Big Show in the Little Town

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Posted Sun, Aug 11, 2019

IT’S GOOD TO BE THE KING: Dirt track racer Joe Bellm (left) is a familiar figure in the Winner’s Circle to dirt racing fans. [Photo: Logan Link]

DENVER — With dirt and motor oil coursing through his veins, dirt track racer Joe Bellm, the founder and promoter for Blood Sweat and Tears Promotions (BST), has transformed turning left into a way of life for him and his family.

Bellm started driving at an age most of us were learning to count. At the age of 15, he started racing at Colorado National Speedway.

SOLACE OF DIRT RACING

As the Colorado native reflects back on his racing career, he thinks about everything he has accomplished. “It’s a way for me to not wear orange,” Bellm explains, quickly followed by, “It’s my release from everything, it helps keep me sane.” While it may seem crazy, it makes sense. Everyone has a release, and it could be anything from drinking to running, but for Bellm, he has found his solace in a place very few ever would — on a “circle of dirt.”

“When the green flag drops, everything just goes away,” Bellm says. “Politics, work, stress, relationships — everything.”

IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR: Joe Bellm celebrates with daughters Payton and Layne. [Photo: Logan Link]

While Bellm has spent most of his career racing on dirt, he was able to achieve success and personal feats while racing on asphalt. Bellm won the NASCAR Winston Regional in 1998. After a couple more years of success on asphalt, Bellm started the process of creating an Indy car racing team. While building the team, and acquiring sponsorships, the unfortunate and tragic events of 9/11 happened.

POST 911 RACING

“After 9/11 the world stopped, and all the sponsors we were hoping to acquire for the team backed out,” Bellm says.

After his great run on the asphalt with NASCAR, and a brief stint on the Indy car series, Bellm decided to come home and start BTS promotions in 2002 to help resurrect dirt track racing in Colorado. Even though Colorado isn’t the biggest racing state, Bellm realized it needed a “Shot in the arm” in order to keep racing alive. In order to increase participation, Bellm helped his Uncle Butch promote his race track, I-76 Speedway in Ft. Morgan, Colorado. He also took over Phillips County Raceway in Holyoke, Colorado. Five years ago, Bellm took over the promotion of El Paso County Raceway bringing his track total up to three dirt speedways.

SPEED RACER: “Dirt is where the passion is, it’s more exciting, more action, more challenging and more fun.” — Joe Bellm [Photo: Logan Link]

SMALLER IS BETTER

Bellm is optimistic about the future of BST promotions. “The sport is growing, not rapidly but it is growing,” Bellm says. He attributes a good amount of this growth to new classes of cars that are smaller and aimed at youth participation. “We didn’t have these classes when I was racing, so you had to wait until you were 16 to drive,” Bellm says. “With these smaller cars and smaller divisions, youth participation is way up because the kids can drive sooner.”

“NASCAR racers such as Tony Stewart, Kenny Wallace and Kyle Larson are coming back to dirt track racing. They’re returning to their roots, and they’re bringing exposure with them,” Bellm says. “Dirt is where the passion is, it’s more exciting, more action, more challenging and more fun.”

Bellm plans to continue promoting dirt track racing across Colorado with the help of his two daughters Payton and Layne. He wants to keep it alive and growing while teaching youth drivers valuable lessons about hard work, never quitting and believe in yourself. Joe Bellm will always stay true to himself and BST Promotions will continue to ‘Bring the ‘Big Show’ to the little town.”

 

 

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