Apr. 9—ELIZABETHVILLE — When Wesley Brady competed in last year’s season-ending Diamond Nationals at Big Diamond Speedway, there was no doubt he would have a good weekend.
It had nothing to do with racing and everything to do with his future.
Before he took his No. 123 open sportsman onto the track for warm-up laps, he proposed to his girlfriend, Kadence Selig, and she said yes.
“It was just before I hopped in the car,” the Elizabethville resident said last week before Big Diamond postponed its season opener to tonight, “and after that, my mom told me that I’m just like my dad because my dad proposed to my mom on the way to Selinsgrove (Speedway) for the races.”
Brady and Selig, who have yet to set a firm date for the wedding, will be together tonight when the 2021 racing season begins at Big Diamond. Wesley Brady, 23, will likely occupy a pit stall beside his father Kevin, a Millersburg resident and driver of a 602 crate modified with the notable “Oink” number.
It wouldn’t be another season at Big Diamond without a Brady in the pit area.
Wesley signifies the third generation there. Grandfather Joe owned a car that competed at Big Diamond and Kevin has been racing for more than a decade. Other relatives with Big Diamond experience include sportsman driver Daryl Dissinger and racer, former Big Diamond promoter and current 358 modified team owner Dave Dissinger.
“It’s a family thing, and I love modifieds,” Wesley said. “Ever since I was little, we would be one of the ones that would close down the track on a Friday night. We’d stay that long in the pits. As a kid, I still have a T-shirt from way back when that was my dad’s, and we used to go around getting autographs from all of the drivers.
“I can remember thinking, ‘One day, I’m going to do this,’ and I decided I’m young yet. Let’s get started on it, started putting a car together, and everybody that has watched me grow up at the track said, ‘Hey, do you have this yet? Do you have one of these? Do you need it?’ Everybody helped starting to put the car together.”
The only one who put some brakes upon the effort was his father.
“When I told him I was getting a car together, he said, ‘You know this is expensive, right?’ ” said Wesley, who works as a welder. “I said, ‘Yeah, I know.’ He says, ‘Well, I don’t want you to be financially unstable.’ I said I’ll go as cheap as possible with everything, but the safety gear is number one. You don’t cheap out on safety.”
Wesley’s car number, 123, is a tribute to Kevin’s car owner, former Big Diamond standout Roy Weist. The body on the car is actually the final one driven by Weist and was once campaigned also by Kevin.
“It’s a little beat up,” Wesley said. “Eventually, we’ll get a new body, but probably it won’t be until next season.”
Like his father, Wesley also has a 602 crate engine in his car, a convenience that allows him to only take off the car’s sail panels and install windows if he wants to race in a 602 crate program. But he said he doesn’t feel his car will be disadvantaged in an open sportsman class with more powerful engines.
“Everybody that I’ve talked to, my dad’s talked to … , they said opens would be a good place to start, especially since lately they haven’t been getting the car count they need to have a consy in that,” Wesley said. “It’s a little easier to get into the feature to get more seat time, get more experience under my belt.”
Last year, a broken driveshaft ended Wesley’s Big Diamond feature debut after just three laps, so this year puts Brady into the crop of rookies in the open sportsman class at Big Diamond. He also plans to compete this season at BAPS Motor Speedway, Newberrytown, and the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds track that will mark its first season in many years.
For now, though, he simply wants Big Diamond’s gates to open.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed,” Brady said. “I’ve busted my butt the last three weeks to get that car done, put my blood, sweat and tears in it.”
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