Dover Motor Speedway

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Dover Motor Speedway
"The Monster Mile"
Dover Motor Speedway logo.jpg

Dover International Speedway.svg
Location1131 North Dupont Highway,
Dover, Delaware, 19901
Time zoneUTC−5 / −4 (DST)
Coordinates39°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
OwnerSpeedway Motorsports
OperatorSpeedway Motorsports
Broke ground1966[1]
ArchitectMelvin Joseph[2]
Former namesDover Downs International Speedway[1]
Dover International Speedway
Major eventsNASCAR Cup Series
DuraMAX Drydene 400

NASCAR Xfinity Series
A-GAME 200

ARCA Menards Series East
General Tire 125
Surface1969–1994: Asphalt
1995–present: Concrete
Length1 miles (1.6 km)
BankingTurns: 24°
Straights: 9°[3]
Race lap record19.711 seconds (182.639 mph / 293.929 kmh) (Mark Dismore, Kelley Racing (Dallara+Aurora+Firestone), 1999, IRL)
Race lap record21.559 seconds (Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, 2019, NASCAR Cup Series)

Dover Motor Speedway (formerly Dover Downs International Speedway and later Dover International Speedway) is a race track in Dover, Delaware, United States. The track has hosted at least one NASCAR Cup Series race each year since 1969, including two per year from 1971 to 2020. In addition to NASCAR, the track also hosted USAC[4] 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 Speedway 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 increased to 135,000 seats, giving the track the largest seating capacity of any sports venue in the mid-Atlantic region. 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. Depending on configuration, the track's capacity is at 95,500 seats. Its grand total maximum capacity was at 135,000 spectators.[5] On November 8, 2021, it was announced that Dover Motorsports Inc. was purchased by Speedway Motorsports Inc.; effectively making Dover International Speedway a SMI track with the track being renamed to its current name.

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.[6] The inaugural race, known as the Mason-Dixon 300, was won by Richard Petty.[6]

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 Winston Cup Series races, which were 500 miles each.[6] Eleven years later, Dover Downs International Speedway added a NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series (now Xfinity Series) event, the Sportsman 200.[6] In 1986, the speedway added 3,200 seats to its 10,333 seat[1] grandstand.[6] Dover Downs International Speedway continued adding seats each year until 2001.[6][7] A second Xfinity Series race was also added to the speedway's schedule during the 1986 season.[6]

Eight years later, Delaware General Assembly passed legislation to allow slot machines at pari-mutuel horse racing venues.[6] 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.[6] During the same year, Dover Downs slots opened on December 29.[6] Two years later, the speedway changed the race distances of its NASCAR Cup Series races to 400 miles, beginning with the 1997 fall race.[6] In 1998, Dover Downs International Speedway added an Indy Racing League event to the schedule,[8] but the race was removed after the 1999 season.[9] During the 2000 racing season, Dover Downs International Speedway added a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event.[6] Kurt Busch won the inaugural Truck race from the pole position.[6]

The glass-fronted enclosed grandstand was one of the original buildings on the property at Dover International Speedway.

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 sports venue.[6] 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.[6] 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.[6]

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 NASCAR Cup Series race.[10] 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.[11] 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.[11]

Aerial view of Dover International Speedway in 2017

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.[12] 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.[13][14] 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.[15]

Shortly after the 2014 AAA 400, Dover International Speedway began removing 17,500 seats in turn 2 and the lower level of turn 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.[16][17] 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.[18] The track's capacity was reduced to 85,000 in 2016 by removing seats in the upper level of turn 3.[17] 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).[19]

In 2019, Dover International Speedway built a new and expanded Cup Series garage, located between turns 1 and 2. The project also paved the inner portion of the track between turns 1 and 2 and replaced the guardrail in this area with a SAFER barrier. Work on this project, which cost $5.5 million, was planned to begin on May 6, 2019 and be completed by September 20, 2019, ahead of the race weekend in October 2019.[20] After the 2019 season, Dover International Speedway will remove 29,000 seats in the lower level between turns 3 and 4, reducing the track's capacity to 54,000.[21]

Since 2011, the track is the headquarters for the Monster Mash Marathon, a full and half marathon running event that starts at the entrance to pit road, making one lap around the track, exiting at the start-finish line crossover gate, with runners making a run through Dover before finishing at the track entrance gate in front of the Miles the Monster statue. The race name references both its October date and the track's "Monster Mile" moniker.[22] Also since 2012, the Firefly Music Festival has been held in The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, a 105-acre (42 ha) festival ground adjacent to the speedway. Firefly additionally utilizes some of the speedway's infrastructure for parking and camping. In recent years, the speedway’s infield has been used specifically for RV camping throughout the festival.

Dover International Speedway moved one of its race weekends in 2021 to Nashville Superspeedway, another track owned by Dover Motorsports.[23] On November 8, 2021, Speedway Motorsports acquired track owner Dover Motorsports. As a result, Speedway Motorsports took over ownership of the track and it was renamed to Dover Motor Speedway.[24]

Panorama of Dover International Speedway
The Monster Monument at Victory Plaza

Miles the Monster[edit]

The speedway's mascot is called "Miles the Monster," which is a monster spawned from the track's nickname, "The Monster Mile."[25] The monster is featured on the winner's trophy, the track's tickets, memorabilia, website, and the 46-foot (14 m) Monster Monument.[25][26] A previous nickname that the track had was "White Lightning," used in the initial years after the track surface changed from asphalt to concrete.[27]


2017 Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway


Former races[edit]

Track records[edit]


1 mile (1.6 km) oval
Record Year Date Driver Car Make Time Speed/Average Speed
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 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)
ARCA Menards 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)
Sourced by.[29]

NASCAR Cup Series statistics[edit]

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.[30]

Race results[edit]

USAC Championship Car results[edit]

Season Date Race Name No. Driver Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
Laps Miles (km)
1969[4] August 24 Delaware 200 57 Art Pollard Gerhardt Plymouth 200 200 (321.868) 1:36:01 124.978

Indy Racing League results[edit]

Season Date Race Name No. Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
Laps Miles (km)
1998[31] July 18 Pep Boys 400K 8 Scott Sharp Kelley Racing Dallara Oldsmobile 248 248 (399.117) 2:29:49 99.318 Report
1999[32] August 1 MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200 2 Greg Ray Team Menard Dallara Oldsmobile 200 200 (321.868) 1:45:02 114.258 Report


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Dover Downs International Speedway Construction Begins". Joseph Frederick & Sons. Archived from the original on October 29, 2012. 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". Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  5. ^ "DOVER MILESTONES - Dover Speedway". Archived from the original on November 15, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "History Highlights". Dover International Speedway. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  7. ^ "Dover". NASCAR. February 1, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "INDYCAR: IRL: IRL 2000 Schedule Announced". November 2, 1999. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  10. ^ "Dover plans massive improvement project". Autostock. NASCAR. May 26, 2006. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Dover in first phase of Monster Makeover". Official Release. NASCAR. February 28, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  12. ^ "Monster of a structure: Monument set for Dover". Track Release. NASCAR. January 26, 2008. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  13. ^ "Third phase of construction at Dover track under way". Track Release. NASCAR. January 8, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  14. ^ "SAFER installation ends Dover renovation project". Official Release. NASCAR. May 15, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  15. ^ "Dover International Speedway announces seat-widening plan to begin in 2012". December 30, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  16. ^ Offredo, Jon (October 15, 2014). "Dover International Speedway trims seating". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE: Gannett. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  17. ^ a b Pockrass, Bob (May 29, 2015). "Dover International Speedway to further reduce seating capacity". ESPN. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  18. ^ "Dover installing new catch fence". ESPN. Associated Press. September 29, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  19. ^ "Dover International Speedway Extends SAFER Barriers". Motor Racing Network. May 9, 2016. Archived from the original on May 12, 2016. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  20. ^ "Dover to build new, expanded NASCAR Cup Series garage following May 3–5 tripleheader weekend". Dover International Speedway. April 29, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  21. ^ Finney, Mike (October 23, 2019). "Addition by subtraction: Dover International Speedway reduces seats, stresses 'fan experience'". Delaware State News. Dover, DE. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  22. ^ Monster Mash Marathon
  23. ^ Humbles, Andy (June 2, 2020). "2021 NASCAR Cup Series race to be scheduled at Wilson County's Nashville Superspeedway". The Tennesseean. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  24. ^ "Speedway Motorsports to Acquire Dover Motorsports, Inc". November 8, 2021. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  25. ^ a b "Miles the Monster". Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  26. ^ "Unique trophies in NASCR". NASCAR. September 25, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  27. ^ "Stewart says Dover not such a monster". The Augusta Chronicle. Associated Press. July 17, 1998. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  28. ^ "2021 Race Schedule". Dover International Speedway. December 17, 2020. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  29. ^ "Dover International Speedway Track Records". Dover International Speedway. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  30. ^ "Dover International Speedway Track News". Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
  31. ^ "1998 Pep Boys 400K". Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  32. ^ "1999 MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200". Retrieved May 31, 2012.

External links[edit]