From the Tower: Take it to the track
By John Bandimere Jr.
Everyone on the streets shares concerns about street racing these days. Many of the cars racing on the streets are capable of incredible acceleration and speeds well over 100 mph. Unfortunately, a few of these street racing cars are in the hands of drivers willing to put other motorists, pedestrians, and bicycle riders at extreme risk.
Since 1958, Bandimere Speedway has been the best available alternative to street racing.
My father, John Bandimere Sr., was highly motivated by the idea of a racetrack to move racing from the uncontrolled and very dangerous “street scene” to a real racetrack, where the racing is done in a controlled, safety-conscious environment, that protects motorists and other people on the streets.
John Sr.’s vision of the racetrack was fueled by the desire to get “hot rods” off the streets and onto the track. That obviously was good business for the racetrack, but safety in racing was a core value of John Sr.’s. That is why Bandimere Speedway has been a cutting-edge innovator on safety in racing for over six decades.
Safe racing has been priority number one from the beginning, and it still is today at Bandimere Speedway.
I invite all concerned to recognize Bandimere Speedway as a resource and a key part of quickly solving the street racing epidemic in an intelligent and sustainable way. I also invite all to contact Bandimere Speedway to learn how to move street racers off the streets and onto a real racetrack like Bandimere Speedway.
We already have an array of programs in place to promote safe driving and safe racing. And we already work closely with law enforcement agencies throughout the region to promote safe driving and safe racing.
Colorado State Patrol has been a Bandimere Speedway supporter and partner since 2004. Each Wednesday night throughout the racing season is a “Take It to the Track” event, backed by the Colorado State Patrol, which opens Bandimere Speedway to street racers, and features 225+ cars weekly.
The track is also home to the “Race to Read” program aimed at elementary age youth and developing reading habits.
The goal of “Nitro Knockouts”, which boasts more than 600 members, is to provide support, encouragement and activities to female racers, fans, and staff.
Our Memorial Day event, “High School Drags” gives racers a chance to actually drag race against law enforcement officers in their patrol vehicles.
We hear from our youth racers how much fun it is to go back to school the next week and brag that they outran one of the local police cars. The great thing is that they did it on Bandimere Speedway and not on the street.
We are working on other programs to give street racers an incentive to stop racing on the street and learn how to race on a real racetrack like Bandimere Speedway, where we teach them the rules designed for their safety.
We are looking for ideas, and we are open to suggestions. So please feel free to contact us.
And by all means, if you have a chance to tell a street racer to “take it to the track”, tell them to take it to Bandimere Speedway.
Follow Bandimere on Social Media
Bandimere Textline: 20123
In 1958, John Bandimere, Sr. purchased a parcel of land on the west side of Denver nestled up against the hogback leading up to the Rocky Mountains. He and his family began the process of constructing a small but efficient dragstrip that was to be used to augment their auto parts business. It also was the fulfillment of a dream of John Sr. and his wife, Frances, to provide a safe environment for young people learn about cars and race them off the streets.
Now, 63 years later, the only things at Bandimere Speedway that have not changed are the location and the commitment to safe, off-the-street racing. Bandimere Speedway is located on C470 between Morrison and Lakewood, at 3051 S. Rooney Rd. It is a world-class, quarter-mile drag strip with a seating capacity of 23,500 spectators. Its biggest event each year is the NHRA Mopar Mile High Nationals. That event was canceled in 2020. In 2019 it brought an estimated $15 million into the Colorado economy.
The fascinating story (and history) of Bandimere Speedway is told in a book: “Living out Loud: Faith, Family, and the Pursuit of Speed” by Chat Bonham.