- Tuesday 04 February, 2014
There’s a lot about Wes Buckley that has remained consistent throughout his racing career, including how he quietly walks from the staging lanes to the starting line before each race to study whether other drivers are running on, over or under; how he puts his dial-in on his window with a poker-face and how he won’t strap in until it’s time to fire his engine because he doesn’t want to over-think the race.
His desire to win and his ability to win are proof that what he’s doing works, but he sets the bar so high for himself that rather than boasting about his 2013 Pro championship — and how it came down to the final points race and whether Nick Hastings or Rick Baehr won in the semi-final — he bemoans the fact that he won slightly fewer races than he usually does. It’s not likely that his fellow racers or fans even noticed that, for as far as they’re concerned, he’s an omnipresent threat.
He gives a lot of credit to his dad, fellow racer Tim Buckley, who built and maintains the engine in his ’84 Camaro, which runs low tens, and he has a lot of support from his family, including his brother, fellow racer Lucas Buckley, who somehow forgives him for feeling compelled to say when he thinks he missed the mark on race day.
Wes — who is known to deadpan that it’s “very annoying” to lose in any round that isn’t the final — keeps his reflexes swift in the winter months by racing at the slot car track, where the competition is just as fierce as it is at the dragstrip. When he’s not doing that, he drives semi-trucks and trailers filled with products to stores in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana for Carter Lumber Company.
While he usually holds his cards close to his chest, he has shared that he and his dad are building a new engine over winter, and that they have a few tricks up their sleeves to run faster.
By Mary Lendzion