BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Aug. 25, 2004) - Groundbreaking took place on Tuesday at the Brownsburg, Ind., site where Don Schumacher Racing will build a 100,000-sq. ft., $5 million facility to house its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series racing teams, set for...
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Aug. 25, 2004) - Groundbreaking took place on Tuesday at the Brownsburg, Ind., site where Don Schumacher Racing will build a 100,000-sq. ft., $5 million facility to house its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series racing teams, set for completion in February 2005 by Acme Buildings, Inc., of Indianapolis.
Plans call for the Don Schumacher Racing operation to occupy 70,000 sq. ft. of the L-shaped building, with the remaining 30,000 sq. ft. slated for six 5,000-sq. ft. tenant suites. The approximately 15-and-a-half-acre site is located along Northfield Drive in Brownsburg, just three miles west of Indianapolis Raceway Park.
"My organization has grown drastically since I came back into the sport in September of 1998 to what it is today," said team owner Don Schumacher, who currently fields three Funny Cars, one Top Fuel dragster, one Pro Stock car and two Pro Stock bikes, "and with the upcoming addition of another Pro Stock team to the operation, we needed to move into a new facility from the 32,000 sq. ft. that we currently occupy in Indianapolis. Because we also lease space in Indianapolis beyond the 32,000 sq. ft., it's important for us to move into a structure that's capable of housing my present operation and has enough room for future growth.
"I'm excited to be able to expand into this new facility," he added. "It's amazing how the growth in popularity of the sport of NHRA drag racing has been able to allow team owners to invest in facilities of this size.
"It allows me to put the technology, equipment and people in one structure that will allow them to work together," said the 1970 U.S. Nationals Funny Car champion. "It's really imperative to my operation to be able to expand into this kind of space and have it be a brand-new building with first-class equipment in it."
Frank Burdick, president of Acme Buildings, Inc., expressed his excitement in the project: "From our past relationship with Don Schumacher Racing we have witnessed first-hand the huge strides Don and his entire team have made in bringing NHRA to the forefront of the motorsports industry. We truly feel honored that Don has provided Acme Buildings, Inc., the opportunity to be part of his team and look forward to our continuing partnership."
The new building will have room for 14 18-wheel transporters, engine shops for Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Bike, a full fabrication shop, a full machine shop, plus all of the Don Schumacher Racing administrative offices, conference facilities, fitness and break rooms.
"What will make the shop unique from many other shops is that all of the teams will work in the shop right out of the 18-wheelers as if they were at the track," said Mike Lewis, Executive Vice President of Don Schumacher Racing. "They'll work in the shop the same as at the track. Everything will be at their fingertips, regardless of whether they're in Seattle or Brownsburg."
"The new facility will house the current teams we are campaigning," added Schumacher, whose Schumacher Electric is based in Mt. Prospect, Ill. "We hope to expand to a second Top Fuel dragster, and hopefully we will add a third Pro Stock car to the organization. All of these teams will be housed in this facility along with all of our hospitality, tech trailers and other equipment that is necessary to function in this sport."
Working with the local Brownsburg community has been a breeze, according to Schumacher. "The community has been wonderful to work with," he commented. "They're excited to have racing operations locate in their community and they're assisting us in many, many ways to get this project started and they will continue to assist us in getting it done."
The tenant suites all front Northfield Drive and have been designed for race teams, fabrication and machine shops, and light industry. "They're perfect for race teams," said Lewis. "Each suite is 36 ft. wide and 140 ft. long, which means any race team with any kind of car, including a Top Fuel dragster, can back the entire hauler inside the shop and offload with the doors closed. We'll lease multiple suites or all 30,000 sq. ft., finished to tenant specifications.
The current Don Schumacher Racing shop is up for sale by Meridian Real Estate of Indianapolis. Developed by Sonny Meyer, upgraded by George Bignotti for Patrick Racing, then sold to Ganassi Racing, the building produced Indy 500 winners, such as Gordon Johncock and Juan Pablo Montoya, before Don Schumacher bought it in 2000.
With five team drivers in top-three points positions in three NHRA categories at this point in the 2004 NHRA season, Schumacher hopes to add one or more NHRA POWERade championships to the building's heritage before moving to Brownsburg in February.