Built in 2008, the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza, presented by Smithfield, stands 46-feet tall and holds a full-scale stock car in the monster’s right hand. The base of the monument pays tribute to race winners at Dover International Speedway and features dedications to legendary drivers who are recognized for their special accomplishments earned on the Monster Mile’s high-banked, one-mile concrete oval.
With guidance from Dover officials, architectural firm Becker Morgan made a concept a reality during the summer of 2007 when they designed a 3D model of “Miles the Monster” bursting out of the ground carrying with him a full-sized car. The structure, named the Monster Monument, would be featured in the newly developed Victory Plaza area that was announced as part of Phase II of the “Monster Makeover,” a multi-year capital improvement project at Dover International Speedway.
In August 2007, contractor ACI Composites, based in Lancaster, Pa., was awarded the Monster Monument construction project. After creating a miniature version of the monster from clay, the design team, braving the elements, worked throughout the winter months to build the full-sized structure in the driveway of their factory. From connecting the inner support beams, to wrapping and carving the structure out of foam, the team had the entire monster built by the end of April 2008.
The monster was later taken apart over the course of several days and loaded onto six flatbed trucks for transportation to its permanent home outside of Turn 4 at the Speedway. Once on site in Dover, the ACI Composites team was able to stick to its original plan of assembling the monster on its base in one day.
Crews continued to work throughout May 2008 to give Miles the Monster his traditional gray color and rock-solid look. From ladders to lifts, crews worked on every inch of the monument to make sure that the entire structure looked identical to Dover’s signature icon. This included the addition of a fiberglass coat that gives the monster its concrete texture. Once completed, the final piece – a full-scale NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car – was mounted in the monster’s hand.
On May 14, 2008, four-time NASCAR champion, and five-time Dover winner, Jeff Gordon participated in a dedication ceremony for the new Monster Monument in front of 300 assembled guests and fans at Victory Plaza in front of the monster. Gordon, along with local dignitaries and track officials unveiled the marquee plaque on the front of the monument’s base.
The new monument was first seen by thousands of race fans during the June 2008 race weekend. Seven-time Dover winner Bobby Allison was presented with the first marquee driver plaque on the base of the monument during a special ceremony. The monument was a centerpiece for many of the fan activities at the track throughout the event weekend, and continues to attract many curious tourists in The First State on a daily basis.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Height of the monster: 46 feet to rear of stock car in right hand
Weight of the monster: 40,000 pounds
Size of base: 7 feet high; 60 feet across
Construction began at ACI Composites in Lancaster, Pa.: Dec. 3, 2007
Arrived in Dover: April 25, 2008
Days to build at ACI Composites in Lancaster, Pa.: 144
Days to reassemble on base in Dover: One, on April 29, 2008
Days of cosmetic repairs and final painting in Dover: 21
Number of marquee plaques: Eight reserved for notable Dover drivers; one for monument dedication plaque (Jeff Gordon dedicated on May 14, 2008)
Drivers honored with marquee plaques: Bobby Allison (May 31, 2008) and Richard Petty (Sept. 20, 2008)