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Dover Speedway improves camping lots ahead of 2024 race

Katie Tabeling
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The Dover Motor Speedway has added nearly 1,000 camping lots ahead of its 2024 tripleheader weekend, betting big on high interest in camping. | PHOTO COURTESY OF DOVER MOTOR SPEEDWAY

DOVER — Capitalizing on the COVID-spurred camping boom, the Dover Motor Speedway has added nearly 1,000 new lots, some with electric hookup, ahead of the NASCAR tripleheader weekend next year.

The operators of the Monster Mile racetrack announced in late November it had finished creating or expanding camping lots as part of its More in ‘24 campaign to build buzz around the venue’s first April race. With the new spots, Dover Motor Speedway has more than 3,000 spots available to be booked for RV, trailers, pop-up campers and tents.

“The NASCAR camping community is the most dedicated group of fans in all of sports,” Dover Motor Speedway President and General Manager Mike Tatoian said in a statement. “By creating new campgrounds, and expanding existing lots and adding more amenities, we give our fans the best opportunity to enjoy NASCAR action in Dover.”

Dover Motor Speedway has long drawn legions of fans for stock car racing for its reputation of how hard the track is on cars and its drivers. With 24-degree banked turns, each turn can shake up the ranking, or spin some cars out.

But camping at the Woodlands of Dover Motor Speedway has been a popular option for many die-hard fans that come to make a three-day weekend of the races. About 15% of attendees of the NASCAR Cup Series race, traditionally held on Sunday, are campers who stay at least one night on the property, according to Dover Motor Speedway officials.

The Monster Mile is betting on interest in camping growing, as people stayed close to home but looking to get out of the house during the first year of the pandemic pushed them to the outdoors. Between 2019 and 2022, RV shipments from manufacturers to sales shattered records, with last year ending at 493,268 shipments, according to the RV Industry Association. 

With high interest rates and declining buying power, RV shipments are projected to drop to 307,700 units, but the association and Dover Motor Speedway are predicting a bounce back.

“Market research suggests that many people first entered the camping community during the COVID-19 pandemic, purchasing RVs or visiting various campgrounds to escape from their homes,” Dover Motor Speedway Vice President of Marketing and Communications Gary Camp said. “These folks are always looking for new adventures and options, which we want to provide at the Monster Mile, while at the same time continuing to welcome those hardcore NASCAR fans who have been camping with us for 20 to 30 years.”

The improvements include three lots with more than 125 spaces outside Turn 1 or Turn 3, compared to less than two dozen spots. The Turn1 campground offers some spots with access to 30-amp electricity and are close to the grandstands and the Fan Zone. Turn 3 camping is steps from another grandstand and Bally’s Dover Casino Resort.

Another lot has expanded grass spots for more room for tailgating, with some are large enough to fit four cars.

This year, Dover Motor Speedway announced it will host its only race weekend April 26-28, with the main event Würth 400 NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday. It’s the earliest race weekend in Dover’s history.

The General Tire 150 ARCA Menards Series race will be held on April 26, with A-GAME 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race the following day. But campers with reserved spots can come as early as Wednesday, April 24, to kick off a long weekend with plenty of nightly activities onsite. Dover Motor Sports has trivia night at the White Lightning Bar and Arcade, free concerns, driver autograph sessions and other exclusive camping activities.

 

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