Family Of Longtime Owner Places Indiana Dragstrip On The Market

Brown County Dragway is a 1/8-mile, 46-acre dragstrip located approximately 50 miles south of Indianapolis, on rural wooded land near Bean Blossom, Indiana. The track has been in operation since 1963 and has been in one family’s ownership and operation since the early ’80s. Of that family, Sandy Fields purchased ownership from her brother back in the early 1990s.

“Bean Blossom,” as many racers affectionately refer to it, has wooded and remote surroundings that offer 120 reserved entrant parking spots available, plus 20- to 30-acres of general parking space.

Field’s daughter, Bandy Russell, recently announced on Facebook that “Brown County Dragway is currently for sale and we are actively looking for someone to take the facility to its future potential.” We reached out to Bandy for details.

“We have lost a lot of friends of the track this year, including Sandy,” says Russell. “Since I made the announcement, I’ve had so many phone calls related to stories such as grandparents bringing racers there as a child, and ‘now I bring my kids down there.’ `”

Sandy Fields was the larger-than-life person who has been the sole owner of Brown County Dragway for over three decades. With her passing this past year, many racers, friends, and fans recite countless stories of how she perpetuated a family atmosphere of racing every weekend.

Russell’s stories flowed easily, talking about the “family” of racers that her mother enjoyed over the years. “It has never had the atmosphere of typical cut-throat bracket racing competition. If someone needed a part, five people would come up and offer theirs. Our race day was as much about the gathering as it was about the racing.”

Asked if the track will open for the 2022 season if a purchase agreement is not reached, Russell answered, “Those conversations haven’t happened to this point.”

The business currently offers limited grandstands plus ample hillside viewing opportunities from the terraced pit area that runs parallel with the track. In the recent season, “Bean Blossom,” as area racers refer to it, offered programs from bracket racing, to small-tire heads-up competition, to car show days.

The track has a partially over-the-track timing tower equipped with a Port-A-Tree timing system. Russell adds that the sale includes all related operating equipment and some maintenance machinery.

We asked Russell if a buyer could build a home on the property as to dedicate their efforts to the track similar to her mother. She commented, “There was once a house on the property, so there should not be a problem, but that is something I would check into first.”

As someone who spent their youth selling 50/50 tickets and working various job descriptions at Brown County Dragway, Russell finished, "In my heart, I hope for this track's racing family, that someone will be able to keep it going."

Our discussion turned back to Sandy Fields, sparking many more heartfelt comments, such as how she could stroll down the track and recall each small guardrail dent and the racer’s story behind it. She was also known for being a “one-person multitasker” in the tower, handling the timing system, announcing, and taking buyback monies, all at once.

Sandy Fields always referred to an old native American who frequented the track that referred to fellow racers as Chuka achufa — translated, this meant ‘chosen family’ in his language. Fields said that he felt that you couldn’t choose who your blood family is, but he explained how the Brown County competitors were family nonetheless, because they decided to be.

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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