Dover International Speedway
Dover International Speedway (formerly Dover Downs International Speedway) is a race track in Dover, Delaware, United States. Since opening in 1969, it has held at least two NASCAR races each year. In addition to NASCAR, the track also hosted USAC and the Indy Racing League. The track features one layout, a 1 mile (1.6 km) concrete oval, with 24° banking in the turns and 9° banking on the straights. The speedway is owned and operated by Dover Motorsports.
|"The Monster Mile"|
|Location||1131 North Dupont Highway, |
Dover, Delaware, 19901
|Time zone||UTC−5 / −4 (DST)|
|Capacity||85,000 - 95,500 (depending on configuration)|
|Former names||Dover Downs Int'l Speedway|
|Major events||Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series|
Gander RV 400
Drydene 400 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
General Tire 125
|Length||1 mi (1.6 km)|
|Race lap record||19.711 seconds (182.639 mph / 293.929 kmh) (Mark Dismore, Kelley Racing (Dallara+Aurora+Firestone), 1999, IRL)|
|Race lap record||21.559 seconds (Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, 2019, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series)|
The track, nicknamed "The Monster Mile", was built in 1969 by Melvin Joseph of Melvin L. Joseph Construction Company, Inc., with an asphalt surface, but was replaced with concrete in 1995. Six years later in 2001, the track's capacity moved to 135,000 seats, making the track have the largest capacity of sports venue in the mid-Atlantic. In 2002, the name changed to Dover International Speedway from Dover Downs International Speedway after Dover Downs Gaming and Entertainment split, making Dover Motorsports. From 2007 to 2009, the speedway worked on an improvement project called "The Monster Makeover", which expanded facilities at the track and beautified the track. After the 2014 season, the track's capacity was reduced to 95,500 seats.
In 1966, Melvin L. Joseph Construction Company, Inc. began construction on Dover Downs International Speedway, which was specialized for horse racing and auto racing. The race track was completed three years later, and would have its first race on July 6, 1969. The inaugural race, known as the Mason-Dixon 300, was won by Richard Petty.
During the 1971 racing season, the speedway removed all the events not sanctioned by NASCAR to help keep focus on the two NASCAR Winston Cup Series races, which were 500 miles each. Eleven years later, Dover Downs International Speedway added a NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series (now Xfinity Series) event, the Sportsman 200. In 1986, the speedway added 3,200 seats to its 10,333 seat grandstand. Dover Downs International Speedway continued adding seats each year until 2001. A second Xfinity Series race was also added to the speedway's schedule during the 1986 season.
Eight years later, Delaware General Assembly passed legislation to allow slot machines at pari-mutuel horse racing venues. In 1995 Dover Downs International Speedway replaced its asphalt surface with concrete, making it the second NASCAR Cup Series track after Bristol Motor Speedway to have a racing surface completely composed of concrete. During the same year, Dover Downs slots opened on December 29. Two years later, the speedway changed the race distances of its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races to 400 miles, beginning with the 1997 fall race. In 1998, Dover Downs International Speedway added an Indy Racing League event to the schedule, but after two seasons the race was removed after the 1999 season. During the 2000 racing season, Dover Downs International Speedway added a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (now NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series) event. Kurt Busch won the inaugural Truck Series race from the pole position.
On September 23, 2001, the Cup Series returned to racing at Dover after the September 11 attacks for the MBNA Cal Ripken, Jr. 400, in which Dale Earnhardt, Jr. received the checkered and American flag at the same time.
In the following year, the speedway's capacity was expanded to 135,000 seats, the largest of any mid-Atlantic sport's stadium. After the gaming side of Dover Downs separated, Dover Motorsports, Inc. was created to operate the speedway, which caused the speedway to become Dover International Speedway in 2002. Two years later, the speedway announced the completion of the Monster Bridge, which is a glass-enclosed structure that has 56 seats over the third turn, and its fall NASCAR Cup Series race became the second race in the newly formed, NASCAR Chase for the Championship.
On May 26, 2006, Dover International Speedway announced a multi-year capital improvement project called "The Monster Makeover", which would begin after the speedway's June NASCAR Cup Series race. During the first stage of the improvement project in 2007, the speedway built a new 12-suite skybox complex and a new 2,100 square feet addition to the media center in the infield. Other improvements included widened walkways behind three grandstands, renovated restrooms, more paved handicapped parking areas, expanded bus parking, as well as a sound system with improved audio quality for the grandstands.
In 2008, the second stage of the "Monster Makeover" took place. During the stage, the Monster Monument, a 46-feet tall fiberglass structure, was built in the new Victory Plaza, the FanZone area was expanded, and an emergency services building was built. One year later, the speedway continued the improvement project by replacing the front stretch pit wall to install a longer SAFER barrier wall that would make a wider and safer pit road, as well as an additional pit stall. On December 30, 2011, Dover International Speedway announced that they will replace the 18 inch wide seats in the grandstands with 22 inch wide ones, reducing the capacity from 140,000 to 113,000 over the next two years.
Shortly after the 2014 AAA 400, Dover International Speedway began removing 17,500 seats in turns 2 and 3 as a result of declining attendance, reducing the track's capacity to 95,500. The removal of the seats was completed by Christmas 2014. Also after the 2014 AAA 400, the track began work on a $2.9 million project to install a new catchfence that was ready for the 2015 season. The new catchfence is 21 feet (6.4 m) high, as opposed to the old catchfence, which was 15 feet (4.6 m) high. In 2016, Dover International Speedway added 479 feet of SAFER barriers along the backstretch and turn three, and reduced the number of pit stalls available by increasing each stall by 2 feet (0.61 m). In 2019, Dover International Speedway will build a new and expanded Cup Series garage, to be located between turns 1 and 2. The project will also pave the inner portion of the track between turns 1 and 2 and replace the guardrail in this area with a SAFER barrier. Work on this project, which is to cost $5.5 million, is planned to begin on May 6, 2019 and be completed by September 20, 2019, ahead of the race weekend in October 2019.
Since 2011, the track is the headquarters for the Monster Mash Marathon, an event that starts at the start-finish line of the speedway, where runners make one lap around the track, and exit at the start-finish line crossover gate, and runners run around the city before finishing at the track entrance gate. The race name references both its October date and the track's "Monster Mile" moniker.
Miles the MonsterEdit
The speedway's mascot is called "Miles the Monster" which is a monster spawned from the track's nickname, "The Monster Mile." The monster is featured on the winner's trophy, the track's tickets, memorabilia, website, and the 46-foot (14 m) Monster Monument. A previous nickname that the track had was "White Lightning," used in the initial years after the track surface changed from asphalt to concrete.
- Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Gander RV 400
- Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Drydene 400
- NASCAR Xfinity Series – Allied Steel Buildings 200
- NASCAR Xfinity Series – Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200
- NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series – JEGS 200
- NASCAR K&N Pro Series East – General Tire 125
|Record||Year||Date||Driver||Car Make||Time||Speed/Average Speed|
|Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series|
|Qualifying||2019||October 5||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||21.559||166.984 mph (268.735 km/h)|
|Race (400 miles)||2019||October 6||Kyle Larson||Chevrolet||2:56:49||135.734 mph (218.443 km/h)|
|Race (500 miles)||1990||September 16||Bill Elliott||Ford||3:58:12||125.945 mph (202.689 km/h)|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series|
|Qualifying||2016||October 1||Erik Jones||Toyota||22.739||158.318 mph (254.788 km/h)|
|Race||2013||September 28||Joey Logano||Ford||1:31:27||131.219 mph (211.177 km/h)|
|NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series|
|Qualifying||2019||May 3||Brett Moffitt||Chevrolet||22.303||161.413 mph (259.769 km/h)|
|Race||2006||June 2||Mark Martin||Ford||1:39:50||120.200 mph (193.443 km/h)|
|K&N Pro Series East|
|Qualifying||2009||September 25||Matt DiBenedetto||Toyota||23.201||155.166 mph (249.715 km/h)|
|Race||2002||September 20||Matt Kobyluck||Chevrolet||1:17:28||116.179 mph (186.972 km/h)|
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series statisticsEdit
|Most Wins||11||Jimmie Johnson|
|Most Top 5s||24||Mark Martin|
|Most Top 10s||33||Mark Martin|
|Most Poles||6||David Pearson|
|Youngest Winner||22 years 10 months 8 days||Chase Elliott|
|Oldest Winner||52 years, 4 months, 21 days||Harry Gant|
* from minimum 5 starts.
USAC Championship Car resultsEdit
|Season||Date||Race Name||No.||Driver||Chassis||Engine||Race Distance||Race Time||Average Speed|
|1969||August 24||Delaware 200||57||Art Pollard||Gerhardt||Plymouth||200||200 (321.868)||1:36:01||124.978|
Indy Racing League resultsEdit
|Season||Date||Race Name||No.||Driver||Team||Chassis||Engine||Race Distance||Race Time||Average Speed
|1998||July 18||Pep Boys 400K||8||Scott Sharp||Kelley Racing||Dallara||Oldsmobile||248||248 (399.117)||2:29:49||99.318||Report|
|1999||August 1||MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200||2||Greg Ray||Team Menard||Dallara||Oldsmobile||200||200 (321.868)||1:45:02||114.258||Report|
- "Dover Downs International Speedway Construction Begins". Joseph Frederick & Sons. Archived from the original on October 29, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "The Melvin L. Joseph Construction Company, Inc". Melvin L. Joseph Construction Company, Inc. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Dover International Speedway Track Specifications". Dover International Speedway. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "1969 Delaware 200". Racing-reference.info. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "History Highlights". Dover International Speedway. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Dover". NASCAR. February 1, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- McKee, Sandra (July 18, 1998). "Dressed-up Dover Downs welcomes Indy cars 107,000 seats overlook tricky one-mile oval". Sun Staff. Dover, Delaware. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "INDYCAR: IRL: IRL 2000 Schedule Announced". Motorsport.com. November 2, 1999. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Dover plans massive improvement project". Autostock. NASCAR. May 26, 2006. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Dover in first phase of Monster Makeover". Official Release. NASCAR. February 28, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Monster of a structure: Monument set for Dover". Track Release. NASCAR. January 26, 2008. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Third phase of construction at Dover track under way". Track Release. NASCAR. January 8, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "SAFER installation ends Dover renovation project". Official Release. NASCAR. May 15, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Dover International Speedway announces seat-widening plan to begin in 2012". Doverspeedway.com. December 30, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
- Offredo, Jon (October 15, 2014). "Dover International Speedway trims seating". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE: Gannett. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
- "Dover installing new catch fence". ESPN. Associated Press. September 29, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
- "Dover International Speedway Extends SAFER Barriers". Motor Racing Network. May 9, 2016. Archived from the original on May 12, 2016. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- "Dover to build new, expanded Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage following May 3-5 tripleheader weekend". Dover International Speedway. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- "Miles the Monster". RoadsideAmerica.com. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Unique trophies in NASCR". NASCAR. September 25, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
- "Stewart says Dover not such a monster". Associated Press. The Augusta Chronicle. July 17, 1998. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "2012 NASCAR Schedule". Dover International Speedway. Archived from the original on June 5, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Dover International Speedway Track Records". Dover International Speedway. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Dover International Speedway Track News". Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
- "1998 Pep Boys 400K". Racing-reference.info. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "1999 MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200". Racing-reference.info. Retrieved May 31, 2012.