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Redevelopment Authority, drag strip promoter part ways

Bruce Justice (Mingo Messenger) April 28, 2023

The 2023 Twin Branch Drag racing schedule has been put on hold until a new promoter and operator can be contracted to conduct races at the mountaintop facility.

This latest development in the drag strip’s well-documented long and troubled history came about following a mutual

agreement made between the current promoter/operator and the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority that will effectively terminate his lease contract.

During her report to the board ofdirectors during the April 27 MCRA meeting, Executive Director Leasha Johnson said Pete Scalzo contacted her via a formal letter a week prior to thie meeting requesting that the lease agreement be terminated.

Johnson said that, although she had informed each board member by email following her receiving Scalzo’s request,

approval or disapproval of that request would have to be taken up and formally

decided as an action item during the April 27 regular meeting.

Johnson said Scalzo, who had been a drag strip owner and operator in Florida when he was contracted by the MCRA in 2018 to further develop and operate the racing facility, cited an inability to continue in his current capacity as the facility’s promoter/operator as reason for the termination.

In that formal letter sent to the MCRA on April 21, Scalzo mentioned “unforeseen management issues” as part of the reason he had requested the termination.

He said these management issues, along with failing health, had made him unable to fulfill the completed list of contractual “mandated requirements” before he fell into default with the lease agreement by March 3 of this year.

For further details, see the May 5 edition of the Mingo Messenger.


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