Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fast Facts: Dover International Speedway

Dover International Speedway - June 2014
credit: Getty Images/Rob Carr
Dover International Speedway, home to 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup race No. 3 – and the end of the Challenger Round – is often referred to by its nickname, the “Monster Mile.” Learn more about this one-mile concrete oval in Delaware in this week’s Fast Facts.
  • Dover Downs International Speedway was built in 1969 by architect Melvin Joseph. The first race at the track, then an asphalt oval, was held on July 6, 1969, with Richard Petty taking the checkered flag in the Mason-Dixon 300. Dover has hosted at least two races each NASCAR season since then.
  • Beginning with the 1971 season, all non-NASCAR sanctioned races were removed from the track’s schedule so that they could concentrate on two 500-mile Cup Series races. In 1982, the first NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Series race (now Nationwide Series) was held at Dover; a second race for the series was added in 1986.
  • Also in 1986, expansion began at the track, lasting 15 years. Among the highlights of the expansion: grandstand seating additions that brought the capacity up to 135,000 spectators by 2001, a switch from asphalt to concrete track surface in 1995, the addition of Dover Downs Slots in 1995, reducing race lengths from 500 to 400 miles in 1997 and the debut of the NASCAR Truck Series in 2000. Two Indy Racing League races were held at the track in 1998 and 1999.
  • In 2002, Dover Downs became Dover International Speedway, with the gaming and harness racing side of the company becoming Dover Downs Hotel and Casino.
  • In 2004, the Monster Bridge deluxe seating structure that extends over Turn 3 was opened, and in 2006 the “Monster Makeover” was announced, a second multi-year, multi-phase improvement project. That project included the construction of a skybox complex and the VELOCITY luxury suite in 2007, the 46-foot Miles the Monster Monument in Victory Plaza in 2008, improvements to pit road in 2009 and the widening of grandstand seating in 2011.
  • Jimmie Johnson holds the record for all-time wins at Dover, currently at nine, while David Pearson holds the record for most pole positions at six.
  • Find out more about the track at www.doverspeedway.com

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