Contact: Gary Camp
Sr. Director of Communications
Dover International Speedway
May 31, 2008
Seven-time Dover winner Bobby Allison honored with a
marquee plaque on the Monster Monument
DOVER, Del. — There aren’t many accolades a driver can have at Dover International Speedway that Bobby Allison doesn’t already have. He’s the all-time leader in laps led at the track. He’s tied with Richard Petty for most wins at Dover with seven. One of the grandstands on the frontstretch is named for him.
So, given all that, it’s fitting that Allison was the first driver to be honored on Dover’s newest monument. The Monster Monument at Victory Plaza presented by AAA, to be exact, which was erected this month, now displays Bobby Allison’s name among its ring of honor that’s reserved for drivers who have had immense career success. The plaque was unveiled as part of a ceremony on Saturday afternoon.
“This is no ordinary NASCAR track – this is the Monster Mile,” said Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover International Speedway. “This is where the mental and physical stresses get to the extreme level. What we really wanted to do first was create some way to honor and recognize all the drivers over the years that were able to overcome the challenges that the Monster Mile offers. We think that this Monster Monument really fits the bill. It not only gives the opportunity to recognize and play homage to all the drivers who were tough enough and fast enough to be able to overcome the challenge this speedway offers, but I think it’s also a symbol of the new Dover International Speedway – all the improvements that have taken place and all those that are still to come.”
Longtime MRN announcer Barney Hall sat down with Allison for a chat in front of a crowd of onlookers, and the two talked about his early success at Dover that began with a second-place finish at the “Mason-Dixon 500” in 1970, followed by a win in the same race in 1971. He remembered what was the only race in Dover’s history to run without a caution.
“We raced and raced and raced and my tongue is hanging out like a red necktie, and I look out and we only have 200 more laps to go,” Allison said. “[500 miles] was really tough. So many guys have gotten relief here, and I have too a few times. But it was a place that really tested you and the car and the team.”
On seven occasions, Allison ran those 500 miles faster than anyone else, which the driver attributed to the track’s design.
“Melvin (Joseph) built it for me,” Allison said with a laugh. “The track really is the perfect setup as far as my liking of racing. It’s long enough that you can go good speeds and down into those corners and all that, but it’s short enough that you have to drive the track and use the brakes some, and you have to find out where the good spot is on a given day. When the track was regular pavement, it changed two or three times during the race. But I could look around and find a new spot and go pretty good, and I really liked that.”
As it turns out, the driver who Allison loved to beat was the one with whom he shares the Dover win record – Richard Petty.
“He won everywhere he raced,” Allison said. “David Pearson did too. The two were so good everywhere you went. But David wasn’t as aggressive as Richard Petty was, at least not to me. If I came up on David at the 200-lap mark at Dover, he’d let me go by. But he was smarter than me because he was saving his car for 500 laps, while Richard and me were up there banging away at each other. Richard took it real hard when you beat him, and that was fun for me too.”
McGlynn saw the opportunity to thank Allison for all he’d done to help grow Dover International Speedway into what it is today.
“I’m particularly happy that Bobby’s the first installee on it,” McGlynn said. “Back in the days when we were struggling to promote NASCAR up here in the north, when it was still a southern sport in the early 70s and trying to compete with baseball, hockey, basketball, and football in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, Bobby never failed to answer the call when we needed somebody to come up and help work the media for us. And he was the only guy who would do that.
“He helped make what we are possible, and we’re so glad to be able to reciprocate by making him the first installee on this Monster Monument.”
To purchase tickets, or for more information, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.
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Dover International Speedway is owned by Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD), a leading promoter of motorsports events in the United States. DVD subsidiaries operate tracks in three states, and present more than 500 motorsports events each year. This includes 16 major, national events which operate under the auspices of three of the premier sanctioning bodies in the U.S. — NASCAR, NHRA, and IRL. Dover Motorsports, Inc. also owns and operates Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, Mo., Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, Tenn., and Nashville Superspeedway near Nashville, Tenn.
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