The Pennsboro Speedway on the Ritchie County Fairgrounds is rich with history of fairs, family fun and racing. The current Pennsboro Speedway board of directors are on the right track to put the raceway back on the map.
“Well our goal is to get this facility back up, get this track running,” Ronnie Dodd, Pennsboro Speedway Board of Directors President, said. “People from all over West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland will come here and throughout the United States. Our goal is to get it back up and running again.”
The West Virginia staple went up for sale in 2010 under its previous owners, but after a court injunction filed by members of the Ritchie County community, the sale was halted in March of 2014 when it came under new ownership and was given back to the taxpayers. Many of the taxpayers taking care of the Ritchie County Fairgrounds are over 50 years old.
“It’s in your blood,” Diane Cox, one of the constant volunteers, said. “It’s just a part of your life, you grew up with it. People would come every year, that was what they looked forward to, coming to the fair, coming to the races and it was affordable. That’s what we want for here. We want the people back.”
Bringing the people back may be easier said than done at the moment. Residents volunteer their time and equipment to help rebuild the fairgrounds. On any given day, there are 20-30 volunteers on hand. One difficulty they face is the weather. The rain and wind set back the progress the volunteers make. Despite the adversity, they are helping make the Pennsboro Speedway a national landmark and bring back the magic it had.
“It’s probably because the racing that went on here they have come here from all over the United States,” Dodd said. “there were 26 states represented here. There were a lot of good times here over the years. I don’t care where you go in the United States, they’ll know where the Pennsboro Speedway is.”
“It’s part of the family,” Cox said. “This is blessed ground. This is generations and generations of people that have had their families here. We just want everyone to come home.”
The Fairgrounds will be holding events throughout the summer. You can support the Pennsboro Speedway project and get daily updates on their Facebook Page, Rebuild Pennsboro Speedway and Ritchie County Fairgrounds, and website, http://ritchiecountyfairgrounds.org/.