Dover Motorsports, Inc. President and CEO Denis McGlynn is the winner of the prestigious Buddy Shuman Award, which recognizes individuals for their contributions to professional stock car racing
The announcement was made today in Nashville, Tennessee, in conjunction with NASCAR Champion’s Week activities.
McGlynn is the 63rd recipient of the Buddy Shuman Award, which was established in 1957 and named for a former NASCAR driver and the sport’s first technical inspector. Previous Buddy Shuman Award recipients include NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., team owners Rick Hendrick, Jack Roush and Robert Yates, Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty and track executive Bruton Smith.
"Denis has had a tremendous career at Dover International Speedway and this is a well-deserved honor," said Mike Tatoian, Dover International Speedway’s president and CEO. "As we near the end of our 50th anniversary celebrations, it’s impossible to think of the Monster Mile and all of the growth NASCAR experienced in this region without Denis’ vision and leadership."
McGlynn joined what was then known as Dover Downs International Speedway in 1972 as director of public relations, just after completing his service with the U.S. Air Force at Dover Air Force Base. At that time, the innovative facility was in its third year of hosting both auto racing and horse racing.
"I didn’t know anything about auto racing or horse racing, but I didn’t know anything about airplanes when I joined the Air Force either and I did OK," McGlynn recalled in an interview earlier this year. "I started doing publicity, group sales and just about anything that needed to be done."
McGlynn was named chief executive officer and president of Dover Motorsports, Inc. in 1979 and oversaw the company’s expansion, including its construction of Nashville Superspeedway in the late 1990s and purchasing Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Illinois, Memphis (Tenn.) International Raceway and the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach (Calif.).
At Dover, McGlynn and his team oversaw the track’s internal improvements, including converting the Monster Mile to a concrete racing surface in 1994, building the famous 46-foot Monster Monument in Victory Plaza in 2008, expanding the FanZone area which features the track’s partners and fan activities, and this year’s addition of a new $5.5 million Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage area.
"Our team is offering more music, more entertainment and a wider range of food options," McGlynn said earlier this year. "The race will always be most important to us, but we realize – as the entire sports world does – that the fan’s experience has to be more than just the race."
In 1996, McGlynn became president and CEO of Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. and led it and Dover Motorsports, Inc. to public ownership and listings on the New York Stock Exchange in 2002. This past spring, Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment merged with Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc., which operates casino and gaming venues in Colorado, Mississippi and Rhode Island.
Dover International Speedway is hosting two NASCAR tripleheader weekends in 2020 on May 1-3 and Aug. 21-23, including a NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, May 3 and the "Drydene 400" NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Aug. 23.