MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) — Ten years ago, a promise was made to bring a drag-racing track to Mingo County, but many in the community say, after a while, they lost hope believing it would never come to fruition.

“It was one of those things that we became very discouraged about it. We have the travel three hours to bristol and it’s another three hours to another local track,” said PJ Lawrence, amateur racer and semi-pro drifter from Mingo County.

However, there is a light at the end of the road. The drag racing track is not quite finished but it did have a soft opening over the weekend bringing in more than 3,000 people and many were local racers.

Tom Wilson, the promoter of the racetrack said the strip is open for everyone of all ages and is designed to be family-friendly. PJ Lawrence said having this in their backyard finally gives them a place to race in the area.

“In southern West Virginia, everybody has a racecar, we just had no place to take them,” Lawrence said Monday after running a practice race.

Wilson also said large turnouts, like they had this past weekend, are what will boost the local economy, bringing in foot traffic for local businesses.

As for the track’s name, Wilson says it practically named itself. “This is almost heaven. So, I’ve decided to go with the Almost Heaven Motorsports Park,” Wilson said.

In addition to drag racing, Wilson also says on down the road they also hope to open a dirt track to offer nighttime entertainment for people traveling to visit the local Hatfield and McCoy trails.

The next event for this season will be this upcoming weekend starting Oct. 29, 2022.