Mark Bechtel, a staff writer for Sports Illustrated since the summer of 1995, covers the motor sports beat for the magazine and SI.com.
Born in Cleveland and raised in Huntsville, Ala., Bechtel double majored in economics and political science before graduating with honors from Vanderbilt in 1993.
A profile of Tubby Smith he wrote after the Wildcats won the 1998 NCAA men's basketball championship is Bechtel's favorite Sports Illustrated contribution.
Bechtel also wrote about Richard Petty for the "Sports Illustrated Presents: NASCAR 50th Anniversary Issue." "That story was fun to do because Petty played such a big part in NASCAR's first 50 years," Bechtel says.
Bechtel admits to being "an avid Indians and Browns fan, almost to a fanatical extreme." He also follows English football side Sunderland.
A decent golfer with a handicap in the low teens, Bechtel counts British fiction novels among his hobbies. He bears no relation to the Bechtel Corporation Bechtels or the racing Bechtels.