"Good men are the stars, the planets of the ages wherein they live, and illustrate the times."
- Ben Jonson
Dane Trygve Westby (aka, "The Wolverine") was born on February 13, 1987 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to proud parents Jane and Tryg (John Trygve) Westby and to a very excited big sister Scarlett. He passed way too soon from this life on March 23, 2015.
With the love of motorcycles ingrained in his Dad and then genetically imprinted in Dane, it wasn’t long before Tryg introduced a very young Dane to motorcycling, in the form of a diminutive Yamaha PW50.
“My Dad wouldn’t even let me start up that PW50 when he first gave it to me," Dane said. "He made me push it all the way down the driveway and push it back up again. Then, the first time I got to ride it with the engine running, I ran it right into the garage. There’s still a mark in the garage from my first ride, under power, with that little PW. Thanks to my Dad, it was easy for me to fall into motorcycling.” Dane won his first race at the age of 7--the Gold Rush Cross Country Race in Hallett, OK--on that same Yamaha PW50.
Dane was a very precocious child, but he was also very loving...and loveable. He had a unique way of looking at the world and was an extremely kind-hearted and thoughtful young man.
Dane loved to ride anything with two wheels, but it was motorcycles and motorcycle racing that fueled his passion. From dirt bikes when he was still a toddler, to street bikes as he grew up, Dane's talent and amazing skill carried him into the ranks of the best.
When he turned 16, he began road racing as an amateur. In 2005, in his first year as an Expert road racer, Dane recorded 25 podium finishes out of the 30 races in which he competed.
Prior to 2006, Dane raced for T. Westby Corporation (TWC) Racing, with his Dad at the helm. The team was also sponsored by The Kinetic Playground, which was one of Tryg’s business ventures.
Westby Racing was officially founded in 2006, and Dane competed in the Suzuki SV650 Cup, a spec racing series that was sanctioned by WERA (Western-Eastern Racing Association). It was a great first year for Westby Racing because Dane won the SV650 Cup Championship in his rookie season.
In 2007, Dane won three WERA Championships, four AMA Sports National Championships, and he was also nominated for the AMA Horizon Award.
In 2008, Dane was the WERA National Champion in both 600 Supersport and 600 Superbike. He also raced in three endurance series, including the AMA’s SunTrust Moto-GT Championship.
In 2009, Dane competed in AMA Pro Racing’s brand-new Daytona SportBike Championship, and he notched five top-10 finishes that season. He also competed in the SunTrust Moto-GT1 Championship where he won three poles--at VIRginia International Raceway, New Jersey Motorsports Park, and the 8 Hours At Daytona--and three race victories--at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Heartland Park in Topeka, and the 8 Hours At Daytona.
In 2010, Dane, and Tryg joined forces with Project 1 Atlanta to contest the AMA Pro Racing Daytona SportBike Championship aboard a Yamaha YZF-R6. Dane got 2nd place in the Daytona 200.
In 2011, Dane notched his first AMA Pro Daytona SportBike victory, with a breakthrough win in Race 1 at Mid-Ohio. The team finished seventh in the Championship points standings that year.
In 2012, Dane was runner-up in the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Championship, and he got a win for the second year in a row at Mid-Ohio. He also scored nine additional podiums that year.
Westby Racing signed Yamalube as the team’s title sponsor in 2013, and
Dane finished in the top 10 in every AMA Pro Daytona SportBike race that season, which placed him sixth in the Championship points standings.
2014 was Yamalube’s and Westby Racing’s second year together as a team and, riding the gold-liveried #00 Yamaha YZF-R6, Dane finished the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike season in third place, scored a double win at Barber Motorsports Park, and won by 16 seconds in the pouring rain at New Jersey Motorsports Park to round out a memorable year for the team.
In 2015, MotoAmerica dawned as a new spirit of optimism overtook the road racing paddock, as well as Westby Racing. Yamaha introduced a new YZF-R1 that was eligible for two MotoAmerica race classes--Superbike and Superstock 1000. After several years of success on middleweight bikes, Dane and Yamalube/Westby Racing decided to strike while the iron was hot and campaign an R1 in Superstock 1000.
With the brand-new bike’s racing bodywork still in gray primer, the team participated in the official MotoAmerica preseason test at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, TX. Following a day and a half of dialing in the new machine, Dane and the team found their sweet spot. Suddenly, the #00 Yamalube/Westby Racing R1 shot up the timing and scoring charts to post the fastest Superstock 1000 laptime of the test. Dane returned triumphantly to the team’s pitbox, and joined the celebration with smiles, high-fives, and hugs all-around.
2015 was poised to become the best year ever for Dane and for the entire Yamalube/Westby Racing team.
Dane was a graduate of Holland Hall School in Tulsa, OK, and he also completed three years of college at the University of Tulsa, where he studied art, before following his racing father's footsteps into the world of professional motorcycle road racing.
Even though motorcycle racing was Dane's absolute burning passion, he had lots of other interests, including a love for all animals great and small, as well as music, camping, traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends, including his soulmate.
“I like to have a life outside of racing, and it’s good to get your mind off of it, sometimes," Dane said. He organized and promoted a couple of music festivals, and he would occasionally take off on thousand-mile bicycle trips armed only with a sleeping bag. “I have a lot of interests outside racing,” said Westby. "I went sailing the other day. I’d never done that before. I just like to try different stuff.”
In the winter of 2015, he rode a bicycle from Tulsa, Oklahoma, all the way to Daytona International Speedway in Florida to watch his girlfriend Patricia Fernandez compete in the Daytona 200. He completed the 1,200+-mile trip in just nine days by pedaling at least 135 miles each day, and he did it alone. For most people, driving a car from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Daytona, Florida, is a very long road trip. For Dane Westby, making the journey by bicycle was an accomplishment that he took in stride.
He was definitely an eclectic young man and an absolute lover of life.