EAST WILLIAMSON – Leasha Johnson, executive director of the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority, said she is “cautiously optimistic” about the spring opening of the Twin Branch Drag Strip.
The MCRA has been working with the Division of Natural Resources and Division of Environmental Protection about use of the access road from U.S. 119 to the mountaintop site of the drag strip.
Johnson has been in contact w
ith those entities about reaching some sort of agreement for the use of the road that’s consistent with each agencies’ regulatory requirements. The Twin Branch Drag Strip is located in Mingo County, about halfway between Williamson and Logan.
Johnson said she has emphasized the economic impact the race track would have for southern West Virginia and hopes that will help influence any decision on the use of the access road. The MCRA hopes the drag strip can open in the spring of 2019.
Pete Scalzo, who has agreed to operate the facility, recently installed bleachers along the drag strip. Plans for the 1/8-mile drag strip are in the works; however, there are still a couple of hurdles that must be jumped before it comes to fruition.
Scalzo, a developer from Sarasota, Florida, has been working with the MCRA for the last year. Scalzo has owned and operated four drag strips which have been sanctioned by the International Hot Rod Association. He expects to hold sanctioned events at the Mingo County track once it is up and running.