DOVER — To one group of people, George Keller was the affable Dover High golf coach who guided the Senators to 14 team state champions.
On the other hand, to people at Dover International Speedway, Keller was the friendly track historian who knew as much about the place as anybody.
Keller will be remembered for both of his life’s passions after passing away on Friday at the age of 76 following a long illness.
Dover Speedway announced Keller’s passing on the track’s Facebook page. He was of just two track employees known to have attended all 100 of the Monster Mile’s first 100 NASCAR Cup Series races.
The streak started with Richard Petty’s win at Dover on July 6, 1969. That was also the year that Keller moved from Pennsylvania to take a job teaching history at Dover High — as well as working at the track.
The Senators’ run of golf state titles including winning seven in a row form 1991-97. Keller was always the first to say that former Maple Dale pro Rick McCall did most of the coaching.
“When it comes to Rick McCall and kids, he’s terrific,” Keller said after Dover won the 1992 championship. “He and I have worked beautifully together for 15 years now. It’s going to be hard on me when someday it’s going to have to come to a stop.”
At the race track, according to Dover’s press release, “On race days across more than half a century, Keller did everything from deliver champagne to the winning driver in Victory Lane to driving sponsors and fans around the Monster Mile in the pace car during pre-race ceremonies to serving as a pit road reporter.”
Keller, who was named Kent County Tourism’s Person of the Year in 2015, talked about how Dover got its nickname in a 2019 State News story.
“One of those Southern drivers after one of those 500-mile races, thoroughly exhausted, extremely dehydrated, crawled out of the race car at the end of the race and as he was keeling over from exhaustion was heard to have said, ‘That track is nothing but a monster,’” Keller said. “Hence, Miles the Monster.”
In 2008, Keller officially became Dover’s track historian. He continued to tell stories about Dover’s races to fans on track tours and at other events during the year.
In each race’s program from 2009-2019, the “George Keller Remembers” column appeared.
“George’s contributions will always be part of the story of Dover Motor Speedway,” said Mike Tatoian, Dover’s track president and general manager.
“His love of motorsports was transparent every day and he treasured sharing racing stories with our staff as well as countless Monster Mile visitors. The entire Dover Motor Speedway family is proud to salute his legacy and sends its well wishes to his friends and family during this time.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.