West Virginia’s All-New Dragstrip Needs An Operator

West Virginia's All-New Dragstrip Needs An Operator

The story of the Twin Branch Motorsports Complex — more recently referred to as Almost Heaven Motorsports Park — in the coal-mine country of West Virginia, has been thoroughly covered here on DRAGZINE, from its very foundational period all the away through its long-awaited and heavily-attended grand opening last fall.

Veteran promoter and track operator Pete Scalzo was intimately involved in the now-IHRA-sanctioned facility for many years, leading the charge against bureaucratic red-tape to get it operational and open to the public. That dream, some eight years in the making — a period during which the facility sat dormant nearly in finished form — came to fruition last fall, and the future appeared bright following an opener with so much public interest that traffic winded its way down the mining road all morning to get in. Scalzo, however, confirmed to DRAGZINE that unexpected events led him to relinquish his lease on the track in recent weeks.

With Scalzo’s exit, the Mingo County Redevelopment Commission, the local government organization that played a large part in the repurposing of the former coal mine land to create a dragstrip, has put out a public request for proposal (RFP) from parties interested in assuming the lease and taking the reigns of the virtually brand-new 1/8-mile that sits high atop the hills of the unincorporated mining community of Twin Branch. Scalzo, reiterating a comment he first made to DRAGZINE in 2017, says the county “has no interest in being in the business of running a racetrack,” but does desire the local tourism its existence can create, and the tax dollars that result from racers and spectators traveling to the area. As such, the county and Scalzo arrived at a very equitable lease agreement, one that he believes would allow another promoter to prosper in that position.

The Mingo County Redevelopment Commission will be accepting RFP’s through May 31, 2023. The specifics required of such proposals can be found outlined HERE.

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