How did 750 acres in Kent County, Delaware, become a go-to destination for national and international motorsports and music fans?
Combine a high-banked, one-mile concrete oval, six NASCAR races, two music festivals, a neighboring hotel and casino, as well as easy access for millions of people along the East Coast, and you have a formula for one of the most attractive sports and entertainment destinations in the mid-Atlantic region.
Built by Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD), Dover International Speedway has been hosting NASCAR events since the green flag dropped on the “Mason-Dixon 300” on July 6, 1969.
That day’s race winner, Richard Petty, has called the first Dover race NASCAR’s “invasion of the North.” Since that time, not only has the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series remained, but others have followed, looking to conquer the track known throughout motorsports as “The Monster Mile.”
In 2016, Dover International Speedway is again set to host two NASCAR tripleheader weekends, on May 13-15 and Sept. 30-Oct. 2.
On Friday, May 13, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Dover, followed by the NASCAR XFINITY Series on Saturday, May 14 and a 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, May 15. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has made an annual stop at Dover International Speedway since 2000, while the NASCAR XFINITY Series has been coming to the Monster Mile since 1982.
In the fall, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East drivers hit Dover on Friday, Sept. 30. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East first raced at the Monster Mile in 1998, and became an annual Dover feature in 2001.
The next day, Saturday, Oct. 1, the NASCAR XFINITY Series returns, followed by the centerpiece of the weekend, the “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Oct. 2. For the third consecutive year, Dover International Speedway will host the first elimination race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup postseason, where four of the 16 playoff-eligible drivers will be knocked out of title contention. For four of the sport’s top drivers, it’s over in Dover.
When drivers strap in their vehicles at the Monster Mile, they compete on perhaps the most unique venue in the sport. With speeds exceeding 160 mph, drivers face 24 degrees of banking in all four turns, as well as 9 degrees of incline on the straightaways, leading to Dover International Speedway’s reputation as the world’s fastest one-mile concrete oval.
The excitement continues outside the track, as Dover International Speedway shares the property with full-service Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, giving race fans the complete vacation destination. Behind the frontstretch stands the 46-foot-tall Monster Monument, a fiberglass structure that attracts visitors to the track year-round. The structure is within Victory Plaza, which also hosts free, pre-race concerts for fans, which in recent years have included acts such as Jerrod Niemann, Cassadee Pope, Colt Ford and the X Ambassadors.
More musical acts visit The Woodlands at Dover International Speedway between the two 2016 NASCAR weekends as the Firefly Music Festival and the Big Barrel Country Music Festival, both presented by Red Frog Events and Goldenvoice, visit on June 16-19 and June 24-26, respectively.
The Firefly Music Festival was first held in July 2012 and hosted 48 national music acts over three days. In just four years, Firefly has grown to a four-day event that hosts upwards of 90,000 fans per day, with more than 100 acts playing across seven stages, earning a top-five U.S. music festival designation by Rolling Stone magazine.
Notable acts that have appeared at Firefly include Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Outkast, The Black Keys, The Killers and Jack White. Other aspects of Firefly include a retro video game arcade, hammock hangouts, a silent disco, a marketplace and much more.
Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood headlined last year’s inaugural Big Barrel Country Music Festival, which included more than 40 additional acts as well as a petting zoo, a dance hall and other family-friendly activities.
From music to motorsports, it’s all here at Dover International Speedway.