Profile of Candidates for NCR Board of Directors

December 16, 2013

Below are profiles, provided by the candidates themselves, listed in the same order as on the ballot.

Rex Deffenbaugh, incumbent, running for re-election as Regional Executive

I’m Rex T. Deffenbaugh, the incumbent Regional Executive for North Carolina Region and current competitor. I’m running for my third term in this office. I have served for over 15 years on the Board in many capacities. As RE, I have never missed a Board meeting in person in 4 years. Because of this I have amassed a great deal of experience in operating the Region. My years on the Board have led to a number of great relationships with National, South East Division and other Regional Administrators, which facilitates the communication we need to continue putting on great events. This has allowed us to continue running races such as the SARRC/MARRS despite budget constraints and policy changes in both Regions. While RE, we successfully put on our first race in the new Majors program. We have worked to ensure the Region comes in as close to breakeven as possible each year, coming within $1,500 on a budget of more than $250,000. This ensures we keep racing costs down in a less than ideal economy. I hope you will vote for me to continue running this Region and keeping us on track.

Sara Snider, running for Regional Executive

This is Sara Snider. I have been a member of our Region since 1985. I have had the opportunity to see us in good and bad times. Watching our Region grow has been a great blessing. I believe we go thru cycles in our life and our Region is no different. Our Club is directly affected by the economy and the past several years have been difficult for our Region.

We need to take a close look at the product we are offering our drivers. Formats that have worked well in the past for us need to be revised. We need to streamline our programs, offer more time on track, and provide a quality product at a reasonable cost to our drivers. Maybe there are ways we can incorporate other clubs the opportunity to join us in an event and make it fun for all. We need to look at our worker base. We have always had some of the most qualified workers in SCCA. What can we do to help them and make us stronger?

As the person who oversees the operations of our Region, we need a five year plan. Where do we want to be in five years and how do we accomplish this goal? That is what I want to bring to this position. Having said that, I now ask for your vote. If you want change, then vote.

Steve Rose, running for Secretary, unopposed

For those of you who don’t know me, or much about me, my name is Steve Rose and I am running for the position of Secretary.

My love for racing started out at a young age. The town I grew up in hosted the infamous Kil-Kare Dragway and Speedway. I spent most of my time trying to go fast on the drag strip, along with a couple feature races in the beginner stock class on the speedway. I ran anything I could get in, from my first car, a stripped down Buick Grand National, to my prized ‘66 Oldsmobile Cutlass. I was indeed a fan of high horsepower, point and shoot kind of driving. I loved smoky burnouts and trying to beat the well-funded drivers. Since I was bracket racing, I always had a shot if I was consistent. Okay, I wasn’t too much of that, but I always worked hard on my cars and usually had a few tricks up my sleeve.

Fast forward a few years, and all the sudden I’m in Durham, NC. I had taken on a new job at a local lawn and garden center where I was hired to run a small engine shop. I’m still there to this day! The owner, knowing I was a gearhead immediately showed me his son’s ancient Formula 440 car that one day he might get on track. I saw a decal on the car and questioned, what is SCCA? He was in disbelief. He asked me if I had ever been to a road race. It wasn’t even a week later, and he dragged me up to VIR to spectate what was to be my first.

I was almost immediately hooked. I wouldn’t admit it at the time, but I noticed these guys were just like me! Most of what I saw was an intelligent camaraderie amongst drivers, competitors helping one another, and folks who just wanted to get their cars on track, drive fast, and have a good time. I thought, this is for me, on some level, I want to get involved.

Not more than a couple weeks go by, and I am in contact with one of our flag chiefs as to how I can be part of this really great club. I was astonished that I could actually be put on a corner with flags in my hand. I simply couldn’t believe that an unknown person would be given such a duty! I had no idea what I would be doing, how to do it, or what the future would hold. I felt like for the first time in my life, that I belonged to something very special, and that one day, it would be me in the driver’s seat. Flagging turned out to be really cool too. I was excited to have such a great seat, giving drivers and Race Control information, and getting a meal out of it too. I remember thinking, these people are crazy, don’t they know I would have paid to do this!

It wasn’t long before I was crewing for a team, and getting a very good education on what it takes to get a car prepped for what I then knew was “real” racing. I learned a lot from the team I was helping. I even did enough that I was graciously given the opportunity to go to driver’s school in one of their cars. I can remember telling them how good I was, and how I was going to break track records! Well, that didn’t happen, but I did have a greater respect for what they were doing, and I can definitely say that flagging before racing was a really smart move. I had an advantage over many other students as to flag condition and what to do. When I’m not racing, you will still find me on a corner, working the flags.

Since then, I have been running my own campaign in IT7. I’ve even been on the podium a few times. I am currently the administrator for our Region’s own Tarheel Cup Pro Series, am a regular at the BOD meetings, and can honestly tell you, I’m just glad to be here, and I want what’s best for my Club. I am running unopposed for the position of Secretary, but I felt it was important to let you know who I am. I sincerely hope the NCR will benefit from my serving this position, and I am always just a phone call away. I wish you the best in the upcoming season, and I will see you at the track!

Marcel Ciascai, running for Member-at-Large

I’ve been a member of SCCA since 2004. Originally a member of the South Carolina Region, after moving to Virginia I switched to the North Carolina Region. While in South Carolina, I helped reinvigorate their Club Racing program and worked as their Race Chairman. In 2007, I joined the Stewards program. In addition, I’m a Rally driver and co-driver. I think it’s time NCR had a RallyCross program and I’d like to help make that happen.

Bruce Dover, running for Member-at-Large

I joined SCCA in 1995. I didn’t really know what to expect, so I just showed up at a Triangle Chapter meeting, introduced myself and said, “Put me to work”. The first to do so were Rob and Laurie Suggs. Rob was a SARRC Champion in Formula Ford and Laurie was a long-time Race Chair for NCR. Laurie was taking her first driver’s school, at Road Atlanta, after being Rob’s Crew Chief for years, and they took me along to crew for them.

I remember that I had a new Camaro at the time and it was all I could do, on the drive from Durham to Braselton, to keep up with Rob, who was driving a full-size van and pulling a closed trailer with a racecar, and all that goes with it, inside!

On Saturday morning, I asked who those folks were driving their street cars out onto the track prior to us getting started. I was told that they were corner workers. Anyway, to make a long story short, that weekend was a real eye-opener! I learned a lot, found a way to become a part of the sport I love and I’ve never looked back. On the drive back home on Sunday evening, we stopped along the way to eat dinner. Some of the people I met that weekend and ate dinner with that evening were Al Fairer, Kaye Baum (later Kaye Fairer), Heather Powers, Ann Taylor and Clyde Kiser, just to name a few!

A few weeks later, I headed to Rockingham for my first SCCA race. I had no idea how long it took to get there, so I arrived waaay early. The guard at the tunnel said it was too early for Registration to be open, but that I could go in, just be sure to come back out and register. It was my first time at Rockingham Raceway since I had been there for a go-cart race back in the mid-70s and, before I realized where I was, I found myself driving on the track! Nobody was up yet in the paddock, the sunrise provided just enough light to see where I was going without headlights, there was a light fog, it was cold out and I was alone on the track, yet somehow I felt completely at home!

Later that day, I was introduced to corner working. It was awesome…hell, EVERYTHING was awesome! The people…the cars…the racing…I was hooked!

After about two years of working corners, I decided I wanted to try out the Start stand. Rob Suggs had quit racing FF and was working Start, so I felt comfortable going into something new with someone I knew. Anyway, I’ve been a Starter ever since. Earning my National Starter license was a big deal for me, especially since my “Starter mentor”, Al Fairer, recommended me for it. I remember thinking, when we began racing at VIR in 2000, how great it would be to be Chief Starter there. Well, after Al gave up the position to become a Steward and nobody else seemed to want it, I kind of “inherited” the Chief Starter position a couple of years later. I was Chief Starter until the 2012 season, when I gave it up due to work conflicts.

In the ensuing years, I was honored to be named Worker of the Year in 2003 and 2006. I was the Editor of the Region’s publication, The Bulletin, from 2004 through 2008. Now that NCR, like many other Regions, has given up publishing a newsletter in favor of an all-electronic version of getting the news out, I’m currently serving as the Web Content Editor (not to be confused with webmaster…that’s Jeff Eng) for our website, As I stated previously, in 2012 I gave up the position of Chief Starter due to conflicts with my work schedule. I felt that the Chief should attend ALL our races, and I wasn’t able to do so at that time.

Now, after 19 years as an SCCA/NCR member, I’d like to take the next step. I’ve been attending Board meetings, off and on, for 8 or 9 years now, to get an idea of how the Club is run and keep up with what’s going on. I think an Editor should know his subject matter. I’d like to become a part of the NCR Board of Directors and so I’m running for Member-at-Large. I’d like to see more and better communication between the Board and the membership and will endeavor to see that happen. I believe that the best way to keep the members we have and entice others to join is to engage and involve them. Keeping the membership informed about what its leaders are up to can help accomplish that. Your vote for me will insure that there’s someone on the Board working to keep YOU informed. Thanks in advance for your vote!

Heather Powers, running for Member-at-Large

Hello to my fellow North Carolina Region members! My name is Heather Powers and I am running for Member-at-Large. I have been a Region member since 1990. I have been active in the operations of the Region for the majority of the time that I have been a member. I have participated on committees for awards, the banquet, and the PDX program. I have been a Member-at-Large and I was the Assistant RE for a few years. Currently, I am serving as the Drivers Representative on the Competition Board.

I have worked almost every specialty at least once. I started my driving career in auto crossing. I have been an instructor for both PDX and for Competition driving. I have also had the good fortune to drive race cars in many classes including Spec Miata, Production, Super Touring, and Improved Touring and I have been campaigning my own Mazda RX7 in IT7 in SARRC, ECR, TCPS, and in 8 different 13 hour races.

I hope you will allow me to once again be a voice for you, the membership, on our Board of Directors.

Thanks for your consideration!

Mike Spencer, running for Member-at-Large

No profile received from candidate.

Blair “Pepe” Stitt, running for Member-at-Large

No profile received from candidate.


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