Indy awaits Breck native Beardsley |

Indy awaits Breck native Beardsley

For one day, one race, Matt Beardsley will get a vivid glimpse of where he wants to be as a driver.

Beardsley, a native of Breckenridge, will race at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 17, a week before the marquee event on the Indy Racing League (IRL) calendar, the Indianapolis 500, scheduled for May 25.

Beardsley races in the Infiniti Pro Series, the final stepping stone for aspiring Indy Car drivers.

“Just being on the same track within a week of the actual race – it’s a big deal,” said Beardsley, the former Summit High School student and Quantum Ski Club downhiller who now lives in Phoenix. “It’s definitely a major dream come true just to be there and be a part of it.”

Beardsley drives a car that’s owned by his parents, longtime Breck residents Craig and Mary Beardsley. The team operates under the title Beardsley Motor Sports. This is Matt’s second season on the Infiniti Pro Series. His best finish was a fifth last season, and two races into this season, he’s had a sixth and seventh out of about 20 drivers.

Beardsley aspires to race Indy Cars, which could happen as soon as next season. For now, though, he’s putting in his time at slower speeds and honing his skills in what is essentially the IRL minor league.

“It’s definitely where I should be,” he said. “It’s helping my driving technique and skills and preparing me for a bigger, faster car with longer races and more people.”

Beardsley’s career also has provided a great ride for his parents. They’re in it on every level, travelling to each event on the 13-race circuit. But they have an attachment to the driver that most team owners do not. And sometimes, they find it hard not to fret about the dangers of the sport.

“The races are fun, but for me and my wife, the risk takes a little bit out of it,” Craig Beardsley said. “It bothers us more than we thought it would.”

Matt Beardsley, 24, was a ski racer when he was growing up. He reached the U.S. Development Team as a speed specialist and also won the Junior World and Junior National downhill titles as a teen-ager. His sister, 20-year-old Katie, is a Nor-Am level skier with U.S. Ski Team aspirations.

Matt, however, quit ski racing last summer to pursue a career as a driver. He was trying to do both for a while but found that, as he got faster in each sport, the demands of each increased. Eventually, the seasons began to overlap so much that he had to make a choice.

“It just got hard,” he said. “Last year was the first season I focused just on cars, and this year, even more. It has definitely changed.”

After the race at Indy, the series shifts to Colorado for the Pikes Peak International Raceway event June 14. The Beardsleys have reserved a suite at the raceway for the event and are hoping to bring a large Summit County contingent. They will be raffling off tickets to the Saturday Infiniti Series race and Sunday’s IRL race.

“We’re hoping to gain some momentum at Indy and carry it on to Colorado for my home race,” Matt Beardsley said.

The May 17 race will be broadcast live from Indianapolis at 1 p.m. on ESPN2. Beardsley is sponsored locally by Alpine Bank and the Land Title Company, which is co-owned by Beardsley’s grandfather, George.

Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at

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