Dover Speedway is located in Dover, New Hampshire, United States.
The International Speedway Corporation purchased the property for US$16.3 million in 1998. The complex, which is home to NASCAR’s most prestigious race, consists of six corners and the historic Dover Downs Hotel and Casino.
The track itself measures a whopping 4.9 km (3.1 miles) in length. It was originally designed as a motorcycle racing circuit in the early 20th century, and it has been a part of the NASCAR American Championship Series ever since. Each year, approximately 175,000 people attend the race, which is the equivalent to about 10.6% of the town’s population.
On the weekend of August 17, 2019, Dover was named the best sports city in America by the New York Times. The newspaper cited the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Championship as the main reason for the accolade, but the city’s rabid sporting fans also contributed.
The Most Influential Race In Motorcycling History
The first organized motorcycle race took place in Indianapolis in 1902. Since then, motorcycle racing has evolved into a true mainstream sport, attracting many younger generations. The advent of the automobile and the desire to avoid traffic jams led to the creation of the original Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1910. The venue is a testament to the sport’s growth, having been expanded several times since its inception.
The Indy 500 was the first big race to be contested on the brand-new track. The event quickly gained popularity, and it was decided to hold the annual event on May 30th, which became a national holiday in Indiana, named as such due to the enormous crowds that turn up to see the race.
The following year, the French Grand Prix was added to the already impressive schedule, which at the time consisted of three other American races (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes) and the Indianapolis 500. Since then, the French Grand Prix has retained its place as one of the marquee events on the IndyCar schedule.
The rise of the street racing scene in the ’80s and ’90s saw the birth of many different racing series, with each one attracting its own following. In the United States, the most popular racing series is undoubtedly the NASCAR Cup Series, which is similar to the premier series in other parts of the world. In 2019, for example, the NASCAR Cup Series will be competing in 32 races, with the season finale taking place in the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A Family Affair
One of the things that makes the Indy 500 so special is the sheer number of fans that attend each and every race. The record for the most attended Indy 500 is currently held by Gabby Chaves, a Brazilian driver who scored her maiden grand prix win in 2018. The feat had already been achieved by five other drivers before her: Al Unser, Johnny Rutherford, Buddy Baker, Rick Mears, and A.J. Foyt. Chaves’ attendance record of 175,876 is a testament to the international appeal of the Indy 500 and to the popularity of the sport in general in the United States.
The first NASCAR Cup Series race was held in Daytona Beach in 1984. Since then, the series has expanded to become one of the premier racing series in the world. In 2019 alone, there will be 32 races, with the championship finale taking place in the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Just like in the case of the Indy 500, the popularity of NASCAR is a clear indication of the United States’ growing affinity for motorsport.
The Biggest Empty Arena In All Of Sports
It’s been a difficult few years for the IndyCar Series fans, with many of the races on the calendar being postponed due to the pandemic. The first postponed race took place on June 10, 2020, with the conclusion of the season being called off on September 30th. During the pandemic, the IndyCar Series was one of the few sports leagues to hold enough clout to negotiate safer terms with the television networks, keeping its races on air. Now, with the series back on the road to recovery, the opportunity exists to fill the seats at the ballpark once more.
On the weekend of August 17, 2021, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution put together an awesome package of articles detailing the history of the IndyCar Series. The tour will begin in Georgia, where the series will visit the state’s capital, Atlanta, as well as the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The grand finale will take place at the new state-of-the-art baseball stadium, where the first pitch will be thrown by none other than Jose Felipe Calderón, the President of Mexico. Just like that, the IndyCar Series will have visited all 50 United States. While the tour will be a celebration of the sport, it will also serve as a message of solidarity with Mexico, which has been devastated by the pandemic.
The series will then make its way to Canada, where it will stop in one of the cities previously mentioned: Toronto. There, the series will be hailed as the greatest international sporting event ever held in the country. With only one word to describe it: surreal.
An American Icon
When it comes to American sports icons, there are few that can even compare to the likes of Joe ‘Batman’ Dumont and Pete ‘The Rock’ Rodriguez. Heading into the 2019 season, Joe Dumont continues to reign supreme as the undisputed King of the Hill, having won the Indianapolis 500 five times in the past six years.
Dumont is the only man to have won the Indy 500 five times, and this year he will be defending his crown at the top of the heap. His winning streak is unparalleled in the history of the 500, a feat made all the more remarkable as he has spent the vast majority of his career at Hulman Racing. In 2012 alone, Dumont won eight races, equaling the number of victories by the legendary Richard Petty. In 20 years as a professional driver, Dumont has never finished worse than third and has scored over 200 podiums. In 2019, Dumont will make his 500th start with the team he built, Richard Childress Racing. In June 2019, Dumont became the all-time premier series leader in career victories with his fifth win of the season at Pocono.
Dumont’s five-time Indy 500 champion brother, Pete, was less fortunate in 2019, as he finished 10th in the driver’s standings. The two-time Brickyard 400 winner has been battling various illnesses throughout the year, which kept him off the track for long stretches. On December 30, 2019, Pete Rodriguez announced he would be retiring at the end of the 2019 season. For many, he will go down as the greatest active NASCAR driver never to have won the heavyweight championship. After winning Rookie of the Year in 1978, Rodriguez went on to become one of NASCAR’s all-time greats. His reputation as a tire-kicker is as legendary as his racing.
Even with Joe Dumont and Pete Rodriguez at the top of their games, the Indianapolis 500 is always one to look out for. The great thing about the Indy 500 is its unwavering reputation for providing the unique opportunity to see many different racing styles represented. The history books will be kept open for another five-time champion.