Dover International Speedway and Dover Downs Hotel & Casino unveiled two new Delaware historical markers during a ceremony and luncheon May 2, kicking off the Monster Mile’s May 3-5 NASCAR tripleheader weekend as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Gov. John Carney, NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton, Dover Motorsports Inc. President and CEO Denis McGlynn, Rep. William Carson, Twin River Worldwide Holdings Executive Chairman John Taylor and Delaware Public Archives Director Stephen Marz spoke at the press conference that celebrated the history of the dual-purpose auto racing and harness racing facility, which opened July 6, 1969, with the Mason-Dixon 300 NASCAR Cup Series race, won by Richard Petty.
The facility’s three founding fathers, Gov. David Buckson, Lt. Gov. John Rollins and Melvin Joseph, were represented at the ceremony by family members, as well as prominent placement on the markers. More than 650 historical markers have been placed statewide since the program started in the 1930s.
“We want to thank the Buckson, Joseph and Rollins families for their contributions to Kent County and the entire state of Delaware,” said Carney. “Fifty years is a tremendous achievement and we look forward to seeing what the future holds here at Dover.”
“It’s an honor to be here on behalf of NASCAR,” said Helton. “We congratulate everyone at Dover on their 50th anniversary milestone.”
Funding for the historical markers was provided by the three state legislators whose districts border and encompass the Monster Mile: State Reps. Carson and Sean Lynn and State Sen. Trey Paradee.
Next to the speaker’s podium, Dover International Speedway’s original pace car, a 1969 Oldsmobile 442, was on display with a golden Monster Trophy, which provided the backdrop for dozens of photos for ceremony attendees.
In addition to the gold Monster trophies given to the race winners and free 1:64-scale Dover diecast cars to the first 15,000 guests on May 5, fans can also enjoy multiple free performances by the famous Harlem Globetrotters in the 8-acre FanZone on May 5, a free Charlie Daniels Band concert on the Xfinity Stage in Victory Plaza on May 5, free appearances by country music star John Rich on May 4-5, Micro Wrestling Federation matches on May 4-5, Del Rods Car Club car shows May 4-5, a Winston Cup Mobile Museum display and on-site NASCAR and sports betting May 5.
For a schedule and more, visit doverspeedway.com.