Esse wins Proctor late model stock raceThe Esse family name has been synonymous with local racing for more than 40 years, and now Cloquet-Esko-Carlton hockey coach Dave Esse has added a new accomplishment to the family list.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
The Esse family name has been synonymous with local racing for more than 40 years, and now Cloquet-Esko-Carlton hockey coach Dave Esse has added a new accomplishment to the family list.
Esse drove his 2002 Rocket Chassis to victory last Sunday night in the WISSOTA late model class at Proctor Speedway – his first win, on a car owned and operated by his father, Tom.
“It was pretty cool,” Esse said. “It was our fourth night out this year and the first three didn’t go very well. We’ve had trouble with weather, or something going on with my family most nights this season, but Sunday night everything was right on.”
Esse won the pole position for the feature race and did the business at the track where he was president for three years in the late 1990s.
“It was really an adrenalin rush,” he admitted. “Probably the most fun thing in my life is taking off and going with the car. I love that. These late models will throw you out of the seat if you aren’t strapped in.”
Esse gives the credit to his father, who has owned and raced cars locally for over 40 years.
“He does the work,” Esse said. “He does a great job working on the car, he likes to tinker, and does 99 percent of the work while I try to get sponsors. I’m fortunate in that I can do hockey during the week and show up to drive on race night.”
Tom Esse, who has had a long and productive partnership with WISSOTA driver Darrell Nelson and his father through the years, has also motivated his son.
“The competitive part of me wants to do well, but I understand that I am going against guys who are so good with such great equipment,” Dave Esse said. “I am trying to make the features and be consistent. Dad always says to put yourself in a position and give yourself a chance to win. I was more happy for him and proud that he got in the winners’ circle with me driving his car.”
Dave Esse is also the current general manager and race director at Superior Speedway in addition to his racing at Proctor.