After Almost Eight Years, Mid America Dragway Is Alive Again

It was reported here on Dragzine just seven months ago that Kansas’ Mid America Dragway was undergoing a major renovation after new owners Jim and Marcia Maybrier, along with Chris and Jasmine Maybrier, decided to bring back the track after some years of operating under neglect and ultimately sitting closed for almost eight years.

The Maybrier families took advantage of the opportunity to do something no one else had ever done; to purchase the land underneath the track. This allowed for major improvements to go into the property without the fear of investing over leased land.

When we spoke to Chris Maybrier back in February, the plans to get the track operational were conservative with the intention for constant improvements with time. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

“Even with our racing background, we thought we had an idea for our budget,” Maybrier confided. “This is a far greater project than we had ever anticipated. One perfect example is the large aluminum grandstands we purchased from a football stadium a while back. After we bought them, the stadium did not unbolt them as expected. They used saws to chop them apart which made for double the work to rebuild them correctly.”

Photos courtesy Tom Ross

As work was underway, the new owners realized that there was far more disrepair that was covered up by previous leaseholders. Maybrier explained, “When we rebuilt things, we fixed them right. This is our business for the long haul and we wanted everyone to see that on opening day.”

The goal had been for a grand re-opening in mid-summer of 2018. The slow progress by various contractors was a frustrating point you could hear in Chris’ voice as he described all the efforts that went into the facility. “The concrete guys came through and were totally awesome, but some of the welding and building contractors caused some sleepless nights.”

For the tower and other buildings at the new track, if it couldn’t be appropriately rebuilt, new structures were erected. Chris says, “We actually spent almost double our originally planned budget to rebuild the track. That stretched dad (Jim Maybrier) and me pretty thin. Now that we have achieved our opening weekend, we do not regret any of the extra effort put into the track.”

The grand opening took place on September 21 with a day of nostalgia-oriented racing that made all of the construction stress disappear for the Maybriers. As the grand opening images depict, racers and spectators alike packed the track.

“At the last minute, we purchased some unique grandstands for the other side of the track that feature stadium seating,” Chris continues. “We just couldn’t believe how many people complimented us on the grandstands; we were pretty packed.”

Obviously, from the positive comments on the Mid America Raceway Facebook page and the grand opening YouTube video, their work has paid off. “We were determined to build the most impressive and clean restroom facilities and earn the reputation for the best concession stand around as far as good food at excellent prices. At one point on opening night, our family had people lined up to compliment us on what we have accomplished.”

Seeing the grand opening photos, we asked Chris how they intend to keep that passion for the track going. He answers: “We won’t let the enthusiasm shown for the track subside.”

Chris Maybrier finishes, “We have a long list of ideas. We hope to work with other tracks in the greater area to put together some series events and special events on our own.”

About the author

Todd Silvey

Todd has been a hardcore drag racing journalist since 1987. He is constantly on both sides of the guardwall from racing photography and editorship to drag racing cars of every shape and class.
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