Milestones 1969 – 2013

History Highlights

1969 — Dover Downs opens as a unique, dual-purpose facility, designed to accommodate both horse racing and motorsports events. The first event on the one-mile, asphalt 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 removed from the schedule to concentrate on two 500-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races traditionally held in the spring and fall each year.

1982 — Joe Ruttman wins Dover’s first NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the May 15 “Sportsman 200,” a new Saturday attraction for race fans on the spring race weekend.

1983 — Bobby Allison sets the all-time wins mark at Dover International Speedway by winning his seventh race at the track in the Sept. 18 “Budweiser 500” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

1984 — Richard Petty ties Bobby Allison with his seventh win at Dover, taking the checkered flag in the May 20 “Budweiser 500” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

1986 — A modest 3,200 seat grandstand addition begins expansion of the facility which continued through 2001, a process unequaled by any other NASCAR track. Dover also adds an annual fall NASCAR Nationwide Series race to its annual schedule, the first being the Sept. 13 “Grand National 200.”

1995 — Dover Downs International Speedway becomes NASCAR’s first concrete paved superspeedway. With the concrete surface, races become cleaner, faster and more competitive. Kyle Petty wins the first race on the concrete surface, the June 4 “Miller Genuine Draft 500” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. After a summer and fall of round-the-clock construction, Dover Downs Slots opens on December 29.

1996 — Dover Downs Entertainment, Inc., parent company of all gaming and motorsports activities, begins trading on New York Stock Exchange under symbol DVD.

1997 – Dover makes the change from 500 miles to a new 400-mile distance for all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, beginning with the Sept. 21 “MBNA 400,” won by Mark Martin. His average speed of 132.719 mph sets the track’s fastest race record. In addition, 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 — The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes its debut at Dover’s September race weekend with Kurt Busch emerging as the winner from the pole position in the Sept. 22 “MBNA e-commerce.com 200.”

2001 — The 16th straight year of grandstand expansion places seating capacity at 135,000 — the largest seating capacity of a sports facility in the mid-Atlantic region. Dover holds the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the “MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400” and takes the American flag for a victory lap around the track. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race is shifted to Friday of the spring weekend, while a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race is added for the Friday of the fall weekend.

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. The harness racing, slots operation and newly built hotel onsite 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.” Jeremy Mayfield sets the track qualifying record in the June 6 “MBNA America 400 ‘A Salute to Heroes,’” with a lap of 161.522 mph. 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 “MBNA America 400” and takes home the first Monster trophy.

2006 — Dover announces plans for the “Monster Makeover,” a multi-year capital improvement project. The first phase of construction begins prior to the fall race weekend.

2007 — The first phase of Monster Makeover is completed prior to the spring 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 Infield 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 more than 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 some in Turn 4, the new pit road wall was set four feet closer to the apron of the track, creating a wider pit road.

2011 — Dover Motorsports, Inc. declines sanctions for NASCAR events at Nashville Superspeedway, while opening up the facility to team testing. The company previously sold its other motorsports facilities and now focuses on its flagship facility in Dover. Dover International Speedway begins the process of widening grandstand seats from 18 to 22 inches. The project, which will take approximately two years to complete, will create a better fan experience for all guests, and will seat 113,000.

2012 — Jimmie Johnson wins his seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway in the June 3 “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.” With the win, Johnson ties Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for most wins all-time at the Monster Mile.

2013 — Jimmie Johnson sets the all-time Dover wins record by winning the Sept. 29 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, passing Richard Petty and Bobby Allison with his eighth victory at the Monster Mile in NASCAR’s top series. The fall weekend includes a few other historical moments as well, as Dale Earnhardt Jr. set a new qualifying record for the track with a lap of 161.849 mph (22.243 sec.) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Joey Logano swept the NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Dover for the second straight year, becoming the first driver to win four straight NASCAR Nationwide Series races at the Monster Mile. In the fall event, the “5-hour ENERGY 200 benefiting Living Beyond Breast Cancer” NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Logano set a new fastest race record in his win at 131.219 mph (1:31:27).