MORRISON, Colo. (KDVR) — Bandimere Speedway, which announced it will be closing at the end of the drag racing season, has a rich history in its 65-year existence including that it wasn’t originally planned for that location.
The “Safety Proving Grounds of America,” which the Bandimere family said was intended to be a performance park and education center, initially was planned in 1956 to be built in West Denver, now the Arvada area.
But according to John Bandimere Jr., after the family got the permits and were about to break ground, the neighbors decided they didn’t want the speedway in their quiet neighborhood. So rather than fighting over it, the family relocated the plan to what is now in Morrison butted up against Hogback Mountain.
The Jefferson County location began construction in 1958 and according to the website, John Bandimere, Sr.’s vision of the property “included an oval track, drag strip, garages to teach youth about automotive repair and performance, and high-altitude testing facility for Detroit manufacturers.”
Bandimere family and racing community’s religious roots
The Bandimere family has religious roots that were part of its original intention for the speedway community it was creating. Bandimere said in a YouTube video on Friday, that his parents wanted to build “a place to share the love of Jesus in an unconventional environment – something they both loved to do.”
With increased development in the area, Bandimere said the family is “prepared to surrender the location it has called home for over six decades.”
Bandimere said, “This place has never been ours, but always God’s. Keeping that perspective over the years has given our family not only the honor to run a business with integrity and dedication, but also the realization to hold it lightly knowing more than likely that we wouldn’t have it forever.”
The speedway has come a long way since its initial build in 1958, including the implementation of the Compulink timing system. The system is the standard for all drag racing timing systems, which Bandimere, local racer Bob Brockmeyer, and facility manager Larry Crispe developed, the website said.
Bandimere said the family has been exploring options for new locations but has not made any decision, as of yet.