RIP Wes pesek
Wesley Duane Pesek was born on February 11, 1942. He attended Grass Lake School through 8th grade; then went to school in the snowmobile race driver development community of Greenbush Minnesota for four years. He graduated from high school in 1960.
After high school, Wes cut logs and lumber in Beltrami Forest for two years, then served in the U.S. Army from 1964 – 1966. After his discharge, he returned to the famed Pesek farm to raise turkeys and cattle. Wes also worked at Isanti Farms where his love for farming was sparked.
In 1967 he went to work for Polaris and started racing with the Star Fire Kids. On his first race in Forrest Lake, Minnesota, he got a second place finish which got him noticed by Bob Eastman. Bob asked if he would like to join the race team, and an enthusiastic Pesek responded “If you ask a hungry kid if he wants an ice cream cone, what do you think he’d say?” With that Wes Pesek was on biggest snowmobile race team on that era.
His notable performances included entering 240, 340cc machines in grass drags classes all the way up into 650cc classes and still getting 2nd place. He was picked by SnowGoer magazine as the “man to beat” in the 295-340cc classes for 1971. He finished 2nd in the Winnipeg to St. Paul race, and in the top 10 several times.
In 1973, Wes was involved in “scandal” when he put the exhaust pipe springs on Bob Eastman’s machine just before the start of the World Championship. Bob won the race, and the press speculated that Wes added some crazy secret part that helped Bob win. In fact, the pipes paint was touched up the night before, and someone had forgotten the springs.
Wes built and tested the one and only all titanium Sno-Pro sled. It was a good idea, and very tough to build, but in testing, it was found to be too flexible to be useful. Wes tried it in a few races only to find that it indeed was like riding a wet noodle. In 1976 Wes helped out with the stock sled racing program, running 1976 Starfires in the stock and mod-stock classes. He went on to help the Midnight Blue Express version of the Star Fire Kids.
Wes was particularly fond of company paid trips to West Yellowstone Montana and made the trip as many times as he could.
After he left Polaris he worked at Pro 5. He also cut snowmobile trails for mineral companies that were in the area. He enjoyed taking different guys, including his own children, along to help him.
RIP Wes – and thanks for all the great memories.