Story By: JORDAN SHEEHAN / WESLOWSKI RACING – MIDDLETOWN, NY – Brett Weslowski came into 2021 entering for what was slated as his first full racing season. Brett competed sporadically in season’s past, but after the combo of his mom Jessica and stepfather Mike Kolka getting behind Brett’s efforts, he was able to get a full season of action in the Rookie Sportsman Division.
It was there he’d find himself amongst multiple drivers who were like Brett, either competing for the first time or returning to gain open wheel experience. At the completion of the Rookie Sportsman season, Brett would come home with multiple podium finishes and sit among the top of the competitors in the division.
Brett’s mother and team co-owner, Jessica Kolka, tells how it is for a racing mom and watching her son race. “I’ve watched my husband race for years and I’ve always felt nervous and anxious but he’s experienced. To watch my son, my only boy race for the first time was a whole new feeling. He doesn’t have years of experience so when he hit the track for the first time in the rookie division, I pretty much felt like I could vomit. To watch your child race is scary. I always hope for a safe race for him. So much runs through my mind like I hope he pays attention, I hope he doesn’t get run over, I hope he doesn’t crash. I pray he doesn’t get hurt or hurt anyone else. It’s a huge responsibility. Brett never raced a go cart like some of the other drivers have, he went straight into an open wheel. He did a good job racing in the rookies, and when it was time to graduate to the Sportsman division with the more experienced drivers I couldn’t even fully watch.
In June, the Rookie Sportsman division “graduated” into the Sportsman division. This would see the whole Rookie Sportsman division advance into the Sportsman division, where they would compete alongside the veterans in attempts to win their first Sportsman feature. The top two in points from the Rookie division would get a front row starting spot in a heat race, which already put Brett out to lunch with the handicapping procedures. Brett finished top five in points, but was just shy of the top two. However, when all was said and done, Brett would oust the 50 plus entries, and become the highest finishing Rookie in that nights feature.
“I couldn’t stand on the trailer to watch and I found myself holding my breath during restarts. I prayed that he could bring the car home in one piece and himself home with no injuries. He finished in Rookies top five in points which I’m beyond proud of him for.” said Jessica Kolka.
As the season progressed, it was all about the experience, knowledge, and tutelage that was being passed down from Brett’s step father Mike Kolka. Mike was hands on, guiding Brett in the right direction and Brett would execute and deliver. Brett would cap off the regular season with a shot at winning a feature event, but ended up settling with a fourth place finish.
And veteran racer and Brett’s stepfather, Mike Kolka has his thoughts on Brett’s progress. “It makes me happy to be able to share what I’ve learned. It makes his job easier as a driver. Not having to learn everything and learn the in and outs of driving. I enjoy watching him grow as a racer and a man. Seeing him do what I have recommended on the track and off the track makes me proud. I try to teach him as much as he can take in. Sometimes I overwhelm him.” chuckled Mike Kolka. “I really enjoy mentoring anyone I can. I have helped many drivers through the years and continue to do so. With Brett, it’s a little different. He is my bonus son so mentoring him is more than just racing. When it comes to racing, I want him to learn from my mistakes and not make as many as I did. I try to teach him how to talk for interviews, with sponsors and fans. We go through maintenance of the car and what needs to be done weekly, monthly etc. All and all, I really enjoy bringing Brett through this life he has chosen now. I’m proud of where he has come from and where he is going. I want him to be successful on and off the track and glad I am part of it,” concluded Mike.
At the conclusion of his season, Brett would participate in the Annual Eastern States Weekend. 90 Sportsman drivers were looking for the big pay day and the chance to etch their name into the history books of OCFS. With the stout field present, only 37 drivers would have a shot at main event on day two of Eastern States Weekend. Brett was jittery going into the event, which just about every single competitor was. However, bad luck would strike the team, as a motor issue would sideline Brett, ending his Eastern States Weekend and not allow him to compete how he’d planned. “It was a great season for me. I focused and learned. We had some hiccups, but I think It was great with the equipment I had,” summarized Brett.
“Brett’s entire first full season was a learning experience for him. I watched him get better as a driver. He has a lot of learning to do, and has to work through his disappointments and frustrations better. All in all I’m proud of him and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for him. Brett’s been racing without his biggest fan, my dad. His Pop passed away in 2017, and they were best buds. He would be so proud of him, but we know he’s Brett’s forever copilot,” said Mom Jessica.
Brett “The Kid” Weslowski and team will regroup throughout this winter season, and look to give 2021 a run for its money. Brett will be back at Orange County Fair Speedway, but this time looking to compete for his first full points season in Sportsman competition.
“I would honestly love to finish top ten in points or even better this season. Hey, even a win would be nice. I’m going to do my best for not only me, but also my sponsors, family, and team. We’re working on having a completely different lettering job, and it looks sick, I can’t wait. This past season wasn’t possible without my Mom & Mike and their business MJK Home Maintenance, Pam & Tommy Vigh of Big Momma Motorsports, Design For Vision & Sunglass Central, First Class Auto, my one man crew Ethan, Peter, my Nan, my girlfriend Emmi, and Jordan with my media. I thank all of you very much,” said Brett.