Trackside NEWS 2017
April 2nd 2016
March 3rd 2016
Congratulations and well deserved to our very own Beck Bechtelheimer, being inducted to the Colorado Motorsports Hall Of Fame 2017 recipient the Jerry Van Dyke Award Racing has been a nearly life long passion for M. L. “Beck” Bechtelheimer, just “Beck” to all who knew him, friends and business relationships. Having lived in Colorado Springs for more than 70 years, his professional career was sales. He spent a number of years in retail sales selling appliances, electronics and furniture. He then went to work for Woolco Dept. Stores moving from sales to department manager and on to regional supervisor for the appliance and electronic departments in Woolco Stores in a 4 state area. Then his sales experience put him into multiple state wholesaling in the tourist trade market until his retirement. “Beck's attachment to auto racing began as a spectator at a small paved oval east of Colorado Springs. Pikes Peak Speedway was host to the old favorite 5 window coupes of the 1930's plus a collection of other revamped stock cars. That track closed in the late 1950s A new promoter entered the local racing scene and “Beck” was asked to be a racing judge at the reopening of Pikes Peak Speedway in 1962. He was thrilled at being able to watch the races from the best seat in the stadium and helping management to know who finished where for the nights payout. But one night in the middle of the season the track owner came to the announce booth inquiring as to where the announcer was, it was time for the anthem. No one had an answer, so the microphone was slid under “Beck;s” nose and was told ,YOU DO IT! Now announcing was the last thing he had in mind. He did not have driver profiles or sponsor info or anything other that what he had learned from the few races he had judged. But “Beck” wrapped his hand around that mike and with a very nervous and timid voice he began to speak. Now more than fifty years later and hundreds and hundred of races and literally thousands of introductions, Beck still has his hand wrapped around a microphone as he gives play by play and lap by lap coverage to the delight of drivers and fans alike. This has been his focus and passion at a race track in southern Colorado. Pikes Peak Speedway from 1962-1976, Colorado Springs International Speedway from 1977 until its closure in 1985, Beacon Hill Speedway from 1970 to 1995, at which time He thought he might retire. But Wait! There is another form of racing in “Beck's” career. Hill Climbing. He started his 39 year career doing color for Bill Finch at KVOR. And he remained on the “Climb to the Clouds” for nearly 4 decades. Now is it time to call it quits. No. A phone call from Alan Davis , the son of a race car driver at P.P. Speedway was calling, wanting an announcer for his new racing plans for El Paso County Speedway at the County Fairgrounds. He also thought he might obtain some advice and track knowledge from someone with a lot of race track experience. He jumped at the opportunity. This gig lasted 8 years. Through 2014. Then a new promoter received the contract for the Fairgrounds. Ah, finally, retirement. Not so fast! Another phone call from I-25 Speedway (used to be Beacon Hill Speedway). A new promoter was taking control of the Nascar Home Track. Remember he had retired from Beacon Hill over twenty years before this phone call. He was asked if he would be interested in returning to the southern Colorado Track to help in bringing racing interest back to the old Beacon Hill but the new Nascar I-25 racetrack. Surprised, humbled and somewhat confused on what was happening he asked when do you need me? “Beck is looking forward to the 2017 racing season as their announcer Over the last 50+ plus years he has done lap by lap coverage for drag racing, mud drags, motocross,off road and oval racing, hill climbing and he was teamed up with Hall of Fame recipient Jerry Vandyke as they covered the inaugural races at PPIR.
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