Digging Deep With Denise: Visiting With Daniel Wesson

“Digging Deep With Denise” is a semi-regular question and answer feature with local racers and racing personalities produced by RaceDayCT’s Denise DuPont

Editor’s Note: Denise DuPont interviewed Dan Wesson Friday before he was involved in an incident on track and ended up suspended for the remainder of the 2022 season at Stafford Speedway.

Daniel Wesson – I like going fast!

The racing roots for Daniel Wesson from Monson, Mass. began with a family hooked on racing from Street Stocks, Pro-Stocks and then Drag racing. Wesson had his eyes in another direction and asked to drive a Go-Kart when he was old enough to get behind the wheel. From the time he was seven years old Wesson has raced at Stafford Speedway. He was the 2013 Wild Thing Karts Champion in the Junior Outlaw Division, the 2015 SK Light Modified Rookie of the Year and the 2016 SK Light Modified Most Popular Driver. In 2018 Wesson moved to the SK Modified division. So far in 2022 he has scored three top-five’s. Daniel and I spoke just prior to Friday’s Stafford Speedway NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K feature. His race night ended with an accident on Lap 25 after which he was disqualified from the event. 

What got you interested in racing?

“When my mom met my dad, she got him into racing. My dad and my uncle, my mom’s brother Shane Peele, started a race team. They ran Riverside [Park Speedway] a little bit. And I believe they also ran Lebanon Valley Pro Stocks for a little bit. Ever since that my dad has been hooked and we became a racing family. When I was born my dad raced Street Stocks at Stafford Speedway from 2000 to 2001. Then we kind of got out of circle track racing for a little while and went Drag racing. So, I grew up on the Drag track at Lebanon Valley. I think when I was about seven years old I asked my dad if I could get into a Go-Kart. He looked at the Wild Thing Karts program at Stafford and I have been [racing] ever since then.“ 

Looking back at your career, what car or division did you enjoy the most?

“It is hard to say. I would say that the SK Light nowadays at Stafford is a very competitive division compared to what I ran. I think that the SK’s put on a better show. You know I cannot argue that because the SK Lights put on a spectacular show now. I like the SK’s more because you have a radio and it is a little more relaxed. Sure you’ve got to run 40 hard laps, but with the SK Lights it is hard to come from 11th with only 20 laps. I prefer the SK a little bit more. But you cannot really compare the two because they are two different animals in their own ways.”

Racing an SK Modified for the win

“It is a lot harder. I think that you have to bring your A-Game every single week. I know my dad, myself and some of the crew members spend a lot of time in the shop during the week getting the car ready. Just weekly maintenance. In order for us to win here, I think that I have to be more consistent behind the wheel and provide a little bit better feedback. We have to keep building a better notebook. But I think that we are right there. We have a top-10 car every single time that we come here. No doubt. It is just a matter of things falling in our lap the right way and me getting the job done behind the wheel. “

Do you work on your own car?

“Our car is a family owned car. My mom and dad own the car and I drive. We have a lot of support from sponsors. We have a lot of people behind me that come to the track or over to the shop weekly to help me out which is great. You cannot do it on your own that is for sure.” 

What is your most memorable racing experience?

“Running an SK [Modified]. Stafford is a very well-known track throughout the country. I would argue that SK’s are probably the hardest racing weekly division in the country and if not that, the Northeast. Driving an SK is up there on my list.”

What do you find unique at Stafford Speedway?

“Turns one and two are very different than turns three and four. One and two are more a hair-pin turn than turns three and four are long sweepers. It is a hard track to get if you have never raced here. Once you figure it out, I think that it is a fun track to drive.”

What challenges do drivers have at Stafford Speedway?

“It is just hard. Everyone is so equal. In a spec motor and with everyone on the same tires. Everyone gets the same tire credits every week and we all pretty much run the same shock package. I would say the field is pretty much split this year. But everyone has the same stuff so everyone is so equal that it is a very competitive division all around.”

What are your 2022 Goals?

“Just finishing races and keep clicking off top-fives. Because if you consistently click off top-fives, a win will come. It happened with Anthony Bello. He was very consistent for a while and he was fortunate enough to get a win here. When you put your name on the list here at Stafford it is a prestigious thing.”

If you had to do it all over again would you?

“Oh, yeah no doubt. Racing has taught me a lot throughout my life. It has taught me patience and consistency. It is just a great atmosphere. I love the fans, the pressure and I like going fast.”

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