With the racing world paused amid the COVID-19 outbreak, SPEED SPORT is highlighting race tracks around the United States. This is part of that ongoing series.
Track of the Day: Portsmouth Raceway Park
Address: 25648 SR 73, Portsmouth, OH 45663
History: Initially farm land, Portsmouth Raceway Park was built in 1990 by Boone Coleman and ran its first two races later that same year.
The track’s first full season was 1991. Big plans were in place for 1992, with the track’s first two-day show slated for the July 4th weekend. However, vandals destroyed the buildings and grandstand area the night before the races with a bulldozer that had been left on the property.
Despite the setback, the Coleman family was not deterred. Within two weeks the track was hosting racing again and hasn’t stopped since. The track was enlarged to its current three-eighths-mile configuration in 1999.
The patriarch of the Coleman family, Boone Coleman, died in early 2011. The Coleman family, led by Joyce Coleman, continues to operate the track. Tim Coleman, son of Boone and Joyce, serves as the track coordinator and track manager.
These days the track races weekly on Saturday nights and annually hosts a number of touring divisions, such as the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions and the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
The biggest event of the season is the Dirt Track World Championship. Celebrating its 40th anniversary on Oct. 15-17, the Dirt Track World Championship is sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
The inaugural Dirt Track World Championship was won by Jim Dunn in 1981, with drivers such as Freddy Smith, Billy Moyer, Donnie Moran, Steve Francis, Darrell Lanigan, Rick Eckert, Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Mars, Don O’Neal, Earl Pearson Jr., Jimmy Owens, Josh Richards and, most recently, Brandon Sheppard.