Track Facts – Dover Milestones



1969 — Dover Downs opens as a unique, dual-purpose facility for both horse racing and motorsports events. The first event on the one-mile, asphalt Speedway is a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, the “Mason-Dixon 300,” on July 6, won by Richard Petty.
1971 — All non-NASCAR sanctioned motorsports events are removed to concentrate on two 500-mile Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, held in the spring and fall each year.
1982 — Joe Ruttman wins Dover’s first NASCAR Xfinity 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, winning his seventh race at the track in the Sept. 18 “Budweiser 500.”
1984 — Richard Petty ties Bobby Allison with his seventh win at Dover, taking the checkered flag in the May 20 “Budweiser 500.”
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 Xfinity Series race to its annual schedule.
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.” 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 Monster Energy NASCAR 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 Gander Outdoors 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 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 Monster Energy NASCAR 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 an American flag for a victory lap around the track. The NASCAR Gander Outdoors 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 tracks in Dover, Nashville, Memphis and St. Louis, 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 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship comes to the Monster Mile in the fall as Ryan Newman wins 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 finished 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 property.
2008 —Dover International Speedway’s 40th year of racing. The second phase of Monster Makeover construction included the addition of the 46-foot Monster Monument at Victory Plaza, a larger-than-life fiberglass sculpture of the track’s signature icon Miles the Monster. 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 4 feet, creating an easier entrance and exit for pitting cars. By eliminating all grass on the frontstretch and some in Turn 4, the new pit road wall was set 4 feet closer to the track apron, 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. Project begins to widen grandstand seats from 18 to 22 inches. The project, which will take approximately two years to complete, creates a better fan experience for all guests, with a capacity of 113,000.
2012 — Jimmie Johnson wins his seventh Monster Energy NASCAR 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,” 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 Dale Earnhardt Jr. set a new qualifying record for the track with a lap of 161.849 mph (22.243 seconds). Joey Logano swept the NASCAR Xfinity Series events at Dover for the second straight year, becoming the first driver to win four straight NASCAR Xfinity Series races at the Monster Mile. In the fall event, the “5-hour ENERGY 200 benefiting Living Beyond Breast Cancer” NASCAR Xfinity Series race, Logano set a new fastest race record in his win at 131.219 mph (1:31:27).
 2014 — Jimmie Johnson adds to his record Dover wins total by winning the June 1 “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks,” running his total Monster Mile victories to nine. In qualifying for the event, Brad Keselowski won the pole and set a new track record with a lap of 164.444 mph (21.892 seconds). Jeff Gordon wins the Sept. 28 “AAA 400” Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, which was the first “Knockout Race” in the newly-formatted Chase for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship, narrowing the field of 16 Chase contenders to 12 at the checkered flag. Following the 2014 race season, Dover International Speedway began and completed construction on a new catch fence. The project incorporated the most up-to-date technologies and stands at 21-feet tall, up from the original fence’s 15 feet. In addition, the Speedway begins the process of removing grandstand seating in Turns 2 and 3, right-sizing the facility for the 2015 season. The seat removal brings capacity of the facility to 95,500.
2015 – Jimmie Johnson becomes the fifth driver in NASCAR history to record at least 10 wins at a single track after winning the May 31 “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.” Johnson joins Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson and Richard Petty as the only racers ever to accomplish this feat. In the fall, Kevin Harvick advances in the NASCAR playoffs by capturing the “AAA 400.” In a must-win race, Harvick leads 355 of 400 laps to propel him to the next round of the Chase.
2016 — Matt Kenseth leads 48 laps on his way to winning the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” for his third Monster Mile victory after a spirited duel with runner-up Kyle Larson and third-place finisher Chase Elliott. An 18-car wreck on the frontstretch at Lap 355, combined with close racing for the lead for most of the race, leads many observers to call the May 15 race one of the best in track history. In the fall, Martin Truex Jr. leads a commanding 187 laps on his way to a victory in the “Citizen Soldier 400.” Before the race, more space was created in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage area by removing a grass hill between the garage and existing harness track. Also, more than 500 feet of SAFER barriers added between the spring and fall races, along the exits of Turns 2 and 4.
2017 — In the Spring, Jimmie Johnson wins under caution during overtime to capture his 11th Monster Mile checkered flag in the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism,” extending his track record for victories. Some grandstands are removed in Turn 3, making the track’s capacity 85,000. Approximately 1,800 feet of SAFER barriers are added to the track. With this project, all of the Monster Mile’s outside walls have SAFER barriers installed. In the Fall, Kyle Busch passes Chase Elliott just before the white flag and holds on for his third Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at Dover. Harrison Burton, 16, clinches NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title with win in season finale.
2018 — In May, Kevin Harvick leads 201 laps in winning the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” for his second career Dover win. Johnny Sauter becomes only second driver to win multiple NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races at the Monster Mile after a “JEGS 200” triumph. In October, Chase Elliott notches his first NASCAR Cup Series victory at an oval-course with a victory in the “Gander Outdoors 400.”
2019 — Dover celebrates its 50th Anniversary season and hosts its 100th NASCAR Cup Series race on Oct. 6. Johnny Sauter wins third straight Dover NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race on May 4. Dover’s new $5.5 million NASCAR Cup Series garage is constructed between race weekends and debuts to teams on Oct. 4. Speedway officials bury a time capsule in the garage, with instructions that it be unearthed during anticipated 100th Anniversary celebrations in 2069.
2020 — Dover International Speedway hosts its first virtual races with NASCAR drivers on May 2-3, broadcast on national television, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Due to the pandemic, Dover’s two race weekends are consolidated into one three-day, six-race extravaganza in August. It is believed to be the first time one track host six points-paying races across a three-day period. The NASCAR Cup Series races were shortened to 311 laps/miles each on Saturday, Aug. 22 and Sunday, Aug. 23, won by Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick, respectively.
2021 — Alex Bowman wins Dover’s only NASCAR Cup Series race of the year on Sunday, May 16 before a limited audience due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions. Bowman leads a 1-2-3-4 finish for Hendrick Motorsports, only the second time in NASCAR’s modern era where one team swept the top four finishing positions. In December, Dover Motorsports merged with Speedway Motorsports, LLC and was officially renamed Dover Motor Speedway.