(photo courtesy google.com)
Dover International Speedway, the high-banked, one-mile concrete oval in Dover, Del., hosts two NASCAR tripleheader weekends in 2010: May 14-16, and Sept. 24-26, when the “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” returns to Dover. Fiercely known as the “Monster Mile” for its ability to destroy cars and driver’s hopes of winning at ease, Dover has been a staple on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series calendar since its first race in 1969.
Situated in the heart of the mid-Atlantic region, the fan friendly venue welcomes thousands of race fans to its 750-acre complex each year. Unique to the sport of NASCAR, Dover shares the property with the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, giving race fans the complete vacation destination. Outside of Turn 4 stands the 46-foot-tall Monster Monument at Victory Plaza, presented by AAA, the larger-than-life sculpture of Dover’s signature icon Miles the Monster. The fiberglass structure attracts visitors to the track year round and has become a “must see” stop for tourists coming to Delaware’s capital city.
1969 – Dover Downs opens as a unique dual purpose facility, designed to accommodate both horse racing and motorsports events. The first event on the Speedway is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the “Mason-Dixon 300,” on July 6, won by Richard Petty.
1971 – All non-NASCAR sanctioned motorsports events are dropped from the schedule to concentrate on two 500-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races traditionally held in June and September of each year.
1982 – Joe Ruttman wins Dover’s first NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the “Sportsman 200,” a new Saturday attraction for race fans.
1986 – Modest 3,200 seat grandstand addition begins expansion of facility which continued until 2001 – unequaled by any other NASCAR track. Dover also adds a fall NASCAR Nationwide Series event to its annual schedule.
1994 – Delaware General Assembly passes legislation authorizing slot machines at pari-mutual horse racing facilities.
1995 – Dover Downs International Speedway becomes NASCAR’s first concrete paved superspeedway. Races become cleaner, faster and more competitive. After summer and fall of round-the-clock construction, Dover Downs Slots opens on December 29.
1996 – Dover Downs Entertainment, Inc., parent company of all Dover Downs activities, begins trading on New York Stock Exchange under symbol DVD.
1997 – Change to 400-mile distance for NASCAR Sprint Cup races is made at fall event. Dover Downs Entertainment, Inc. acquires Nashville Speedway USA, operator of NASCAR events at
Tennessee State Fairgrounds and announces plans for a new superspeedway in the Nashville area. Open date is set for Easter weekend in 2001.
2000 – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes debut at Dover’s September race weekend with Kurt Busch emerging as the winner from the pole position.
2001 – Sixteenth year of grandstand expansion places seating capacity at 135,000 – the largest seating capacity of a sports facility in mid-Atlantic region. Dover holds first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event after terrorist attacks of September 11th on New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the race and takes the American flag for a victory lap around the track.
2002 – Dover Downs International Speedway becomes Dover International Speedway, as the
gaming side of the company splits off and Dover Motorsports, Inc. is created to exclusively oversee racing at the Dover, Nashville, Memphis and St. Louis tracks, as well as the Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Grand Prix of Denver and the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg which were later
discontinued. The harness racing, slots operation and newly built hotel retain the Dover Downs name now known as Dover Downs Hotel & Casino®.
2004 – The Monster Bridge, a 56 seat, glass-enclosed structure that extends over the track
in Turn 3, is unveiled. The one-of-a-kind structure creates the “Most Exciting Seat in Sports.” The newly introduced “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” comes to the Monster Mile in the fall as Ryan Newman notches another Dover win in the Sept. event and takes home the first ‘monster’ trophy.
2006 – Dover announces plans for the “Monster Makeover,” a multi-year capital improvement project. First phase of construction begins prior to Sept. race.
2007 – First phase of Monster Makeover is completed prior to June race. Construction
includes a new skybox complex and Velocity, an all-inclusive, luxury suite for individual race fans. A 2,100 square-foot addition to the media center was also completed along with widened walkways behind the frontstretch grandstands; six renovated restroom facilities; additional paved handicapped parking areas; expanded bus parking; a new sound system; an expanded and relocated hospitality tent village; and continued beautification and landscaping of the entire property.
2008 – The 2008 season marked Dover International Speedway’s 40th anniversary. The second phase of Monster Makeover construction included the addition of the 46-foot Monster
Monument at Victory Plaza, presented by AAA, a larger-than-life fiberglass sculpture of the track’s signature icon Miles the Monster. The structure also includes over 200 granite plaques dedicated to race winners and legendary drivers at the Monster Mile. Other construction projects included the expansion of the FanZone display area and the addition of a new emergency services building outside of Gate 1.
2009 – The third phase of Monster Makeover construction focused on pit road, including a new 1,592 foot concrete pit wall equipped with SAFER barrier technology. The new space made way for a 43rd pit stall and enabled the track to lengthen all stalls by four feet, creating an easier
entrance and exit for the cars while pitting. By eliminating all grass on the frontstretch and in Turn 4, the new pit road wall was set four feet closer to the apron of the track, creating a wider pit road.
The track hosted its 10th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on May 29, 2009, and will host its 80th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sept. 27, 2009. (Dover Motorsports,Inc)
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!