TWIN BRANCH, W.Va. — An estimated 1,000 people gathered near the border of Mingo and Logan counties at the newly laid Twin Branch Drag Strip for a sneak peek at the new facility Saturday afternoon, April 23.
The drag strip is located about 10 miles south of the Fountain Place Mall in Logan on U.S. Rt.119 and just north of Williamson in Mingo County.
Twin Branch is situated on “post-mine use” land, and Consol Energy has donated the use of the land as well as the labor, materials and equipment for construction of the drag strip.
Greg “Hootie” Smith, with the Mingo County Commission (MCC), noted the project is step toward economic diversification for the coalfields.
State Senator Art Kirkendoll commented, “We were lucky enough to have a company like Consol that had the foresight to be good neighbor and work with us.”
Smith added, “The [Mingo County] Redevelopment Authority is actively pursuing an operator and investor. Hopefully in the very near future there will be an announcement of an operator to run this …”
In all, the track is 3/8 of a mile; however, the racing will take place over 1/8 mile with the remaining length left for drivers to have space to safely stop.
The return path for drivers which doubles back over the entire length of the strip has also been paved.
While construction on the drag strip itself has been completed, the work in planning for the construction of the bleachers, concession and parking areas is still underway.
Consol has reportedly invested $2.5 million in the project so far, but It was estimated around $1 million remains to be spent in completion of the track’s facilities.
Kirkendoll noted the International Hot Rod Association will eventually be over seeing races in the area adding he hoped as many as 10,000 people would make the journey to Twin Branch to see professional racing.
Local politicians are hoping this will be a boost to the economy for both Mingo and Logan Counties.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]