A new life awaits the PENNSBORO SPEEDWAY.
Deep in rural West Virginia lies a disused racetrack that has been a safe haven for speed fanatics of all stripes for over 130 years.
In 1897, the oval sandy track was built as a horse racing track, consisting of grandstand, exhibition hall and horse boxes Visit Ritchie County.
Something that makes this course unique is the Bach Bunnell Run, which meanders through the middle of the course and requires the use of two bridges to complete the oval.
Through 1962, the site continued to host the Ritchie County Fair and its horse races, carnivals, exhibits, entertainment and competitions.
In the 1960s, a new breed of horsepower came to the track, and cars took over horses on the fabled oval.
The dirt track, renamed Pennsboro Speedway, was reportedly the site of the Hillbilly 100 as well as the Dirt Track World Championship, with eventual rewards for the winner reaching up to $50,000.
Thanks to the STARS Racing Series, various later model races, and a single ARCA Racing Series race in 1968, Pennsboro has also been the site of numerous stock cars.
Come in 2002 and the curtain for the track is Speak To WBOY 12Steve Davis of the Ritchie County Heritage Festival remarked, “This place was just as crowded at this (last) race as it was in 1981,” adding, “It brought a lot of people here from all over the country.”
The track has remained largely inactive since garnering national attention when it was featured in the 2021 Lost Speedways series by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Peacock.
Other tracks featured in the series include Texas World Speedway, Occoneechee Speedway and North Wilkesboro Speedway – which has since been reborn and hosted this year’s NASCAR All-Star race.
Since then, RaceTrack Revival has announced that they, along with XR Events and the Ritchie County Fairgrounds, plan to “tackle the dormant facility with a long-term plan to return to racing,” they say WBOY 12.
The plan is to prepare the track for racing again in 2024.
And while sadly little seems to remain of the original structures, the track’s history is secured, at least for the next generation.