The entrance to to Dover Motor Speedway featuring the Monster. Photo by Nick Halliday

10 reasons to hit Dover Motor Speedway this weekend

Nick HallidayHeadlines, Sports

The entrance to to Dover Motor Speedway featuring the Monster. Photo by Nick Halliday


As we drove around the Monster Mile of the Dover Motor Speedway, we hit half the 180 mph that NASCAR drivers do.

Even so, you could feel the track pull the car right, towards the wall.

Speedway President Mike Tatoian countered the pull by holding the steering wheel to the left, a move that looked like an upper body workout. 

We were invited to ride around the track Wednesday as the Speedway built toward its race weekend.

Once the province of NASCAR-crazy fans, the Speedway has worked hard to turn the event into an affordable family affair, with lots of entertainment beyond simply sitting in the stands and watch the cars zip around like colorful flies without wings.

“Dover really likes to keep things affordable,” Tatoian said. “If you look at our ticket prices versus the rest of the NASCAR tracks, we are on the lower end, because we want to make it affordable for everyone to enjoy. Kids are FREE on Friday and Saturday with very affordable tickets for Sunday.”

Driving the track was exciting, enlightening experience.

The track goes into a 24-degree banking in the turns and 9-degree banking on the straights, which isn’t apparent when you watch on TV. Then, it looks like the track is flat, but it’s not at any point.

We had the luxury to get out and walk up the banking, which turned out to be difficult because the angle is so steep.


This snapshot shows more of the angle of the banks in the turns at the Dover Speedway. Photo by Nick Holliday.

I snapped a photo I think helps that angle, but unless you walk it yourself, you really won’t get the true feel.

It did illustrate how incredibly good these drivers are, going 180 miles per hour, inches away from other cars and challenging the laws of physics here right in our state Capital Dover.

Here’s our Top 10 reasons to head toward Dover this weekend.

Speedway’s NASCAR excitement

For three days (April 26-28), Dover is the national center of auto racing where America’s best drivers race at almost 180 miles per hour, inches away from other cars, challenging the laws of physics in a thunderous, high-energy experience. At the end three winning drivers and teams who combine skill, preparation, advanced technology, precision driving, and a little luck, to claim the famous Monster Trophy and join the ranks of past Dover winners such as Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson. 

There are three races in three days:

  • General Tire 150 ARCA Menards Series. Friday, April 26 features the General Tire 150 ARCA Menards Series race, a showcase for young drivers and a great way to introduce racing to your family. Tickets for kids 12 and under are free. 
  • NASCAR Xfinity Series. Saturday, April 27 is the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, where the next generation of stars race against NASCAR veterans for 200 laps. Tickets for kids 12 and under are free.
  • Würth 400 NASCAR Cup Series. Sunday, April 28 is the Würth 400 NASCAR Cup Series race, featuring the sport’s best drivers for 400 laps and the on-track centerpiece of Dover’s NASCAR weekend. Tickets for kids 12 and under start at $10.

Dela-proud moments

Dover Motor Speedway, also known as the “Monster Mile” for several reasons, has a lot of history and special features that contribute to the speedway’s reputation as a premier racing destination and a significant part of NASCAR’s history.:

  • High-Banked Concrete Surface: The one-mile concrete oval with 24-degree banking in the turns and 9-degree banking on the straights is challenging for drivers and makes it the world’s fastest one-mile oval.
  • Long History: The speedway has hosted NASCAR events since 1969 and more than 250 total races, making it a storied track in the racing community.
  • Monster Monument at Victory Plaza: At the track’s entrance stands the iconic 46-foot statue depicting the track’s mascot Miles the Monster, a symbol of the track’s tough character and a tribute to past winners and Hall of Fame drivers.
  • Versatile Venue: Beyond racing, Dover Motor Speedway has hosted music festivals, car shows, fun runs, food bank distributions and other community and entertainment events. 

Largest fan zone

Dover Motor Speedway has the largest Fan Zone for families and race fans in NASCAR. The eight-acre space behind the front-stretch grandstands features driver autograph sessions, fun games, and attractions for kids and adults throughout the weekend. And it’s all free.

Activities include:

  • NASCAR Kids Zone, which features interactive activities and the science behind race car technology. 
  • Micro-Professional Wrestling shows.
  • The World’s Largest Rubber Duck, sure to be a popular photo attraction, the duck is 60-feet tall and weighs more than 15 tons.
  • Tyler’s Amazing Balancing Act, as seen on “America’s Got Talent.”
  • Ally the Piper, the most-followed bagpiper on the Internet with nearly 3 million fans.
  • DockDogs, the world’s premier canine aquatics company.
  • Axe Throwing
  • Del Rods Car Club Shows
  • 50 other exhibits, displays and performers. See the full schedule here.

 The Monster Mile Bash

Presented by THOR, on Saturday, April 27, the bash offers games, fireworks and more.

  • 3rd Annual Monster Mile Cornhole Tournament. Online registration is available and proceeds benefit Speedway Children’s Charities-Dover Motor Speedway chapter. 
  • Dirty Deeds, The AC/DC Experience, performs at 4 p.m. 
  • White Lightning Bar + Arcade is an indoor/outdoor facility with dozens of arcade favorites and a full bar featuring Anheuser-Busch products.
  • Saturday Night Fireworks, presented by Kent County Tourism, take place at 9 p.m. 

Events benefit local charities

Many of the week’s events Speedway Children’s Charities – Dover Motor Speedway chapter. One was Thursday’s Laps for Charity, where for $75, fans can drive their vehicles for five laps on the high banks of the Monster Mile. They also can ride in the Speedway’s Ford Mustang Mach-1 pace car.

Last year, the Dover Motor Speedway chapter contributed funds to many First State causes, including Special Olympics, Autism Delaware, Make-A-Wish Delaware, Reading Assist, PAWS for People, Children’s Beach House and more.

Driver Q&As

On Sunday, April 28, NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson, past Dover champions Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. and this year’s Daytona 500 winner William Byron are scheduled for appearances at the Monster Monument starting at 11 a.m. 

Live Music, entertainment

On Sunday, April 28, the Würth 400 NASCAR Cup Series race day features country music’s Tim Dugger and Friends, the Amish Outlaws, the United States Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, Philadelphia Uptown String Band Mummers and mascots from the University of Delaware, Washington Nationals, Wilmington Blue Rocks, Pocono Raceway, West Chester University and more.

Easy peasy traffic, parking

Getting to the Speedway  is easier than you think, with parking free on Friday and Saturday and just $10 on Sunday.

Fans start coming to Dover days before the race, particularly the thousands of campers that ring the property leading up to the races that now offer more spaces, increased access and traffic officers to keep things moving.

Tailgating is also encouraged.  You can set up your spot no matter where or how you get to the Speedway. If it fits, it’s allowed.  Bring portable gas grills and shade tents, erect a flag and have fun with your friends. 

Easy on the wallet

Tickets for the General Tire 150 ARCA Menards Series race on Friday, April 26  start at just $28, while Würth 400 NASCAR Cup Series tickets start at $60 for the Sunday, April 28 event.  Children 12 and under are free April 26-27 and start at just $10 for the Würth 400.

You can take all the kids and their friends to the Fan Zone and the races and not bust the family budget. 

Great forecast

The weather will be on your side this weekend. It’s supposed to be cloudy with highs in the upper 60s on Saturday and partly cloudy with highs near 80 on Sunday.

Share this Post