Dover International Speedway

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Dover International Speedway
"The Monster Mile"
Dover International Speedway logo.jpg
Logo
Location 1131 North Dupont Highway,
Dover, Delaware, 19901
Time zone GMT-5
Coordinates 39°11′23″N 75°31′49″W / 39.18960°N 75.53031°W / 39.18960; -75.53031Coordinates: 39°11′23″N 75°31′49″W / 39.18960°N 75.53031°W / 39.18960; -75.53031
Capacity 135,000
Owner Dover Motorsports, Inc.
Operator Dover Motorsports, Inc.
Broke ground 1966[1]
Opened 1969[1]
Architect Melvin Joseph[2]
Former names Dover Downs Int'l Speedway[1]
(1969–2002)
Major events

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
FedEx 400
AAA 400

NASCAR Nationwide Series
Buckle Up 200
Dover 200

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Lucas Oil 200

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Drive Sober 150
Oval
Surface 1969-1994: Asphalt
1995-present: Concrete
Length 1 mi (1.6 km)
Turns 4
Banking Turns: 24°
Straights: 9°[3]
Lap record 19.711 seconds (182.639 mph / 293.929 kmh) (Mark Dismore, Kelley Racing (Dallara+Aurora+Firestone), 1999, IRL)

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. In addition to NASCAR, the track also hosted USAC[4] and the IRL IndyCar Series. 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 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.

Track history[edit]

In 1966, Melvin L. Joseph Construction Company, Inc.[2] began construction on Dover Downs International Speedway, which was specialized for horse racing and auto racing.[1] The race track was completed three years later,[1] and would have its first race on July 6, 1969.[5] The inaugural race, known as the Mason-Dixon 300, was won by Richard Petty.[5]

Dover's asphalt surface in 1985

During the 1971 racing season, the speedway removed all the events not sanctioned by NASCAR to help keep focus on the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, which were 500 miles each.[5] Eleven years later, Dover Downs International Speedway added a NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series (now Nationwide Series) event, the Sportsman 200.[5] In 1986, the speedway added 3,200 seats to its 10,333 seat[1] grandstand.[5] Dover Downs International Speedway continued adding seats each year until 2001.[5][6] A second Nationwide Series race was also added to the speedway's schedule during the 1986 season.[5]

Eight years later, Delaware General Assembly passed legislation to allow slot machines at pari-mutuel horse racing venues.[5] In 1995, Dover Downs International Speedway became the second NASCAR racing venue to be paved with concrete instead of asphalt.[5] During the same year, Dover Downs slots opened on December 29.[5] Two years later, the speedway changed the race distances of its Sprint Cup Series races to 400 miles, beginning with the 1997 fall race.[5] In 1998, Dover Downs International Speedway added an IRL IndyCar Series event to the schedule,[7] but after two seasons the race was removed after the 1999 season.[8] During the 2000 racing season, Dover Downs International Speedway added a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (now Camping World Truck Series) event.[5] Kurt Busch won the inaugural Truck Series race from the pole position.[5]

Glass-fronted suites and media center, some of the improvements made during the "Monster Makeover".

In the following year, the speedway's capacity was expanded to 135,000 seats, the largest of any mid-Atlantic sport's stadium.[5] 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.[5] 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 Sprint Cup Series race became the second race in the newly formed, Chase for the Sprint Cup.[5]

Dover International Speedway in 2007

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 Sprint Cup Series race.[9] 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.[10] 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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12][13] 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.[14] 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 is expected to be complete by Christmas 2014.[15] Also after the 2014 AAA 400, the track began work on a $2.9 million project to install a new catchfence that will be ready for the 2015 season. The new catchfence will be 21 feet (6.4 m) high, as opposed to the old catchfence, which is 15 feet (4.6 m) high.[16]

Panorama of Dover International Speedway
Miles the Monster

Miles the Monster[edit]

The speedway's mascot is called "Miles the Monster" which is a concrete monster spawned from the track's nickname, "The Monster Mile."[17] The monster is featured on the winner's trophy, the track's tickets, memorabilia, website, and the 46-foot (14 m) Monster Monument.[17] A previous nickname that the track had was "White Lightning."[18]

Current races[edit]

2013 FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway

Referenced by.[19]

Track records[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

1 mile (1.6 km) oval
Record Year Date Driver Car Make Time Speed/Average Speed
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Qualifying 2014 May 30 Brad Keselowski Ford 21.892 164.444 miles per hour (264.647 km/h)
Race (400 miles) 1997 September 21 Mark Martin Ford 3:00:50 132.719 miles per hour (213.591 km/h)
Race (500 miles) 1990 September 16 Bill Elliott Ford 3:58:12 125.945 miles per hour (202.689 km/h)
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Qualifying 2010 May 15 Kyle Busch Toyota 22.752 158.228 miles per hour (254.643 km/h)
Race 1998 May 30 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Chevrolet 1:32:12 130.152 miles per hour (209.459 km/h)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Qualifying 2012 June 1 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 22.715 158.235 miles per hour (254.655 km/h)
Race 2006 June 2 Mark Martin Ford 1:39:50 120.200 miles per hour (193.443 km/h)
K&N Pro Series East
Qualifying 2009 September 25 Matt DiBenedetto 23.201 155.166 miles per hour (249.715 km/h)
Race 2002 September 20 Matt Kobyluck Chevrolet 1:17:28 116.179 miles per hour (186.972 km/h)
Sourced by.[20]

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series statistics[edit]

Most Wins 9 Jimmie Johnson
Most Top 5s 23 Mark Martin
Most Top 10s 31 Mark Martin
Most Poles 6 David Pearson
Youngest Winner 23 years, 29 days Kyle Busch
Oldest Winner 52 years, 4 months, 21 days Harry Gant

* from minimum 5 starts.[21]

Race results[edit]

USAC Championship Car results[edit]

Season Date Race Name Driver Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Laps Miles (km)
1969[4] August 24 Delaware 200 Art Pollard Gerhardt Plymouth 200 200 (321.868) 1:36:01 124.978

Indy Racing League results[edit]

Season Date Race Name Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Laps Miles (km)
1998[22] July 18 Pep Boys 400K Scott Sharp Kelley Racing Dallara Oldsmobile 248 248 (399.117) 2:29:49 99.318
1999[23] August 1 MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200 Greg Ray Team Menard Dallara Oldsmobile 200 200 (321.868) 1:45:02 114.258

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Dover Downs International Speedway Construction Begins". Joseph Frederick & Sons. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "The Melvin L. Joseph Construction Company, Inc.". Melvin L. Joseph Construction Company, Inc. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Dover International Speedway Track Specifications". Dover International Speedway. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "1969 Delaware 200". Racing-reference.info. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "History Highlights". Dover International Speedway. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Dover". NASCAR. February 1, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "INDYCAR: IRL: IRL 2000 Schedule Announced". Motorsport.com. November 2, 1999. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Dover plans massive improvement project". Autostock. NASCAR. May 26, 2006. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Dover in first phase of Monster Makeover". Official Release. NASCAR. February 28, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Monster of a structure: Monument set for Dover". Track Release. NASCAR. January 26, 2008. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Third phase of construction at Dover track under way". Track Release. NASCAR. January 8, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  13. ^ "SAFER installation ends Dover renovation project". Official Release. NASCAR. May 15, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Dover International Speedway announces seat-widening plan to begin in 2012". Doverspeedway.com. December 30, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  15. ^ Offredo, Jon (October 15, 2014). "Dover International Speedway trims seating". The News Journal (Wilmington, DE: Gannett). Retrieved October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Dover installing new catch fence". ESPN. Associated Press. September 29, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Miles the Monster". RoadsideAmerica.com. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Stewart says Dover not such a monster". Associated Press. The Augusta Chronicle. July 17, 1998. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  19. ^ "2012 NASCAR Schedule". Dover International Speedway. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Dover International Speedway Track Records". Dover International Speedway. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Dover International Speedway Track News". Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  22. ^ "1998 Pep Boys 400K". Racing-reference.info. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  23. ^ "1999 MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200". Racing-reference.info. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 

External links[edit]