The history of Portsmouth Raceway Park


Portsmouth Raceway Park

Portsmouth Raceway Park

Portsmouth Raceway Park (PRP) was once a camping ground for the Shawnee Indians and other tribes.

On June 3, 1799 the town Alexandria was plotted out. Eventually, many floods forced the people from the land. During the years 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.

In the 1970’s, Boone Coleman farmed this same land.

During the summer of 1990, Boone brought in graders, bulldozers, 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 bit of money put into the project, so he thought, “I’ll put some seats in and try to recover a little of this green stuff (money).”

Now the farmer turned contractor turned track owner, called on an old friend who had fooled around racing for a number of years. The friend came to Boone’s assistance, they managed to build a beautiful racetrack for the drivers and fans’s enjoyment.

PRP opened in the late fall of 1990 with only two races that year, with the first full year of racing in 1991.

In 1992 crews of workers were preparing for a big “two day” show, which was to be held the 4th of July weekend. A lot of heavy machinery was brought to the track to make last minute preparations.

The night before the races were to start vandals used a dozer, to demolish the buildings and grandstand area. That night, 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 destroyed. The area was described to have looked similar to a battle zone.

It took a lot of prayer, strength and courage to meet this situation head on, help of the community, family and friends, PRP was rebuilt. Within two weeks of the incident PRP was open and ready to race again.

As the years went by various improvement were made at PRP, such as increased seating, improvements to the grounds and make PRP one of the nicest dirt racing facilities in the area. In the fall of 1999 the track around PRP was enlarged to 3/8 mile.

Officials with PRP have a goal of making it one of the finest, cleanest and most family oriented racetrack in the tri-state area. By your attendance you, the race fans, are the ones that help PRP enjoy the success that it has had.

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