Dover track fun not limited to NASCAR racing

The Monster Monument, outside of the track at Dover International Speedway, is always a meeting place and attraction for fans throughout the weekend of NASCAR racing. (Submitted photo)

DOVER — Another weekend of NASCAR excitement at Dover International Speedway also brings with it a weekend of music, food and fun along with the racing inside the track.

The weekend will be highlighted by a free concert by Chase Bryant, a Red Bow recording artist and a young rising star on the country music landscape, on the AAA Stage at Victory Plaza at 10:30 a.m. Sunday prior to the 1 p.m. AAA 400 Drive for Autism Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.

Mr. Bryant, 24, has found early success on the country charts following the release of three popular singles, including “Take It On Back,” “Little Bit of You,” and “Room To Breathe.” Mr. Bryant’s second consecutive hit “Little Bit of You” rose to No. 3 on the country radio charts. His guitar-wielding Top 10 debut single “Take It On Back” spent 15 consecutive weeks on the CMT Hot 20 Countdown, seven weeks on the GAC Top 20 Country Countdown, and was a Top 20 Most Watched Video on VEVO TV Nashville.

A native of Orange Grove, Texas, Mr. Bryant grew up in a musical family. His grandfather, Jimmy Bryant, played

Chase Bryant has found early success on the country charts following the release of three popular singles, including “Take It On Back,” “Little Bit of You,” and “Room To Breathe.” (Submitted photo)

piano in bands led by Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings, while two of his uncles, Jeff Bryant and Junior Bryant co-founded the country group Ricochet.

The AAA Stage at Victory Plaza is near the Monster Monument behind the frontstretch grandstands at the Monster Mile.

Cassidy Daniels, an 18-year-old singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, will sing the national anthem during prerace festivities before the Sunday race.

As a young girl, Ms. Daniels’ family had to relocate 14 times as her father, a 27-year Special Forces veteran, traveled from assignment to assignment in the post-Sept. 11 military. Music soon became her muse, she learned piano and guitar and has now written or co-written hundreds of songs with some of Nashville’s top songwriters.

Ms. Daniels, an Asheville, N.C., native, has performed across the country, appearing on stage with artists such as Trace Adkins, Cole Swindell, The Marshall Tucker Band and more.

On Saturday morning at 10:15 Brandon Ray will perform a free concert on the AAA Stage before the OneMain Financial 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race and also sing the national anthem before the race.

Within the past year, Mr. Ray has opened for acts such as Kip Moore, Jon Pardi, Martina McBride, Frankie Ballard, Craig Morgan, A Thousand Horses, Chase Rice, Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots and David Nail.

Petty honored

On Sunday before Mr. Bryant’s concert, the AAA Stage will also host an appearance by illusionist Carl Michael at 9 a.m. and Austin Dillon, driver of the Richard Childress-owned No. 3 AAA Chevrolet, at 9:25.

Richard Petty will be honored Sunday in advance of his 80th birthday. (Delaware State News file photo)

At 9:50 a.m. on the AAA Stage, Richard Petty, NASCAR’s all-time leader in victories who celebrates his 80th birthday on July 2, will be honored.

Among the day’s activities will be a performance by the Aqua String Band, a Philadelphia Mummers group, and a Petty question-and-answer session hosted by Riki Rachtman and Mike Bagley.

Mr. Rachtman is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show “Racing Rocks” and a former MTV VJ, and Mr. Bagley, a Milford native, is the host of Sirius XM’s “The Morning Drive” and a Motor Racing Network announcer. Dover Motorsports President and CEO Denis McGlynn also will join Mr. Petty on stage for the event.

Mr. Petty, owner of 200 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins and seven NASCAR titles, will also receive a special, custom birthday cake made to replicate the same 1969 Ford that he drove to victory lane in the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Monster Mile, the Mason-Dixon 300 on July 6, 1969.

The Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Smithfield Ford is perched in the hand of the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza. The 46-foot tall icon at the track also includes seven granite plaques to commemorate each of his Dover victories, along with a larger marquee plaque to recognize his role in the sport.

Just before the green flag waves on Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism, Mr. Petty will drive a street-ready, No. 43 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird tribute car around the track as part of the pre-race ceremonies. The car will be awarded by Smithfield to a fan at the season finale in Miami later this year.

Ramsay grand marshal

Gordon Ramsay will be grand marshal for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR race at Dover International Speedway. (Submitted photo)

Gordon Ramsay, the British-born, award-winning chef who has gained international recognition for his TV productions, will serve as the grand marshal for Sunday’s race.

Mr. Ramsay will give the command for the 40 drivers in the AAA 400 Drive for Autism field to start their engines before the green flag drops. He will also cook for some of them.

Mr. Ramsay, 50, is the host of the new weekly live cooking competition and talk show “The F Word,” which premiered on Wednesday on Fox. Throughout each hour-long episode, cooking competition will be combined with a variety show as Mr. Ramsay chats with surprise guests and VIPs in the dining room and appears in unique field segments with fans and culinary experts.

Mr. Ramsay’s other productions include the Fox shows “Masterchef,” “Masterchef Junior,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” and “Masterchef Celebrity Showdown.”

New food choices

Speaking of food, fans will have some new selections this time around.

Five food trucks from throughout the mid-Atlantic region will be offering treats in a centralized area near the FanZone. The businesses include:

• DC Slices: Pizza slices, tater tots, cheese tots, mozzarella sticks

• The Hungry Spork: Loaded tater tots, bacon kebabs, shrimp tacos, Italian sausage and peppers sub

• I Don’t Give A Fork: Mac & cheesesteak, jive turkey BLT, chicken fingers, sloppy pig

• My Four Suns: Dragon dumpling bowl, meat kimchi fries, rice bowl, tacos

• WiLDWiCH: Gourmet sandwiches including jerk chicken, hickory smoked pulled pork and turkey meatball

Concession stands will also feature new dishes including:

• Monster Beef and Cheddar: Pulled pot roast, beef gravy, fried onions, white cheddar cheese sauce on a brioche bun. It can be found at Monster Mash stand outside of Gate 4.

• Pulled Pork Loaded Fries: French fries, pulled pork, bacon, cheese sauce, jalapenos, choice of three barbecue sauces (Carolina, Texas, Kansas City). They can be found at Cheesy Pig stand outside of Gate 2.

• Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese: Pulled pork, mac & cheese, choice of three barbecue sauces (Carolina, Texas, Kansas City). It can be found at Cheesy Pig stand outside of Gate 2.

• Walking Tacos: Ground beef, choice of Doritos or Fritos, cheddar cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos. They can be found at TACO TACO stand outside of Gate 2.

• Salted Caramel Filled Pretzel: Jumbo Bavarian pretzel stuffed with salted caramel, topped with cinnamon rock sugar. It can be found at Monster Mash stand outside of Gate 4.

• Monster Crunch: Fried treat with two flavors: cinnamon sugar and Cajun. It can be found at American Grill stand outside of Gate 4 and concession stands inside Gates 3 and 19.

Odds and ends

Today at 9 a.m., The International Drone Racing Association begins practice in the FanZone.

The group will feature 16 professional teams from around the world, competing to earn points toward the world championship.

At 4 p.m. and 9 a.m. Saturday will be qualifying. At 1:10 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday, eliminations will take place. Then at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, the semifinals will take place with the finals at 11:55 a.m.

All events will take place at the FanZone and are free to watch.

At 12:30 p.m. today there will be a free NASCAR Camping World Truck Series autograph session at the Delaware Office of Highway Safety display in the FanZone. Pick up wristbands starting at 11:30 a.m.

At 1:30 p.m., drivers Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Truex will make an appearance at the Sea Watch International display in the FanZone. They will also be there at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.

At 5:30 p.m. today. the Bar Harbor 200 presented by Sea Watch International NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race will begin.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, entertainment on the AAA Stage at Victory Plaza begins, including appearances by driver Brandon Jones, Richard Childress Racing team members and MRN personalities.

Also at 9 a.m., driver Elliott Sadler will appear in the OneMain Financial display in the FanZone.

At 11:30 a.m. Saturday Bear Hollow Wood Carvers will start their auction at Victory Plaza where fans can bid on unique creations. They will be back there at 11:30 a.m. Sunday as well.

At 1 p.m. the OneMain Financial 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race begins.

At 9 p.m., fireworks will light up the RV lots, which will be followed by a free showing of “The Angry Birds Movie.”

Sunday will see the Chase Bryant concert, Richard Petty celebration and other events previously mentioned leading up to the 1 p.m. AAA 400 Drive for Autism Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.

All races will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

For tickets or more information, call (800) 441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.