HOLDEN — Logan County Senator Art Kirkendoll and the Logan County Commission are working together with the Mingo County Commission to get a racetrack built on the Logan-Mingo County border.
Sen. Art Kirkendoll said Tuesday morning that he has been working with the Logan and Mingo county commissions to get the Twin Branch Motorsports racetrack built on the Mingo County side of Holden Mountain.
“This is a project that will benefit all of southern West Virginia. It has the potential to bring in thousands of people to Logan and Mingo counties and even to Boone County and Pike County, Ky.,” Kirkendoll said. “I have worked closely with the Logan County Commission and the Mingo County Commission and we met with the highways people and the project is going to happen.”
The racetrack project has been in the works for years, but funding has never been secured. Now, though, Kirkendoll said the two counties have put together a funding package that will get matching funds from the state to build the track.
He said Mingo County will put in $300,000, Logan County will pay $200,000 and the state will pay $5 million to get the track finished. Mingo County will make three yearly payments of $100,000 each, while Logan County will make two payments of $75,000 and a final payment of $50,000 over three years.
The racetrack could host drag racing or sprint car racing and could create nearly 400 direct and indirect jobs in the coalfield region.
Kirkendoll said the racetrack is the next step in becoming a better tourist destination.
“We have people coming in here to ride the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. This would give people something to go and do on the weekends when they are here to ride the trails,” Kirkendoll said. “The racetrack will create so many opportunities for our areas and its effects will reach farther than just Logan and Mingo County. This will be big.”
Kirkendoll said it won’t be long before ground is broken on the racing complex. The construction contracts will be bid out by July 31.
The senator said he believes the racetrack could provide an big economic boost to the southern West Virginia region.
“The benefits this brings to southern West Virginia are so great,” Kirkendoll said. “This could be something that brings in not just hundreds of people, but thousands. Weekend races could cause hotels all over the area to be packed out. It has unlimited potential. People will now come here to ride the trails and then they can go watch a race on the weekends. It definitely will bring an economic boost and be a great tool for the tourism industry here in southern West Virginia.”
Efforts to get the racetrack built have been ongoing for nearly a decade, with several attempts to get it funded failing. Kirkendoll said working together with the two county commissions, he was able to get a meeting with the Department of Highways officials to get engines revving on the project.
“We’ve stepped our efforts up to get this project started,” Kirkendoll said. “This could bring millions of dollars to our area and I think it is vital to our tourism industry. We will have to build more hotels to house all the people this will bring here.”
The senator praised the hard work of Logan County Commission President Danny Godby, commissioners Willie Akers and Danny Ellis, and the Mingo County Commission to get the project started.
Kirkendoll said he believes that when other counties see how all the hard work has paid off, the racetrack will be the model for the rest of the state.
“All three of us got together and we made the commitment to see this project come to fruition,” Kirkendoll said. “We worked together and, hopefully, we’ll all be watching races there, soon.”
To contact Staff Writer Michael Browning, call 304-752-6950, extension 309, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.