CG Detroit sat down with road racer turned drag racer, Kevin Wesley of Wesley Motorsports to talk, racing, life, the trick new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Chrome Scheme and impact 2020 has had on the sport.
CG: Tell us the story on how you got into racing?
KW: It’s the old story of being in the right place at the right time. In 1993, One Lap of America was leaving from Detroit and I went down to watch the cars leave. I knew one of the teams from Mopar Action and they were driving Richard Ehrenberg’s 1969 Plymouth Valiant in the race. One of the drivers, Dave Zelkowski, was a Chrysler Engineer at the time and he got called away on Minivan Engine Calibration work and wasn’t able to leave for the week. I had known Rick for about a year and he asked if I wanted to go. Being young and flexible with work (didn’t care if I lost my job), I said of course and hit the road.
Rick was very trusting (still not sure why) and at New Hampshire International Speedway he tossed me the keys and said to take the car out for one of the sessions and see what I could do. I had never driven the car at speed, never driven a road course, but I placed in the top 10 and from there it started. Rick let me take the car to a few driving schools after that to get some actual instruction and then I ran One Lap for the next 7 years as my primary racing.
CG: What was the first win for you in motorsports?
KW: We had faired pretty well with the Valiant from 1993 – 1997 in One Lap, winning our class a couple times and finishing as high as 4th overall. My first major win though was the Overall Win in 1999 at the One Lap of America driving a Mosler Raptor. That was also my first paid driving gig.
CG: Does your day job and your racing career intertwine?
KW: They do, sometimes. My day job is primarily Enterprise Resource Planning Software and Management Consulting. We have a handful of clients that are in the aftermarket automotive space, so I find myself being pulled into projects relating to lots of different aftermarket parts for cars. Sometimes it can give us a leg up on our competition because I understand the products that our clients are trying to plan, manage, and manufacture. We’ll take every advantage that we can get.
CG: The new scheme was a really fun project for us, how have the fans responded?
KW: We’ve had really good feedback on the new wrap design. The photographers are taking a bit to get used to the glare they get on some shots, but they are working through it. Eye-catching wraps, as you know, have been a core element to our programs and this one has really raised the bar.
CG: Have you ever sneezed while racing, if so, what did you do?
KW: In the morning, when the sun is rising. That’s when I’ll get a sneeze in my helmet. I’ll try to hold it until a straight then pinch my nose to try and stop it. Works most of the time.
CG: What is the top speed in and ET from your best run on a 1/4 mile?
KW: I’ve never done much Drag Racing, so every time we go to the track I’m setting new personal bests in the Challenger. So far we’ve gone 10.26 @ 134 in the new car, so that’s probably my best to date.
CG: If you were going to start this over again, what three things would you do differently?
KW: Nothing… really. Everything in life is a lesson. Take your lumps, learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them. I love my wife, I love my kids and I even love my job. We’ve got food on the table and a roof over our heads. Tomorrow is a whole new day though. Still plenty of time to screw it all up.
CG: When/Where will you be racing in 2020 so we can post links to and info?
KW: 2020 has been a complete mess for us, I think we’ve given up trying to keep the website up to date. There are only a couple of events left with the Modern Street Hemi Shootout series and we will be at those. Looking forward to 2021 and getting back to normal.
For more information on Wesley Motorsports visit: https://wesleymotorsports.com/