Dover International Speedway is gearing up for the Monster Mile’s 50th anniversary season and will host its 100th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.

The brainchild of former Delaware Gov. David Buckson, with funding largely provided by Delaware businessman and former Lt. Gov. John Rollins, construction on Dover International Speedway began in August 1967 by the Melvin L. Joseph Construction Co. from Georgetown. The land where the speedway sits today was previously a farm and local airstrip for small planes.

On July 6, 1969, Dover International Speedway hosted the “Mason-Dixon 300,” the first NASCAR event held in Delaware. Then known as Dover Downs International Speedway,10,509 race fans turned out to see Richard Petty take the first checkered flag by six laps over the next closest finisher.

The track became the premier home for motorsports in the mid-Atlantic region, as Dover continues to serve as the racing capital of the world twice each year and Delaware’s only top professional-level sports venue. The economic impact of the two NASCAR event weekends on the Delaware economy is about $94 million annually.

The tradition continues with two NASCAR tripleheader weekends in 2019 on May 3-5 and Oct. 4-6. The Oct. 6 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race will be the 100th NASCAR Cup Series race in track history. Dover International Speedway will be the 10th track in the nation to host 100 NASCAR Cup Series races.

“Our team is working hard to make 2019 the biggest year yet at Dover International Speedway,” said Mike Tatoian, president and CEO of Dover International Speedway. “For 50 years, the Monster Mile has been providing challenges for top drivers, excitement for our fans and terrific memories for all in attendance. Our 2019 celebrations, events and races will offer the perfect kickoff for our next 50 years of racing.”

In 2019, Dover’s monster trophies will be converted from their customary concrete-like finish to a metallic gold color. Winners of the six NASCAR events will take home these 2019 trophies.

A FanZone, complete with the Monster Mile Youth Nation area for kids of all ages, will include more attractions, driver appearances and autograph sessions.

The May 3-5 NASCAR tripleheader weekend includes the “JEGS 200” NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race May 3, the NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash race May 4 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race May 5.

The Oct. 4-6 NASCAR tripleheader weekend includes the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race Oct. 4, the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race Oct. 5 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race Oct. 6.

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