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, the East Coast’s leading music festival, 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 Cup Series remained, but others have followed, looking to conquer the track known throughout motorsports as “The Monster Mile.”
In 2018, Dover International Speedway is again set to host two NASCAR tripleheader weekends, on May 4-6 and Oct. 5-7.
On Friday, May 4, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Dover, followed by the “OneMain Financial 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, May 5 and the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, May 6. 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, Oct. 5. 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. 6, the NASCAR XFINITY Series race returns, followed by the centerpiece of the weekend, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on Sunday, Oct. 7.
When drivers strap in their vehicles at the Monster Mile, they compete on one of the sport’s unique venues. With speeds close to 170 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 at Victory Plaza presented by Smithfield, 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, the X Ambassadors, Jana Kramer, Easton Corbin and The Struts.
More musical acts visit The Woodlands at Dover International Speedway between the two 2018 NASCAR weekends as the Firefly Music Festival, presented by Red Frog Events and Goldenvoice, takes the stage on June 14-17.
The Firefly Music Festival was first held in July 2012 and hosted 48 national music acts over three days. In just six 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 a dozen 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, Jack White, Kings of Leon and Imagine Dragons and Mumford & Sons. Other aspects of Firefly include a retro video game arcade, hammock hangouts, a silent disco, a marketplace and much more.
From music to motorsports, it’s all here at Dover International Speedway.