Story and Photos by Ken Keating
Langford, BC (ISN) – The sport of auto racing has turned life around for Island Sports News sponsored driver Sean Whitley, who has gone from a life of drugs and alcohol, to being a competitive driver in the Bomber Series at Western Speedway.
Sometimes life deals some people pretty hard blows and we all deal with circumstances differently. Such is the case of Sean Whitley, a first year driver in the Bomber Series at Western Speedway. For fifteen years he was into drugs and alcohol and virtually homeless in downtown Victoria. Then two and a half years ago, he made a promise to himself to right his life.
Whitley’s orange Malibu has been a regular feature in the Bomber Series races this season.
He had been a spectator at Western Speedway for years and has worked on cars for some thirty plus years. He began working at Vic West Auto as a head mechanic over a year ago with Eric Fournier, the owner of the business and a former, as it was called back then, Claimer Champion. Eric had one of the fastest cars at the time and won many races at Western Speedway. He convinced Sean to try racing and helped to provide a car and along with his encouragement and family support, Sean now races with the competitive Bomber Series in a bright orange 1980 Malibu.
Sean’s #69 car is hard to miss on the Western Speedway track.
In the first four races this season, Sean had to deal with a loose car and went around to several drivers to apologize if he was the cause of any hitting or spinouts, of which there was a few in the early going. He has gone through three motors so far this season and has one now that is out of an old police car and is fast.
Sean is able to do a lot of his own work and with an investment of around $4,500.00 one has to help himself or have good sponsors. Sean says, “If it wasn’t for Island Sports News and their sponsorship this season, I probably wouldn’t be able to race.”
Whitley thanks ISN’s sponsorship of his car for, in part, alowing him to continue racing this season.
He is a “grass roots racer, and loves it” and just wants to have fun and maybe win a trophy along the way. The Bombers have become one of the more competitive Series at Western with a good car count at each event. It is even tougher with the twenty second rule as you have to stay above that mark or suffer a stop and go. It has made the competition that much better and allowed some drivers to win that may not have been to victory square without that rule and Sean defineately supports the rule.
Come out and support the very competitive Bomber cars at the Speedway and watch Sean, and his Island Sports News sponsored car take on the competition and his pursuit of a better life. He does a great job at both.