Nathan Haseleu has one goal this season, to see double. The Wisconsin-native sets his sights on doubling his ASA Midwest Championship collection with another piece.
For Haseleu, the 2007 ASA MWT Champion, the last three seasons have been trying to his racing soul. In 2008, he followed up his championship season with a disappointing eighth-place finish in overall standings. Though he picked up in both 2009 and 2010, he was still shy of the top spot, finishing second and third respectively.
“We’ve just been off a couple of guys,” said Haseleu. “I want to be more competitive than we have been. At the end of the year it always shows that we’re close in the points race, but I really wanna go out there and win more races.”
The long Wisconsin winters have given Haseleu plenty of time to prepare and strategize for the upcoming season. Unlike many teams based out of the South, Haseleu may not have many opportunities to test with winter weather conditions extending well into spring.
“We’ve just been going through our cars and trying to make them a bit better,” he said. “We’re just trying to work on the tracks that we struggled a little bit at last year. Hopefully we’ll be able to get one of our cars down here at one of these tracks before the season starts.”
Winning races in the ASA MWT will take more than just tweaking setups, something Haseleu knows and doesn’t underestimate. The level of competition in the series is something that draws him back each year.
“The list of my competition is definitely long,” he said. “You’ve gotta put Steve Carlson on the top because he’s won it the last two years. If Dan Frederickson runs the whole season (he’s a contender) and Chris Wimmer… There’s really a list of five or six guys that could win it if things go their way.”
In Haseleu’s experience, having things not go your way can define your season. It’s one of the many lessons he’s picked up from the veterans, guys such as the legendary Steve Carlson.
“I think the biggest thing, racing with Steve (Carlson) over the years, is that you really can’t afford to have a bad day, because he doesn’t have very many of them,” said Haseleu. “If you race 13 races, you can’t afford to have a DNF or two DNFs if you want to win the championship.”
Something he’s also had time to process in the off-season is the addition of double-file restarts to the series.
“It’s going to be a little bit different this year because they’re gonna do double-file restarts,” he said. “So, that’s gonna add to the show and there will be a little bit of luck involved in that.”
With three consecutive championships and the most career wins in the Wisconsin Challenge Series (2005, 2006, 2007), Haseleu has most certainly had his share of success in the Midwest. Looking towards the future though, he’d like to test his skills in other regions.
“We used to go to Nashville (Fairgrounds) every year, actually twice a year, with the spring and fall CRA deal and then the All-American race,” he said. “We really loved doing that, but then my wife and I, we have a couple of kids and that makes it real hard on us. For anybody who’s got kids, (they know) it’s hard. The kids get busy and they’ve got the stuff they do.”
Although Haseleu’s family is growing, he still wants to make the trip to some of the bigger short-track events around the country.
“I’d love to run the Snowball Derby, the World Crown and some of those races at the beginning of the year,” he said. “I’d love to come down and race a couple of races to see how we stack up against the best guys in the country.”
For now Haseleu is focused on the 13-race ASA MWT season. If the lessons learned pay off, he could be seeing double, something that only Steve Carlson has been able to do on the ASA Midwest Tour.