By Ray Cunningham
Wesley Smith was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1999 and started racing in the Lone Star State at age 4 in Go Karts.
Smith would move up the racing ranks quickly from Go Karts, to Winged QRC Karts, to Legend Cars, and then full-sized race cars, B Modifieds, and Midgets. All of those racing experiences took place from age 4 to 15.
During that time the Smith family made the move from their native Texas to Nixa, Missouri, to run the family business, All Metal Recycling. Wesley’s father Bryan who has never lost his Texas Twang, or charm, was the first Smith to race in the Mini Stock division in the 1990’s. The trade mark #44 was used then, and for every race car since owned by the family, including Wesley’s Baby Blue Midget #44.
After success in all the previous classes, the Smith’s felt the greatest opportunity for Wesley would come in midget and sprint car racing. The frame work that has brought superstardom to Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, as well as contemporary racing stars Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell among others. In 2015 the Smith family decided to race in every program the Allstar Midget Series had. In his first full year in midgets, Wesley did not disappoint, winning five times in the Allstar Series at age 16 driving a ten year old stealth.
After showing so well, the Smiths made a deal to buy Tracy Hines Midget at the end of 2015. With this Spike Chassis racing with Toyota power, Hines won the 2015 USAC Midget Title. And after the Turkey Night Grand Prix ended the season for Hines, the Missouri Racers took possession of his winning mount, sans engine per Toyota’s agreement with Tracy. In 2016 armed with their new machine, Wesley continued his development as a racer. Winning 5 midget shows with the Allstars once again, while also winning his first POWRi West Midget Race at Springfield, Missouri, just a stones throw from his Nixa home.
In 2017 the results were more of the same, 3 Allstar Wins, and a second place points finish in POWRi West Midgets. While also driving for Jeff Palazzolo on Thursday and Friday night of the Hockett Memorial in his #70 Sprint Car at Lucas Oil Speedway.
In 2018 The Smith’s joined forces with the Helm family for Wesley to drive their #12 Sprint Car in both regional and WAR Sprint Car events. While also racing the family midget once again. In the first WAR show of the year at Springfield, Wesley would win his first ever sprint car race, while also winning at Humboldt, and later Valley in 2018.
Racing the WSR #44 midget in 2018 Smith would take 5 wins, including 3 in the Allstar POWRi Series, while winning twice in POWRi West at Garden City, KS. in a co-sanctioned show with POWRi West/RMMRA, and at Red Dirt Speedway in Oklahoma. In the race at Garden City, Wesley worked his way from 8th place to beat future 2018 POWRi West Champ Kory Schudy to the checkered flag.
For 2019 Wesley would still race the family owned #44 midget, and also for Rick Horn, winning twice at Valley Speedway. Those victories gave the then 20 year old chauffeur 21 midget victories from 2015-2019 racing in Allstar, POWRi Valley, POWRi West, and RMMRA Competition.
In 2019 Smith in his second full season of sprint car racing would have his best year so far, winning two times in the Valley POWRi Series, and the Track Championship. While also taking multiple wins in the WAR series, and finishing third place in points behind Champion Riley Kreisel, and runner up Kory Schudy.
Once again in 2020 Smith has joined forces with Helm Racing in their #12 Sprint Car. With primary sponsorship from Carquest, they are running a full complement of USAC Midwest Wingless series races during their 2020 campaign. And If early results, including a win at Bethany over Wyatt Burks in June are any indication, this Missouri race team will be a threat anytime they hit the track.