Sparked by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Austin Dillon’s leadoff triple, which led to a three-run burst in the first inning, Team Dover topped Kasey Kahne-led Team Pocono 10-3 in the fourth annual Dover Vs. Pocono Celebrity Softball Game between the two tracks in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday, May 3.
Austin Dillon heads to home plate following a throwing error in the first inning of the Dover vs. Pocono Celebrity Softball Game on Tuesday, May 3 at Frawley Stadium.
Played at Frawley Stadium, the home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the Single-A affiliate of the 2015 World Series champion Kansas City Royals, the Dover-Pocono series now stands at 3-1 in favor of the Monster Mile.
“I wasn’t going to lose today,” joked Dillon, who played in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., during his time as a youth baseball player. “[Playing baseball] taught me a lot about teamwork and I still see some of my old teammates.”
Dillon manned shortstop for Team Dover while Kahne patrolled center field for Team Pocono. Area media members made up the bulk of each team for the seven-inning game.
The event precedes the May 13-15 NASCAR tripleheader weekend at Dover International Speedway, which will feature Dillon and Kahne in the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, May 15.
“Team Dover had a great squad,” said Kahne, who hit a single to centerfield in his first at-bat. “10-3 is a pretty big loss but it was great to be able to play some softball.”
Team Dover had several big hits during three separate rallies and was led defensively by pitcher Artie Kempner, the founder of Autism Delaware, and catcher Mike Tatoian, the president and CEO of Dover International Speedway.
Kasey Kahne makes contact during the Tuesday, May 3 softball game.
“This is a small example of the type of collaboration that is going on in our sport, with race teams, drivers and tracks talking and working with each other,” Tatoian said. “Everyone here is laughing and having fun and it’s a great event. It’s a small slice of what the sport is trying to accomplish.”
The May 13-15 weekend also includes a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, May 13 and a NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race on Saturday, May 14.