Ad=s far I understand, we're speaking about radio ACK, which just confirm the right reception on the message, what could be sent. Then, that's gateway that can understand message contents.
If senders returns NACK, it just means that no radio ACK has been received from the other end within timeout (set to 1500 ms with MySensors' setup, running @ 250 kb/s, with 15 retries). That's exactly what happens when sending message and receiver off.
In the current issue, as you're on a repeater, you're in a good position to be in a position of receiving a message, and sending immediately another one (we can also have the same thing if implementing signature), were timing issues may happen.