Portsmouth Raceway Park was once a camping ground for the Shawnee Indians and other tribes, but the white men came along and ran the Indians off the land. June 3, 1799 the town of Alexandria was plotted out. Eventually, many floods forced the white man from the land. During the years of 1813 and 1814, one by one the settlers moved to higher ground, settling in what is now Portsmouth. As the years passed, this abandoned area was converted into farmland.
Much later, in the 1970's, another white man by the name of Boone Coleman farmed this same land. Some people say he never was a farmer, just walked around in a straw hat and pretended he was. Anyway, Boone raised a lot of corn here. Rumor was, it went for livestock feed, but some say it was used to make a potent liquid for medical purposes. Now the plot unfolds and becomes very weird.
In the summer of 1990, Boone went a little off the deep end and brought in graders, bulldozers, and trucks and started tearing up the land. People asked, "Boone, what are you doing?" He replied, "My son, Tim, has a race car (mini sprint) and no place to practice!" Before long Boonie had quite a few bucks tied up, so he thought, "I'll put some seats in and try to recover a little of this green stuff."
Now the farmer turned contractor turned track owner was really lost; he had never watched a race, much less operated a track, so he called on an old friend who had fooled around racing for a number of years. Well, some say he just fooled around, but he came to Boone's assistance. We now have a farmer who can't farm and a guy who just fools around, but somehow they managed to build a beautiful racetrack for the drivers and fans' enjoyment.
Now to the serious side of racing!! PRP opened in the late fall of 1990 with only two races held that year. Our first full year of racing was 1991. In 1992 we were preparing for our first big "two day" show, which was to be held the 4th of July weekend. We had a lot of heavy equipment at the track making the last minute preparations. The night before the races, vandals took it upon themselves to start a D-9 dozer and demolish the buildings and grandstand area at PRP. The area was fogged in as it sets along the river and no one could see what was happening. When workmen arrived the following morning they were devastated to find everything gone. Building's were leveled, bleachers and restaurant equipment was destroyed. The whole area looked like a battlezone.
It took a lot of prayer, strength and courage to meet this situation head on, but with the help of the community, family and friends we began immediately to rebuild. Within two weeks we were open and ready to race again. This was a task that was taken on by so many devoted people who spent endless, hard working hours getting PRP back together again and for this we are truly appreciative.
As years went by we continued to increase seating, improve grounds and make PRP one of the nicest dirt racing facilities in the area.
In the fall of 1999 we decided to enlarge the track to 3/8 mile. A lot of work was done in 2000 and as we approach the 2014 season, we are looking at a tentative opening date in May 2014.
It is our intention to make PRP the finest, cleanest and the most family oriented racetrack in the the tri-state area. By your attendance you, the race fans, are the ones that help PRP enjoy the success that it has had.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND ENJOY THE 2014 RACING SEASON AT PORTSMOUTH RACEWAY PARK!
Facts About Portsmouth Raceway Park
Portsmouth Raceway Park in Portsmouth, Ohio is 1 mile West of Portsmouth off Rt. 52 & 73/104. It is a 3/8 mile clay high banked track with seating for over 10,000 spectators with additional seating of 300 in the pit area.
Regular Weekly Racing is held on Saturday nights with the following format: Late Models, Modified, Limited Late Models, and Bombers. Special racing events during 2013 will be 34th Annual DTWC. Others will be announced at a later date.
As stated above in the track history Portsmouth Raceway Park was built in 1990 and opened the same year with two races being held that year with full schedules being run since 1991. The track is owned and operated by Joyce Coleman, and Tim & Jenny Coleman. Tim, son of Boone and Joyce, is the track coordinator and track manager. Donna Rayburn is the track promoter. Advertising is with National Speed Sport News, and local news media in the tri-state area of Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. P.R.P. is fortunate to have people with many years of racing experience handling the main duties.
P.R.P. is situated on 100 acres, where the Scioto River empties into the Ohio River, a very picturesque setting in the Ohio River Valley. The Super 8 Motel, the Comfort Inn (PRP Race Headquarters) and AmeriStay are located on US 23 North from Portsmouth, the Days Inn and Comfort Inn Motels are located on US 52 East from Portsmouth, the Holiday Inn Hotel is located in downtown Portsmouth, and the Shawnee Lodge and Resort is located west of Portsmouth on SR 125, all within a few minutes of the track (See our 'Lodging' page for locations and phone numbers). Downtown Portsmouth has many retail stores and restaurants within five minutes of the track. Second Street in Portsmouth has over twenty antique shops, and Front Street in Portsmouth has a Mural Display depicting the early history of the Portsmouth area. Good fishing in the Ohio River and Scioto River at the south end of the parking area.
We'll see you all at PRP, 'the place to be', where Southern Hospitality Begins!!!
Portsmouth Raceway Park, Inc. P. O. Box 1543 Portsmouth, OH 45662 Track: (740) 354-FAST Office: (740) 858-6661 Fax: (740) 858-5251 Track Promoter: Donna Rayburn - Phone: 740-821-1161 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
25648 State Route 73, West Portsmouth, OH 45663
Located 1 mile West of Portsmouth, Ohio on SR 73/104
(Directions: Take US 52 West from Portsmouth and follow the signs.
Take the 2nd St. Bridge out of Portsmouth, turn right at the end of the bridge.)