Mountain State Motorsports Promotions
West Virginia Motor Speedway
Mineral Wells, WV
—official press release—
Mountain State Motorsports Promotions (MSMP), operators of the West Virginia Motor Speedway (WVMS) at Mineral Wells, WV have confirmed what race fans all over the eastern United States have been agonizing and speculating over for months.
The over-sized clay oval is scheduled for a facelift.
“We’ve made the decision to shorten the track,” said Brian Ferrell, MSMP’s Promoter.
The 5/8 mile oval originally opened to competition in 1984, still ranks as one of the nation’s finest dirt oval racing facilities. 2011 will mark the second year of operation under MSMP’s direction, and will mark a rebirth of sorts to the well known track.
The hard working promotional team worked non stop in 2010, bringing the idled facility back from a near premature death. Hosting nationally recognized racing series, such as the World of Outlaws, Lucas Oil Late Models, and All-Star sprint cars along with a special appearance by the Monster Jam Monster Trucks, the re-opening of the West Virginia Motor Speedway was greeted by a wide variety of motorsports fans.
“We measured the track, and although it’s advertised as a 5/8 mile, the existing track’s actually much longer than that, especially along the outside,” said Ferrell. “In the process of doing a study prior to making any decisions in regards to a proposed track size, consultants measured the speedway 10’ from the inside guardrail. What they found was a track that was even larger than advertised.”
“The track actually measures .680 mile around the bottom groove; .625 mile equals 5/8 mile, so the track is even bigger than anyone thought.”
Research showed that in the first couple of years, the inside guardrail was moved up entering the turns, effectively making the track larger.
“First of all, we (MSMP) were all fans long before we ever got into the promotional side of the business. We had always heard the desire of many racers and fans was to see a smaller track here. We feel that the change will make for more exciting and closer racing for all divisions without taking away from the great fan experience that has always been a part of WVMS,” Ferrell added.
The construction project will make use of local labor and talent in a construction project that will further benefit Mountain State trade students. Under a coordinated effort between Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College and West Virginia University at Parkersburg, students will work alongside professionals skilled in earth moving and construction.
“We see this as a win-win deal for everyone involved,” stated Ferrell. “The project will be one that involves local labor and trains area students, and the result will basically be brand new race track when everything is complete.”
The ‘new’ West Virginia Motor Speedway will be a true 4/10 mile oval, complete with wide straight-aways and sweeping turns. Overhead photographs indicate that the projected size will make ‘The Speedplant’ a slightly smaller version of Tony Stewart’s famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
“Everybody we’ve consulted with, or brought into work with on this project has been super. There is no doubt this track has a lot of fans, but the enthusiasm that everyone has shown for this move has been beyond our expectations.” Ferrell included that the scheduled ground breaking date is April 1, 2011. “We know from discussions with the pros that this project is a huge undertaking. It involves a lot more than just moving dirt. The lights, guardrails, electric, etc. all will require attention. Despite all this, they’ve ensured us that we’ll be ready for the Memorial Day opener.” Ferrell concluded.
The nationally known World of Outlaws Late Model Series will christen the new 4/10th mile clay oval, as the Memorial Day weekend will once again provide the backdrop for the wildly popular and annual Racefest weekend at West Virginia Motor Speedway.
The 2011 schedule for the ‘new’ West Virginia Motor Speedway will soon be finalized and ready for distribution. Race fans are encouraged to visit the track’s website @ www.wvspeedway.com for further details and news regarding the area’s finest entertainment showplace.