Originally published July 11, 2013.
Scott Daniels, of Huntington, loved drag racing so much that he decided to buy a dragway.
Last December, along with his wife, Dawn, and business partner Mark Krumanaker, he purchased the Muncie Dragway, in Albany.
"It was just a business opportunity that we saw between myself, my wife and our partner, and we decided to do it," says Daniels, who also owns Daniels Automotive, in Huntington.
The racing venue had been on the trio's radar a year earlier, but another buyer beat them to the punch.
However, when the dragway became available again, they jumped at the chance to acquire it.
Daniels and Co. officially became the owners in January, with he and wife assuming responsibility for the dragway's day-to-day operation.
The dragway employs 12 people, with Dawn Daniels serving as its secretary and bookkeeper.
Drag racing has long been a family affair for the Daniels. A drag racer for 25 years, Daniels introduced his children, Justin and Kayleigh, to the sport and watched them go from racing junior dragsters to the full-size variety. With his wife also a fan of drag racing, it was important to Daniels that Muncie Dragway be a family-friendly place.
"When mom and dad come, they can bring their kids and they're not going to be like, ‘Well, this isn't a place for a kid,' he says.
Daniels cites the facility's playground as one of the ways families are accommodated and adds that children-centered events, like "a big-wheel race during intermission," will be offered at the dragway next year.
"That's our big thing," he says, "is we're family-oriented."
While that direction may be new for the dragway, Daniels says that other aspects of the operation remain unchanged.
"We run the same programs as far as our racing schedule - we race every Wednesday, every Saturday, nine Fridays and three Sundays throughout the whole year," he states.
And Daniels is just as enthusiastic about catering to other groups as he is to families.
The dragway's "Fast & Furious Fridays," for example, which take place once a month, draws a younger crowd, he says.
"We have a boom box contest, a burnout contest, several different other races going on that night," Daniels notes. "That brings in a lot of the younger generation. They bring cars with their stereos; they get paid. And it's all crowd participation. We don't judge it as the owners, we let the crowd judge. It's really neat."
When it comes to dragway ownership, Daniels has been most surprised by the sheer amount of work.
"It's not just, open the gates, mow the lawn and spray the racetrack for the racers," he says. "There's constant maintenance. Constant upgrades, upkeep. I could be there five days a week, even though I have a full-time employee."
Another thing Daniels has worked at, along with his marketing director, is finding sponsors for the dragway.
"No phone calls. Went door-to-door. Met the people," he says of their advertising approach.
And it's an approach that's paid off.
"We've got a lot of sponsors," Daniels says. "We're at over 150 sponsors this year, which is some of the highest amounts in Muncie Dragway history."
Daniels looks forward to the rest of the events the dragway has to offer this year, especially one toward the end of the summer.
"Aug. 3 is our biggest night," he enthuses. "It's called ‘Night of Fire.' We're the only track in the state of Indiana that puts on an event to this caliber. We have jet cars, jet semis, wheel-standers. Lots of exhibition shows.
"We'll have 5,000-6,000 spectators there that night."
Daniels also looks forward to jumping in a car himself.
"The bad thing for me, and what I miss the most, is I quit drag racing this year," he shares. "I let one of my service techs drive my personal car, because I want to be overseeing the whole aspect of the racing operation. I don't want to be racing and there be a problem and then people say, ‘Well, look, the owner (doesn't) care. He's out there on the racetrack.'"
For Daniels, though, someone whose passion for drag racing led him to buy an actual dragway, he guarantees he'll be back behind a wheel next year.
"I've always drag raced," he says. "I love it."
Muncie Dragway is located at 7901 Indiana 28, Albany. For more information, visit www.munciedragway.com  or call 765-789-8470.