CALLAWAY, VA :: After the loss of his father, Bobby, in February, Wesley Thomason promised to keep on racing because that’s what his father would have wanted.  Thomason, who races on a low budget, put in a lot of time and work on his car throughout the season, hoping just to be able to compete for race wins.

He saw the fruits of that labor as he is now a track champion at Franklin County Speedway.  Thomason, who did not race in the season finale at Franklin County on Saturday, was able to secure the championship when his main challenger for the track title, Ricky Gillespie, raced at Myrtle Beach Speedway instead.

“It was pretty incredible to win the championship,” Thomason said.  “We’ve been trying there for the last three years to try to get one and we’ve ended up second or third so I felt like it was only a matter of time.”

Thomason’s season did not get off to a strong start because of distractions relating to the loss of his father as well as other things.

“We were terrible at the beginning of the season.  We had a lot going on to distract us from racing, especially dealing with the after-effect of dad passing away.  It took our focus off the racing.  About mid-season, right before the track changed hands, we all sat down and had a long, hard discussion whether to continue racing or back off and refocus.  We refocused and kept going.  It’s crazy how it worked out.  It worked out good for us and once we put all the hard work together, we started running up front again winning and I couldn’t do it without my crew, fans and family.  It’s been a great year.”

Thomason scored one victory in 2014.  That victory came on the same night his younger brother, Cary, scored his first career race win.

“The highlight of my career was when me and Cary won.”

Now that he’s got his championships, he’s hoping he can help Cary reach his goals and achieve greater opportunity in the sport.

“We’re trying to figure out what’s best for me and my brother for next year.  I want to develop him in to having the opportunities I was given by my dad.  I want my brother to get at least this far.  I don’t want to just throw him in to it.  I want him to take the steps I took.”

As of now, Thomason is unsure of his 2015 plans.  While he has spent his entire life at Franklin County Speedway, he says he would like to run the CARS Tour, if he can get sponsorship.

“Working to get sponsors set to, if the right funding come in, we’d love to run the CARS Tour.  That’s early in the making and we have to make sure we won’t lose our butts doing that.  If that doesn’t work out, we’ll run the Limited class at Motor Mile Speedway and see what goes from there.  That’s all I can really afford on my own without sponsors to back me and that’s tough there.  It all depends on what happens in the offseason.”

Thomason’s championship is one of the sentimental stories of the racing season – a story of a driver who overcame a loss of a family member and was able to motivate himself to achieve his greatest accomplishment in the sport of auto racing.