Heartland Park Topeka announced Tuesday that Todd Stephens has been hired as general manager and vice president of facility and operations.
Stephens will oversee the day-to-day operations of the 650-acre multi-use facility in Topeka, which was added back onto the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule last month.
“I can’t tell you how excited my family and I are to start this next chapter in our lives,” Stephens said in a statement from Heartland Park. “Drag racing is our passion and operating a national-event facility has always been a goal of mine. Having that opportunity at Heartland Park Topeka is a dream come true.”
Stephens has worked in the drag-racing industry for more than four decades. He and his family built and co-won the Thunder Valley Dragway in Noble, Okla.
Stephens and his family also used to own and operate the Paris (Texas) Drag Strip.
Heartland Park also runs several developmental and regional NHRA races on its drag strip. The facility also includes a 3/8-mile dirt track, road/off-road race courses, campgrounds and several hundred undeveloped acres.
Monopoly Acquisitions LLC in Raytown, which is owned by Chris Payne and Todd Crossley, purchased Heartland Park in December after it sat dormant for most of 2015.
“Finding someone with Stephens’ experience, knowledge of all forms of racing and relationships in the motorsports world is just the next big step to bringing Heartland Park Topeka back to its full potential,” Payne and Crossley said in a statement.
NHRA Kansas Nationals will return to Heartland Park, which was built in 1989, for a 28th consecutive year May 20-22.