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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- November 24, 1986
- Vol. 26
- No. 21
Getting the Jump on Adults at 13, Wes Pyburn Guns for Racing's Top
The son of a chemical engineer and a housewife, Wes enrolled at 11 in a special racing instruction program for kids. Then he practiced under his father's supervision for three months at a local track. In his first race in May 1985, Wes, 12, finished last. The following November he won his first heat—and acceptance from his colleagues, who formed a double row, applauding and cheering as he returned to the pit.
So far, Wes's only injury has been a bruised left leg, which he banged against a roll cage—this despite numerous spinouts, one head-on collision, a brush with a wall that removed the Pinto's entire right front end and a catapult up and over a Capri that had spun out in front of him. ("That was fun," says Wes.) "He's smooth," says grizzled vet Bruce Maynard, 41, who is second in Wes's division. "He stays out of trouble. He's a natural." Keeping the Pinto in racing trim has cost the Pyburns nearly $20,000, which is about $19,000 more than Wes has won—this is not a high-paying game—but the burden is about to ease. A conglomerate of businessmen has just been formed to sponsor him.
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