Ona Speedway Lives On, Continues To Bring Families, Friends Together


On this West Virginia Morning, we visit the small town of Ona, West Virginia to learn about the Ona Speedway racetrack. We also hear from high school students in Fayette County, and we hear a conversation on higher education challenges in the state.

On last night’s episode of The Legislature Today, host Suzanne Higgins spoke with Interim Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission and Chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker.

The two discussed how state-allocated funding for higher education institutions has remained unchanged during this legislative session. And in this excerpt, taped live at the Capitol, they discuss bills the Chancellor is watching as the session draws to a close.

As part of a storytelling mentoring initiative with West Virginia Public Broadcasting, members of our newsroom have been meeting with high school students at the Fayette Institute of Technology. Students there have been exploring issues important to them, including the constantly asked questions they get about what they plan to do after school. They recorded interviews with their peers about how this question makes them feel.  

Those were the voices of high school students in Fayette County: Jack Ellis, Courtney Casey, Kaylee Whitlow, Rose Gayheart, Preston Gilbert, Kirsten Williams, Dylan Buckland, and Chase Dixon. That story was reported and produced by the Fayette Institute of Technology Media Class students Ashton Huffman, Timothy Ellison, Dayton Copeland and Stormie Surface. They are learning radio storytelling through a project with Inside Appalachia. We’ll be hearing more of their work later this year.

In the early 1960s, short-track racing put Ona, West Virginia on the map. As West Virginia’s first and only oval asphalt racetrack, the Ona Speedway has been at the epicenter of regional racing culture. The road has been bumpy at times, and the track has survived its fair share of challenges and changes. Yet what hasn’t changed is that year after year, many families return to race, watch and impart their hard-earned wisdom to the community’s upcoming generations of drivers. Reporter Lexi Browning recently spent some time with one of those families, the Siglers, and brings us this story.  

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.