news-category: Bulldog Profiles

Trevor Wester, ’24, Takes Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldog Around the Track

Honors Marketing Major Drives Legend Cars in Charlotte, N.C., and Elsewhere

Gardner-Webb sophomore Trevor Wester is the first race car driver to welcome aboard the Runnin’ Bulldog logo in multiple events. Driver of the No. 8 Legend Car in the Cook Out Summer Shootout series at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Wester finished fifth in points out of 32 cars.

He’s excited that the Runnin’ Bulldog will be on his car for upcoming races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Charlotte Road Course, Citrus County Speedway, Lanier Speedway, and others. He will compete in the Legend Car World Finals at Las Vegas (Nev.) Bullring. The University’s athletic logo debuted earlier in the summer of 2022 on a car driven by alumnus Blake McCandless at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Trevor Wester poses with the No. 8 car with GWU on the side of the hood.

Wester, a student in the Honors Program, is a marketing major with a minor in broadcast journalism. He described his first year at Gardner-Webb as extraordinary, and wanted the chance to show off his school pride with the Bulldog on his car.  

“Every time I put my helmet on, I’m representing the school and its values,” Wester asserted. “And I know all the people—friends, students, faculty—they’re out there rooting for me, and every time I win, I win it for them, so it means a lot, that’s for sure.”

A Legend Car is a 5/8-scale fiberglass full-fendered version of the famed NASCAR modified driven by legendary drivers such as Fireball Roberts and Buck Baker. Unveiled in 1992, the car created a fun, affordable “spec” class of racing for beginners to experienced racers. There are four divisions for ages 12 and older with a Pro Class for the most experienced.

Wester drives in the Semi-Pro Division. He began racing in 2014, after driving a go-kart for the first time at Victory Lane Karting in Charlotte. “We had a blast,” he related. “On the way out of the karting facility, there was a sign that said league races every Saturday. I decided to try it out with my dad’s support and won the championship the first year.”

In the summer of 2015, he started racing Bandoleros for Mike Gordon, and continued to compete until the end of 2019, when he won the Bandolero Outlaw National Championship. He moved up to Legend Cars at the start of 2020, racing for Corey Gordon, who is the car owner/ crew chief. In 2022, he started driving for Miller Performance Motorsports.

The Runnin' Bulldog on the No. 8 Legend Car

Time management helps Wester balance his responsibilities, and he knows what is important. “Doing well in school is my #1 priority, but I do make time for racing,” he acknowledged. “In the past, I have found myself doing homework at the track, in between sessions. My professors have been extremely supportive; they do everything they can to help me pursue my dream. Whether it’s completing an assignment early, or getting one-to-one time after class, my professors always help me in any way that they can.”

Trevor Wester holds a trophy after the race

Wester hopes to continue racing and moving up in the NASCAR divisions, but if that doesn’t work out, he would like to go into marketing for a NASCAR team or become a broadcaster. Whatever the future holds, Wester values the lessons he’s learned on and off the track. “I have learned not only about myself, but about life,” he observed. “For me, it’s so much greater than winning and losing. It’s taught me so much mentally—how to be stronger, how to fight and persevere.”

Wester visited Gardner-Webb after some of his friends shared about their GWU experience. “Immediately from the first tour, I was like, I don’t need to even look anywhere else,” he reflected. “It was instantaneous. I like the close-knit community. At Gardner-Webb, you can talk to anybody. They care about you and want to see you succeed. The spiritual aspect is a huge green flag for me. Not only do I want to further my education, but my relationship with God, as well.”

In addition to The Gathering, the weekly student-led worship service, Wester participates in other worship services and a men’s Bible study. “I feel like with anything I can approach anybody on the campus at any given time, whether I’m needing help, advice, or have a question about something that’s in the Bible or anything like that,” Wester shared. “I know that 100 percent of the time, they’re going to have a smile on their face, and they’re going to help me.”

Wester is also involved in intramural volleyball and soccer and participates in service projects and other activities sponsored by the Honors Student Association. He enjoyed going on the weekend camping trip to clean up the New River in West Jefferson, N.C.

His advice to incoming freshmen, “Just get out and do it; “You are not going to regret going out and doing something and stepping out of your comfort zone as much as you are staying in and missing that opportunity. Gardner-Webb has so many different things you can do.”

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

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