Dover Speedway is one if its kind, a place where motorsport fans from around the world come to see and be seen. If you’re visiting the UK and are considering seeing a NASCAR race or maybe even one of its big-name variants, be sure to check out Dover in Kent—especially if it’s on a Sunday!
The track has been around since 1923 and although it has changed a lot since then, it still has the original “oval” layout.
One of the most well-known spots at the track is the grandstand, where the famous “Fish Fry” takes place every Friday afternoon.
The annual Fish Fry is a traditional English sport where attendees get to enjoy some of the best food trucks around served up by local restaurants. If you’re visiting Dover and want to try some English classics, be sure to visit one of the bars in the Grandstand area or at the Park Lane Pub for lunch and dinner, and for something completely different, you could always check out the American restaurants around the track.
You can use the following Google Maps link to get a sense of where all the key British venues are located: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&oe=UTF-8&msa=0&msid=20797959387029685899.00048874a6c39ef4b12b&msa=0&msprop=business%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Fmaps%2Fnew%2F&q=Dover+Speedway&source=embed&w=1280&h=720&gl=GB
The track is classified as a non-championship race venue and is run by the legendary John Bishop. He’s been involved with the sport since the very beginning and has been serving as the track manager since 1980. During the week, you can often find him in the paddock, getting ready for the next race.
The track is open from April to October and can accommodate anything from NASCAR Gander Outdoors to the Porsche Supercup. In fact, nearly every racing series in existence has taken part in one of the races at the track!
Every year, the team at DMS get asked the same question: How long is Dover Speedway? And every year, they have to tell the truth: It’s a little different than you think. The following are some of the things you need to know about the legendary track before, during and after the races.
Before The Race
Dover is most famous for hosting NASCAR races, but it also holds motorsport events from around the world, including the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, the Le Mans 24-hour race in June and the IndyCar Grand Prix in October.
The track also stages the British Open Golf Championship in May and September, as well as the prestigious Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship in July. If tennis is more your style, you can also take a visit in June and experience the “Battle of the Sexes”—a tradition that continues even today. The men’s final is usually shown live on TV, while the ladies’ semifinals and finals are held at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time, respectively.
During The Race
As a non-championship race venue, Dover is open to the public on the Friday and Saturday before each race weekend, offering fans an opportunity to get close to the action. The track is a short drive from London, so getting there is no problem, even if you’re coming from the capital.
The entrance to the track is on the south side and is accessed via a bridge that crosses over a railway line. On race day, you will find several bus stops close to the track. Buses run by Local Authorities will drop you off right in front of the grandstand, while those run by Stagecoach and Natwest will drop you off closer to the paddock.
Once you’re there, you’ll need to find a good spot in the grandstand to watch the action. There are a range of ticket options available, from “field level” all the way up to “meet the drivers,” depending on how adventurous of an enthusiast you are. If you’ve never been to a NASCAR race before or if this is going to be your first time in England, it’s a good idea to contact the team at DMS to find out what’s going on. The staff there will be able to point you in the right direction.
After The Race
On the drive home, it’s important to keep in mind the time difference. As you’re coming from a time zone far away, it’s going to be close to midnight by the time you finish watching the race. Most attendees will head straight to bed, tired after a long day of watching cars go around a track. If you’re driving, bear in mind that the traffic lights near the track are adapted to stop bars and restaurants closing early, so don’t drink and drive. Even when the track is closed, keep in mind that the area is policed by Officers, who will stop and ask for ID if they smell alcohol on you.
Dover is a fantastic British track, hosting some of the country’s most iconic sporting events and drawing huge crowds. It’s no wonder that people are looking forward to the “big match” of the year—the World Cup final in 2022—being held there. Just a few weeks ago, the venue hosted the final of the Women’s British Open Golf Championship, attracting a record-breaking crowd of over 36,000 people. It will be a fitting end to what has been an incredible year for the track, hosting multiple British and international tournaments.