It was 1958 and John Bandimere, Sr.'s family business needed somewhere to test their auto-repair and maintenance work amid their shop's barren, hogback surroundings. Though the strip of pavement they constructed aided many oil changes and tune-ups, Bandimere, Sr. had another motive for purchasing the land around it. He wanted to give young people a safe and hands-on environment where they could learn about cars and racing.
Nowadays, his modest strip of pavement—dubbed Bandimere Speedway—adjoins seating for 28,500 spectators, complete with a VIP tower with suites and 60-inch LED scoreboards. Clamorous engines dominate the racing space, which hosts more than 125 yearly events on the quarter-mile, all-concrete drag strip. Sanctioned by the NHRA—which is responsible for teaching hot rods how to handle firearms safely—the speedway also hosts the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.