Hill plans to return Clay Valley Speedway to asphalt

Kevin Mays • Jul 5, 2020 at 4:30 PM

COEBURN — Auto racing is coming back to Southwest Virginia.

At least that’s the plan.

Bobby Hill, operator of Clay Valley Speedway, said the facility — which had a short stint as a dirt track last year — will convert back to an asphalt oval for some limited racing action starting in August.

“That’s the plan as of right now,” Hill said. “We hope to be ready in time to start it then.”

Hill is also exploring the possibility of renaming the track Lonesome Pine Raceway.

The half-mile oval originally opened in the 1970s and has since seen periods of operating and then dormancy under different owners.

Hill took over the track after it closed in 2017. In 2019, he converted the asphalt surface to dirt and rebranded it as Clay Valley Speedway — and the season was a rough one.

“It was tough and it was hard to get a good field of cars,” Hill said. “Then we had six rainouts in a row. It was just tough to get it going.”

The operating expense also proved to be cost-prohibitive.

“Operating any kind of race track can be expensive,” he said. “But an asphalt track is a little more affordable.”

Hill does not anticipate problems in adhering to restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We should have plenty of room for social distancing with 5,800 seats,” Hill said.

Plans call for the running of Limited Late Models, Pure Street, Pure 4 and Mod 4 divisions. An initial drivers meeting is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at the track.

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