Racing runs in the blood
Brock Beeter gears up for 15th season at Nodak Speedway, continuing a family tradition
Throwing on the helmet and tightening the buckles, Brock Beeter got comfortable. Seconds later the engine ignited and began to purr. Everything that was previously running through his mind quickly melted away.
Entering his 15th season of racing at Nodak Speedway, Beeter still relishes this moment of bliss.
The adrenaline rush, however, is no longer just for his own enjoyment. The responsibility to uphold a family tradition motivates Beeter to keep the pedal to the metal.
“It’s in my blood,” Beeter said. “My dad growing up never had the funding to race and always wanted to. He was around it and helped pit for everybody throughout the years. Once me and my brother were old enough, he did whatever it took. He gave my brother (Brandon Beeter) a car — built him one — and then when I got old enough, I got one. I’ve been racing ever since.”
The Beeter brothers raced head-to-head for the better part of a decade. The siblings from Minot didn’t hold anything back on their hometown track.
“It was a dream come true and everything we wanted it to be,” Brandon said. “We were each other’s biggest rivals and competitors. But, at the same time, we were each other’s biggest supporters.”
Brock, who started racing IMCA Hobby Stocks in 2006, won three straight Nodak Speedway track championships (2013-15) in the Hobby Stock class. He is also the only driver to win the Tougher than Dirt Tour series in both a Hobby Stock (2018) and a Sports Mod (2016).
The Tougher than Dirt Tour features five races in five nights across various dirt tracks in the region. Brock is showcasing the event — which was created with the help of Brandon — with a custom paint scheme on his Hobby Stock this season.
Well, technically, it’s not Brock’s Hobby Stock. Brandon owns the car.
“(Brandon) pays for quite a bit and I do all the work with maintenance and taking care of it,” said Brock, who plans on racing in both the Hobby Stocks and Sports Mod class full-time this summer.
Brandon added: “I’m more than happy to let my brother drive it. With my brother and I, there is no ‘his’ or ‘mine.’ There is no ownership, we are in this together. Everything is everybody’s. The same goes for everyone we accept into our circle.”
Having numerous sponsorships helps in the funding. Most notable is Brothers Construction, the family shop where Brock has worked his whole life. Getting out to the track offers an escape.
While racing gets extremely competitive, Brock views the sport as a hobby.
“You can take it seriously, but also make it fun and enjoyable,” he said. “I’m laid back and not like most people, I guess. Sure, I get mad once in a blue moon. But, my dad and mom taught me to just have fun. Brandon is the same way. He takes it with a grain of salt as well, being the president (of Nodak Speedway). He takes on a lot of crap and somehow still does it. I don’t know how.”
Brandon joined the Nodak Speedway board of directors in 2015, moved up to vice president in 2016 and became the president before the start of the 2017 season.
The two-time Hobby Stock track champion (2009, 2012) and Nodak Speedway 2012 Driver of the Year stepped out of the car to put more time into maintaining the race track with Brothers Construction and streaming the product live as the owner of DARN TV.
“I decided somebody from our family should get on the (Nodak Speedway) board of directors to help the race track,” Brandon said. “We had been doing this racing thing a long time and hadn’t really done our part to help the racing community. So, I took it upon myself.”
This came after tragedy struck the family in 2012. Brandon and Brock lost their mother, Bonnie, after a battle with brain and breast cancer. She was the photographer for the race track at the time and cherished following her sons through the lens of her camera.
Coping with the loss was difficult. The Beeters returned to the track a week after her death, unsure if they had made the right decision.
“That was the toughest night because it felt like we were cheating her,” Brock told the Minot Daily News back in 2013. “She wasn’t there and it felt like we were doing something behind her back. At the same time, I know she wants us to be here and wants us to race.”
Brock then rattled off his three consecutive track champions. He even narrowly beat Brandon by the hood of his car on Championship Night to win the 2013 Hobby Stock track title by a single point. The close finish prevented Brandon from winning back-to-back titles and his third track title overall.
But, there were no hard feelings.
“What a cool way to end the year,” Brandon said after the race. “That’s the biggest thing. We raced neck and neck all summer, side by side many times for feature wins. Why not come down to the championship side by side?”
While Brandon has temporally stored away his helmet to focus more on his duties as the Nodak Speedway president, Brock continues to hop behind the wheel. It’s an opportunity Brock is increasingly thankful for after realizing the sacrifices others have made around him to put him in that position to race on any given night.
“I’ve watched my brother, a volunteer who gets paid zero dollars and zero cents, and all these guys (working at the race track),” Brock said. “They make it possible for us. I see what they do. When I was younger, Brandon and I just came to race. We didn’t think much about it. Now, Brandon is on the other side, so naturally I get to see the other side.
“(Brandon) needs a lot more credit than he ever gets. He never gets to sit in this race car (anymore). Meanwhile, I get to put my life away, sit in there and clear my thoughts… Really, I look up to him.”
For now, Brock carries the family torch inside his brother’s car. He likely won’t have to hold onto it for much longer, as another Beeter is fast approaching in his rear-view mirror.
“I dream of racing with my son one day,” Brandon said. “My son is 11-years-old. So, yes, I have a dream that I’ll hang up the Nodak Speedway presidency before he starts racing. That way it will be him and I, and hopefully my brother. The three of us could race together as a family.”
Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.