WW II Veteran Nelson Stacy Wins Inaugural ARCA Race at Daytona; Countdown to Daytona Continues

(TEMPERANCE, Mich. - January 27, 2013) - By the time the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards had debuted at Daytona in 1964, three-time ARCA champion Nelson Stacy, who won three consecutive titles in 1958, '59 and '60, had already moved onto a career in NASCAR. (Photo: Nelson Stacy Celebrates in Victory Lane at Daytona in 1964)

However, the lure of ARCA's inaugural race at the "World Center of Racing" was too much to pass up. Stacy won the 250-mile ARCA race, and having conquered the mighty new state-of-the-art superspeedway in Daytona Beach, he marched off to NASCAR, where his success continued.

But before he steered for NASCAR, he racked up 37 career ARCA victories, still fifth on the all-time win list behind Iggy Katona (79), Frank Kimmel (76), Jack Bowsher (55), and Tim Steele (41). And he won on a wide variety of track types, including the high-banked Meadowdale road course in Carpentersville, Illinois, the dirt tracks of Eldora, Terre Haute and the Detroit Fairgrounds, and the paved high-banks of Salem and Dayton.

Beyond his ARCA success, Stacy went on to win three big races in the NASCAR Grand National division (current Sprint Cup Series), including the 1961 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and the 1962 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He also won in NASCAR's convertible division at the 1962 Rebel 300 at Darlington. Stacy was already 40, when he decided to go NASCAR racing in 1961.

He was born in Maysville, Kentucky in 1921. And like so many from his era, he served in World War II before he ever showed up on the racing scene. Stacy drove a tank in the US Third Army under General George S. Patton.

Fittingly, he made his final big-league stock car start in the 1965 Firecracker 400 at Daytona.

In declining health, Stacy spent his final years of his life in Florida where, having built a name for himself in racing, invested in a successful car dealership. He died on May 14, 1986 at the age of 64.

The February 16, 2013 Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real at Daytona Int'l Speedway marks the 50th Anniversary ARCA race at Daytona. The race is LIVE on SPEED at 4:30 p.m., and precedes NASCAR's same-night Sprint Unlimited.

Nelson Stacy Career ARCA Victories  
       
Date Location Track  Length
05/13/56 Ft. Wayne Speedway Ft. Wayne, IN 100 L
05/25/56 Cincinnati Race Bowl Cincinnati, OH 100 L
06/27/56 Cincinnati Bowl Cincinnati, OH 100 L
07/27/56 Cincinnati Race Bowl Cincinnati, OH 100 L
08/04/56 Sun Valley Speedway Anderson, IN 100 L
09/30/56 Cincinnati Race Bowl Cincinnati, OH 100 L
05/05/57 Salem Speedway Salem, IN 100 L
05/12/57 Heidelberg Speedway Heidelberg, PA 100 L
05/18/57 Broadway Speedway Knoxville, TN  
05/25/57 16th Street Speedway Indianapolis, IN 80 L
05/26/57 Toledo Raceway Park Toledo, OH 100 L
06/02/57 Dayton Speedway Dayton, OH 300 L
07/20/57 16th Street Speedway Indianapolis, IN 250 L
08/11/57 Lorain County Speedway Elyria, OH  
08/17/57 Canfield Speedway Canfield, OH 100 L
08/18/57 Sharon Speedway Hartford, OH  
06/06/58 Jeffersonville Sportsdrome Jeffersonville, IN 100 M
07/27/58 Eldora Speedway Rossburg, OH  
08/09/58 Jeffersonville Sportsdrome Jeffersonville, IN 50 L
08/09/58 Jeffersonville Sportsdrome Jeffersonville, IN 50 L
09/12/58 Berlin Raceway Marne, MI 100 L
09/14/58 Dayton Speedway Dayton, OH 500 L
10/12/58 Dayton Speedway Dayton, OH 200 L
04/05/59 Dayton Speedway Dayton, OH 200 L
04/25/59 Canfield Speedway Canfield, OH 100 L
05/17/59 Sandusky Speedway Sandusky, OH 100 L
06/21/59 Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, TN 300 L
08/09/59 Terre Haute Action Track Terre Haute, IN 100 L
7/5/60 Dayton Speedway Dayton, OH 200 L
7/17/60 Ionia Speedway Ionia, MI 200 L
7/23/60 Sun Valley Speedway Anderson, IN 100 L
7/30/60 Canfield Speedway Canfield, OH 100 L
8/14/60 Meadowdale Int'l Raceway Carpentersville, IL 250 M
9/18/60 Canfield Speedway Canfield, OH 250 L
2/8/1964 Daytona Int'l Speedway Daytona, FL 250 M
5/23/1964 Sportsman Park Cleveland, OH 100 L
6/14/1964 Detroit Fairgrounds Detroit, MI 100 M
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