Main win at Fremont Speedway in Fremont, Ohio.  That memory is one that Nate still quickly recalls with excitement, “I sat in the stands at Fremont for years just watching legendary drivers race and never once did I think that I would sit on the front stretch there.   To win that race in the great atmosphere that Fremont Speedway presents.  It’s pretty hard to even describe!”

Nate Dussel patiently awaits his turn to hit the track for hot laps.
Nate Dussel patiently awaits his turn to hit the track for hot laps.

In just five short seasons Dussel has put together and amazing resume, but for Nate the best part of the sport is not tied to trophies or checkered flags, “Racing is fun because this whole deal is with my family!” Dussel announced, “We are together every weekend and not many families can say that.  The other part that makes it really fun is knowing that I’ve got about twenty family members in the stands that come down after the race and they don’t care how I did, they are all telling me ‘Great Job!’ and supporting me.”  Dussel then added with a laugh, “Then I have my brothers who, if I do good will knock me down and tell me that I’ve still got to be on my game; but if I am running bad they are also the ones that will pick me up!”

Dussel also has a great support system in his fiancée Sarah Lawrence.   After several years together which included the beginnings of Dussel’s Sprint career, the couple will wed in October of 2014.

With the support and encouragement of Sarah and the rest of the Dussel family, the no.1 machine is sure to be on the circuit for a long time to come, and when it comes to immediate goals; Dussel has set some high but attainable ones for the 2013 season.   “We are going to be chasing down another Attica Championship this year and hopefully we can have the same success at Fremont and the subsequently the F.A.S.T. series [Fremont/Attica Sprint Title] here in 2013!” Exclaimed Nate before adding, “I have never won more than three features in a season, so I would love to top that number;  even five wins would be great!  Ultimately, with this being a family deal we just need to load it up in one piece every night!”

With only a handful of races in the books for 2013, Dussel is already realizing goals he set forth just a few short weeks ago.  He currently sits 1st in Attica Raceway Park and Fremont Speedway’s standings,  he is a close 2nd in the F.A.S.T. standings and last weekend (May 10th) he captured his 5th A-Main victory of the season!

On a chilly opening night at Attica, Nate and the rest of the Dussel team make the final preparations for a great night of racing.
On a chilly opening night at Attica, Nate and the rest of the Dussel team make the final preparations for a great night of racing.

As for the future; Dussel acclaimed, “I love the competition of this 305 division, every year there are rookies that come in and 410 guys that drop down so the level of competition is always high.  I would really love to go 410 racing at some point, but right now financially it just doesn’t make sense.  It is a big chunk of money to jump up to 410 and if you destroy a car or motor you might not race for another five years, so right now we just really enjoy doing what we are doing.  We are here to have a good time and hopefully we will be doing this for quite a while!”

One thing is certain; the fans at Attica Raceway Park and Fremont Speedways have that very same hope!

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