Dominion Raceway is scheduled to hold its first stock-car race April 9, nearly three years after Spotsylvania County approved the venue off Interstate 95 in Thornburg.

The $16 million project has been beset with delays, but owner Steve Britt told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the oval track and two-mile road course will be ready in March. Workers have paved the track and expect to start paving the road course next week.

The drag strip, which will likely be the raceway’s noisiest feature, is expected to be ready in the summer, General Manager Edwin Pardue said during a presentation to the supervisors.

Officials have scheduled 21 events at the oval track next year, he said, adding that they will announce a date for ticket sales soon.

“What we wanted to do for you tonight was to bring some pictures of facilities around the country that are like ours,” Pardue told the supervisors. “But we had a problem. There are no facilities around the country ... like the one we’re building in Spotsylvania County.”

Since the supervisors approved the project in May 2013, Britt said, workers have cleared 130 acres at the site, installed more than four miles of underground piping and transported 85-foot concrete light poles down I–95 from Northern Virginia.

A 36,000-square-foot building that will include a restaurant and bar is under construction, Britt said. Pardue said the plan is for that facility to be open at the first event.

Raceway officials say they expect to hold 200 events, including concerts and movie nights, next year. Pardue said the concerts will start in the spring, but that officials are still working on the calendar.

Supervisor Greg Cebula, whose Berkeley District includes the raceway, said he was impressed with the progress during a recent tour of the property.

“This racetrack is going to be a showcase not only for Virginia but for the United States and the racing community,” Cebula said. “This is really something that we’ve got here ... and I know it will be a great success.”

But some residents, particularly those who live near the raceway site, are worried about the noise and traffic the project will bring.

Joyce Ackerman, who was president of a now-defunct anti-raceway coalition, says she doesn’t think the project will be ready by next April. But when the venue does open, she said, she worries the roads won’t be able to handle the traffic from the raceway and all of the residential developments nearby. “I’ve gotten used to the thought of, oh my gosh, I won’t be able to leave home,” said Ackerman, who lives in an 18th-century home near Thornburg Middle School. She stressed that she doesn’t have any ill will toward raceway officials.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is planning road improvements at Exit 118 in Thornburg, including replacing the two-lane Mudd Tavern Road bridge over I–95. That $9.8 million project is expected to be finished in 2018.

In addition, raceway officials must extend an off-ramp at the exit and put a traffic light at the end of the ramp.

In other business, the supervisors on Tuesday approved a 179-foot cellphone tower at 9330 Elys Ford Road. Some residents had expressed opposition to the tower, but supporters say the cell service is badly needed in that part of the county. Supervisors Chris Yakabouski and Paul Trampe voted against the tower.

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402 jbranscome@freelancestar.com

​Jeff Branscome: 540.374-5402 

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