Crowds cheer for the sights and sounds at Dover Motor Speedway’s Würth 400


DOVER — The engines roaring. The blistering speeds. The pungent scent of burning rubber. There is nothing quite like the race experience.

That’s why tens of thousands of NASCAR fans gathered at Dover Motor Speedway afternoon to watch drivers take on the “Monster Mile” for the Würth 400 race. The speedway gained its nickname in part due to its steep banks, or the perpendicular angle of the racetrack on its turns. The mile-long track almost taking the appearance of a giant bowl.

“So, I’d say the biggest thing with Dover that makes it so tough is you spend more time here cornering than you do going straight,” said Kyle Busch, driver of car No. 8. “People talk about how taxing that is, and just how hard it is and physically demanding it is. And it is.”

Racing fans traveled to Dover from across the country to see the race, but that does not mean that it lacks fans close to home.

“I live in Dover and it’s either be a part of it or stay away from it, and I love racing,” said racegoer Chuck Ridgeway. “And you actually get to see some things that you would not see on TV that well, it’s just amazing.”

It is a common sentiment that the in-person race experience is like nothing else.

“You feel it, like, your whole body is vibrating because it’s going so fast. And it’s so loud. That’s always really fun for me,” said Brittany Lenard, who traveled from Pennsylvania with her brother Clay for the race.

“To feel and hear the cars and smell the gas and the rubber. It’s just an overall experience and environment,” said Justin Braun, who came to the race from New Jersey.

Mr. Braun says the fans are part of the appeal, too.

“All NASCAR fans are nice to each other. Whereas if you go to a sporting event, you’re gonna run into people that aren’t nice to you,” he said.

Dover Motor Speedway used to have two annual NASCAR race weekends, but that was reduced to only one in 2021, leaving fans only one chance to catch a race weekend and all the festivities it brings once a year.

The speedway’s aptly named ‘Fan Zone’ featured a staggering variety of attractions and food options for fans to enjoy during the hours leading up to the race. It featured everything from a car show to a fully stocked arcade and bar, to Micro Professional Wrestling, a wresting league where all of its stars are under five feet tall. The stone-faced 46-foot Monster Monument stood in the middle of it all, host to pictures and question and answer segments with different drivers participating in Sunday’s race.

Ultimately, Denny Hamlin took first in the race.

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