Dover International Speedway
I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dover International Speedway. I received complimentary tickets to facilitate my post and promotional item to thank me for my participation at the conclusion of the program
Last weekend, I got to check off a bucket list item for myself – attending a NASCAR race.
While we aren’t die hard race fans and we didn’t really even know who was racing, I remember watching NASCAR on TV as a child with my dad. One of my good friends attends the Fall race every year and just raves about what an amazing time it is. So of course, my curiosity was peaked as to what it would be like to attend a race! We live just under two hours from Dover International Speedway, aka: Monster Mile, so it was a do-able day trip for us. When I was asked if I wanted to be an Ambassador for the Dover International Speedway, I jumped at the chance.
The FedEx 400 benefited Autism Speaks and featured NASCAR’s top drivers: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson (the winner!).
Leave for the Speedway Early
What the TV doesn’t show about race weekend is the enormity of it all. The whole area of Dover within a five mile radius was abuzz with NASCAR fans. Your GPS will get you to the area, however most exits and roads were detoured around the speedway. Alone the road leading up to the Monster Mile, many people had parked and chosen to walk a few miles. This was confusing for us, as we thought the parking must have been filled up at the speedway. That was not the case at all. There are many auxiliary lots around the speedway for the same daily rate that others were paying miles away. Regardless, I highly recommend starting your race day as early as you can.
Family-Friendly Pre-Race Activities
Why? There are a ton of pre-race activities! NASCAR has gone above and beyond to make race day a family-friendly event. Before the flag goes down, your kids can play at the Monster FunZone. This was a great way to let the kids burn off of some of their energy from the car ride and truly get excited about the race ahead. There were inflatables, bounce houses, mini golf, face painting, slot car racing and probably much more we didn’t even see! My kids became members of the Monster Mile Youth Nation as well. The Monster Mile Youth Nation is for children under 14 years old and your $20/year membership includes a Free FanVision Rental for the weekend ($50 value), a welcome gift (ours included a water bottle, die-case race car, ear plugs and a $5 off merchandise coupon) and much more.
Before the race, there is also a variety of concession and merchandise locations to purchase food and souvenirs, NASCAR driver Q&A and autograph sessions and concerts from top musical artists.
There are 6 FanVision rental stands throughout the speedway. My son and father thought this was the coolest thing ever. You are able to tune in your FanVision set to hear conversations between drivers and their pit team and the announcer of the race, watch live video. It really gets you into the action!
The Dover International Speedway is not shaded. It was one of the warmest days of the summer yet and the sun was blazing. Bring lots of sunscreen, hats, and water. The speedway is very unique in that they allow you to bring in a cooler with your own food and drinks. Before attending any new venue, this is always the first thing I find out and I was shocked to see that this was the case. With a family of four, it can get pricey to buy food and drinks at a stadium (although I thought the prices of products at the Monster Mile were very affordable for a sporting event). Be sure to check the website to find out what you can and cannot bring (ie: no glass) and how big your cooler can be. Another biggie is ear plugs! The speedway provides children ear phones free of charge, so if you do not have any, be sure to take advantage of that. Adults will want them as well, trust me! The noise of the NASCAR cars is like being right in the heart of a bee hive.
Find Your Seat in Time
The first few moments of the race activities were some of the best for us. The Star Spangled Banner, sung by Megan Rugar, felt so authentic and patriotic, it was really very moving. It included parachuters, fireworks and a flyover! The moment drivers start your engines was said and those cars revved up you could feel the anticipation. As soon as the flag dropped and those cars took off, the adrenaline rush was like something I never felt before.
We left around lap 200, as the kids couldn’t really sit anymore and we were all really warm. Plus, we wanted to be sure to get out before traffic hit. But, the morning and afternoon was an experience we will never forget!
Be sure to enter to win the Dover International Speedway’s “Families, Start Your Engines!” sweepstakes for your chance to win great prizes and access to the October 4, 2015 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race.