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.
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.’ `”
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 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.”
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.