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Stacey Traveling the Long Hard Road

Each week, thousands of young men and women buckle into their racing vehicle in search of their motorsports dream. Many of them are hoping to begin a career that will take them to the ultimate in motorsports – one of the top three divisions of NASCAR. Some are content to compete at a local level and enjoy every minute of their experience, knowing that their dream of a career in the sport is just that, a dream. Then, there are others who continue to do everything possible to achieve their goal of a successful career in motorsports.

Such is the story of a 20-year old rookie in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Dexter Stacey grew up around the race track. His Dad, Wallace, raced a dirt modified and Stacey traveled to the track with him as much as possible. It was obvious to everyone in the family that Dexter Stacey had racing in his blood and would pursue a career in the sport.

Born on November 9, 1992, Dexter began his racing career in a traditional sense with Soap Box Derby competition, although racing is somewhat of a misnomer in that series. At age twelve, Dexter began racing go-karts and competed locally and regionally for three seasons. Then, his racing career took a serious turn when he began competing in both a dirt modified and in the Quebec Ice Racing Series. Yes, I said “Ice Racing”.

Dexter Stacey didn’t grow up racing at one of the hundreds of short tracks throughout the Southeast, Midwest, Northwest, or West Coast. Stacey raced in Canada.

Stacey is a Native American and member of the Mohawk Indian tribe. He lives on the reservation in Kahnawake, Quebec Canada. He has his Certificate of Indian Status card complete with his Indian name “Tehothoratie”.

Racing in the Quebec Ice Racing Series for three seasons, Stacey finished second, third, and second in the overall points from 2009 through 2011. During that same period, he began competing in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series (NCATS). When he started in NCATS, he was the youngest driver in the history of the sport at 16 years, 195 days.

In 2009, Stacey made 12 starts in the NCATS, finished 14th in points, and was second in the Rookie of the Year competition. In 2010, he was named Most Improved Driver and won the Achievement Award for the Series. In 2011, Stacey cracked the top ten in overall points making 12 starts in the NCATS. His best career NCATS finish came in 2012 with a fifth at Barre Speedway in Ontario.

Stacey made his NASCAR debut in the Nationwide Series in 2012 competing in seven races – two for Robert Richardson Sr. and five for Archie St. Hilaire. After the 2012 season, the family made a huge decision in the racing career for Dexter Stacey.

With Mom, Kristin Hamelin, as the Team Owner, the decision was made to start their own Nationwide Series team, KH Motorsports. They bought several Ford racecars from Roush in late 2012 and began to put plans together to compete in the Nationwide Series in 2013. Dexter, His father, and older brother Wallace moved to Mooresville, North Carolina on January 10, 2013. They had several cars, but no shop, no crew, no equipment, no transporter – literally starting from scratch. But, they planned to have everything ready to race at Daytona on February 23rd.

“Not many people gave us a chance at racing in Daytona, given the really late start we got putting our team together,” Stacey stated. “Plus, I wasn’t even approved to race Nationwide at Daytona at the time. So, lots of things had to happen in a short period of time.”

The team rented an Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) car and competed in the ARCA Daytona race on Daytona 16th. After his performance, Stacey was approved to attempt to qualify for the season-opening Nationwide race at Daytona. Unfortunately, he did not qualify for the race.

Instead of throwing up their hands in frustration, the KH Motorsports Team headed west to Phoenix and Las Vegas with their first-year, independent team. Knowing that he had to qualify on speed for both races, Dexter did just that, completed both events, and finished 24th and 23rd. Bristol and Fontana followed with 26th finishes in each, with a 23rd at Texas matching his best finish of the season. After six races, Dexter Stacey had moved into the top 30 in Owners Points and locked his team into a guaranteed starting position going into Richmond on April 26th.

An early-race tire issue sent Stacey crashing hard into the first turn safer barrier at the .75-mile Richmond track. Stacey suffered a concussion and was unable to compete at Talladega the next week. He returned at Darlington, and three races later, scored his best finish of the season, 21st, at Iowa Speedway.

Stacey’s first-ever visit to Michigan Speedway proved to be another setback for the 20-year old rookie. A cut right front tire sent Stacey hard into the outside retaining wall, resulting in a fracture of his lower sternum from the impact. However, with relief driving assistance from Tim Andrews, the KH Motorsports Team rebounded with a 25th-place finish at Road America.

“For a team that started so far behind, I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot in our first full season in Nationwide,” Stacey added. “I couldn’t have done any of it without the hard work of David (Ingram, Crew Chief) and Morris (Van Vleet, Car Chief). Their experience and knowledge of the sport, the cars, and these tracks has been a valuable asset for me. We only have a few guys who work with us fulltime in the shop, but they’ve worked very hard and long hours to help build our team.”

“Of course, the support of Mom and the folks back home in Quebec have been an inspiration to me,” Stacey concluded. “Maddie’s Place, a restaurant and entertainment complex, has supported me and our team throughout, and their efforts are certainly appreciated. My Dad has been my greatest influence and my brother, Wallace, has provided guidance and support for me as well as our team.”

The story of Dexter Stacey and his road to the NASCAR Nationwide Series is a very interesting one. As the only Native American competing in the three major divisions of NASCAR, Stacey is carrying the banner of both the Mohawk tribe and his Canadian friends and supporters. Almost every track he goes to is his first trip ever to that facility, so the early-season accomplishments of Dexter Stacey are even more amazing. If passion and talent are two attributes of a successful racer, Dexter Stacey has a bright future.

"Stacey Scores Career Best"

Nationwide

Series Finish 

Quebec rookie shines in Iowa

Mooresvile, NC (June 10,2013) Dexter Stacey scored his best NASCAR Nationwide Series finish with a 21'st in the Dupont Pioneer 250 at Iowa Speedway on Sunday, June 9th. The 250- lap race was delayed one day due to torrential rain storms in the Newton, Iowa area Saturday.

Stacey making his first start at Iowa Speedway, had a previos best finishes at both Las Vegas and Texas earlier this season. The DuPont Pioneer 250 was Stacey's tenth start of 2013 and eighth racing at a track for the first time.

The Kahnawake, Quebec Canada rookie utilized the two Nationwide Series practice sessions on Friday to get accustomed to .875- mile trackand get his Maddie's Place Ford set for qualifyingfor the 250-lap event. Stacey turned 60 practice laps of practice in the two sessionsand posted a fast time of 131.987 mph.

In qualifying, Stacey turned his fastest lap of  the weekend, 23.641 seconds / 133.243 mph.

With the starting grid in place of the frontstretch, rain began to fall on the Iowa track. After several hours of steady rain, NASCAR made the decision to postpone the race until Sunday morning.

With a "green" race track facing the 40- car field, Stacey knew that the early stages of the race would be a "feeling out process"for every driver and team. NASCAR decided to have a "competition caution" at the 50-lap mark so that teams could check tire wear and make necessary adjustments.

Stacey would continue his usual startegy of running competive, yet  conservative, race as he gradually advanced in the running order. Then, just past the midway point in the race, rain once again pelted the speedway. After a red flag of one hour and ten minutes for rain and track drying, the race resumed with less than 100 laps remaining.

The talented Native American would gain several positions in the final stages of the race and place his Maddie’s Place Ford in the 21st position at the finish.

“My car was really fast today,” Stacey commented. “We waited for one more caution late in the race so that we could put on a fresh set of tires, but it never happened. Our KH Motorsports team is getting better every race, and I’m really looking forward to Michigan.”

Stacey and his Maddie’s Place Ford travel to Michigan International Speedway next weekend for the Alliance Truck Parts 250. The 250-lap, 125-mile event is set for a 2 PM start on Saturday, June 15th on ABC. Qualifying is set for 10:30 AM Saturday and will be televised by ESPN2. MRN and Sirius XM Channel 90 will broadcast the race on radio.



"Stacey Survives First Visit to Darlington
"

“Lady in Black” tough for rookie driver

Mooresville, NC (May 11, 2013) … Darlington Raceway didn’t get nicknames like “The Lady in Black” and “The Track Too Tough to Tame” by mistake. The 1.366-mile South Carolina historic speedway has earned that reputation over fifty years of tough racing. After the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sports Clips Help a Hero 200 last Friday night, Dexter Stacey now understands.

Stacey, the 20-year old Nationwide rookie from Kahnawake, Quebec, and his KH Motorsports Team made their first-ever visit to Darlington to compete in the 200-mile event. Stacey was returning to the drivers seat of the #92 Maddie’s Place Ford after sitting out the previous event at Talladega due to an injury received during the race at Richmond on April 26th.

Stacey used the entire practice session on Friday morning getting both himself and his car adjusted to the odd-shaped Darlington track. He ran a total of 38 laps and posted the 26th fastest speed of 163.887 mph during the two hour practice. With 42 entrees attempting to make the 40-car starting grid for the race, Stacey knew that he would have to “step up his game” in order to qualify.

The Quebec Native American answered the challenge and qualified 30th with a fast lap of 29.880 seconds / 164.578 mph.

The goals for KH Motorsports were very simple for Dexter Stacey and the Maddie’s Place Ford for Darlington. Qualify for the race, run every lap possible, gain as much experience as they could, and bring their Ford home in one piece. At the end of 147 grueling laps, mission accomplished.

Stacey, driving a competitive, yet conservative race, finished 30th completing 142 laps.

“I did complete the race at ‘The Lady in Black’ and found out that she’s just a tough as I had heard,” Stacey commented. “The car wasn’t set up as good as we thought, but our guys kept working on it and we managed a 30th-place finish. I really expected a top 25 (finish), but I’m glad I got to race there after missing Talladega. And, yes, I got my ‘Darlington stripe’ early in practice – a bit earlier than I expected.”

The NASCAR Nationwide Series will have a week off before traveling to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the History 300 on Saturday, May 25th. The 200-lap, 300-mile event is set for a 2:30 PM ET start and will be televised by ABC. PRN and Sirius XM Channel 90 will provide the radio coverage of the race. The History 300 will be the first career Nationwide Series race for Stacey at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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