From the travels and adventures of the “World’s #1 Trackchaser”
Dover Downs International Speedway – Lifetime track #80
The Dover Downs International Speedway is officially listed as my 80th lifetime track. I did not begin writing my famous “Trackchaser Reports” until the middle of the year 2000. My first official Trackchaser Report was written for track #425, the State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, Missouri. I saw that track with my brother Mark on May 28, 2000.
Therefore much of I can tell you (as limited as it is) is from memory. Carol and I were living in Ridgefield, Connecticut at the time of our visit to Dover. I have very little remembrance of this race. I do know that the night before I watched Sammy Swindell win at the Lincoln Speedway in New Oxford, Pennsylvania. I don’t have any record of Carol attending the Lincoln Speedway but do have her credited with the Dover visit.
Now this is odd. It’s a 4 1/2 hour drive from our home in Connecticut to the Lincoln Speedway. There isn’t any chance that Carol and I would have seen Dover on the Sunday and not been together for Lincoln the night before. However, until Carol produces a Lincoln Speedway ticket stub I can’t give her credit. You understand right.
Two days after Dover I drove down the Grandview Speedway to see Steve Kinser win a World of Outlaws race in Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania. The next weekend I was at the famous Flemington Speedway in New Jersey. We only lived in Connecticut for 15 months. Can you imagine the dent I could have made into East coast trackchasing had we stayed in Connecticut a bit longer.
Bobby Allison was the winner at Dover in the Mason Dixon 500. My brief description of our visit was “below average NASCAR racing”. I prefer Dover over several other current NASCAR tracks so maybe I just caught that track on a bad day. I’ve got to smile when “fans” say NASCAR racing was so much better back in the day. For our race in Dover only Bobby Allison and Richard Petty finished on the lead lap. Buddy Baker was three laps down in third place and Harry Gant finished fourth four laps behind the winner. Only eight cars out of a starting field of of just 34 finished within 24 laps of the lead. Maybe that’s why I didn’t think much of the race. Can you imagine the complaints from fans if a modern day race was so uncompetitive!
Don’t miss my special essay. Is NASCAR good or bad? I compare my views with Guy Smith, noted NASCAR “Hater”. I think Guy simply has a bad case of “class envy”.
A fairly large group of drivers racing on that day later met their deaths on the racetrack. These included Dale Earnhardt, Neil Bonnett and J.D. McDuffie. NASCAR racing was much more dangerous back then wasn’t it?
You might have remembrances about this track. If so, please feel free to share in the comments section below. If you have any photos from back in the day, send them to me at Ranlay@yahoo.com. I’ll try to include them here.