Heavy horsepower: NASCAR Hauler Parade to return in October

DOVER — NASCAR will bring a touch of the bright colors that paint the high-octane sport to downtown Dover this fall for all to see as the annual NASCAR Hauler Parade returns to kick off a racing tripleheader weekend at Dover International Speedway.

The NASCAR Hauler Parade will return to the streets of downtown Dover on Oct. 3 at 5 p.m. as the tractor trailers that carry the racecars of the NASCAR stars return to kick off a tripleheader of racing at Dover International Speedway. Delaware State News file photo

The hauler parade, presented by Delaware’s Quaint Villages, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 3, as part of the festivities surrounding the Oct. 4-6 NASCAR weekend, which will be highlighted by the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on Sunday, Oct. 6, the 100th NASCAR Cup Series race in the Monster Mile’s history.

“Colorful haulers have been a symbol of NASCAR for decades, and we’re pleased to be able to share that tradition with the Dover community,” said Mike Tatoian, president and CEO of Dover International Speedway. “It’s always great to see so many fans and families along the parade route cheering as the haulers roll past.”

A convoy of nearly 40 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series haulers will begin the parade — which is free and open to the public — by rolling through Legislative Mall in downtown Dover at 5 p.m. They will cruise past some of Dover’s most famous landmarks, including Legislative Hall.

From there, the haulers carrying the racecars and pit equipment of such NASCAR stars as Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson, will proceed on Legislative Avenue before turning left onto Loockerman Street and then right on South State Street. From there, the haulers will make their way to the track via Leipsic Road, where they are expected to arrive at around 5:45 p.m.

Michael Lewis, communications manager for Dover International Speedway, said a chicane designed to slow traffic that was constructed on the north end of State Street near the Silver Lake Bridge last November should not pose a problem for the drivers of the 80-foot long tractor trailers.

“There’s no concern there,” Mr. Lewis said. “The route was approved by the Dover Police Department and the Delaware Department of Transportation and those chicanes are designed to allow large vehicles such as tractor trailers, haulers and firetrucks to navigate.”

They’ve got the chicane covered, now they will just have to keep their fingers crossed for good weather.

The first NASCAR Hauler Parade in Dover was held in 2013, which attracted around 10,000 people along the route and featured dozens of the tractor trailers traveling through the city. Parades were also scheduled in 2014, 2015 and 2016 but were canceled due to inclement weather, before returning in 2017 and 2018.

During the parade, interested onlookers are welcome to stop by an information booth that will be stationed in front of Dover’s City Hall at 15 Loockerman Plaza from 4 until 6 p.m. to receive visitor resources and Delaware’s Quaint Villages giveaways.

Tourism Ambassadors will be on-hand to answer questions and provide suggestions of places to eat and visit during race weekend in Dover.

“We are very excited to be a part of the annual NASCAR Hauler Parade,” said Pete Bradley, who recently took over as president of the Kent County Tourism Corporation. “It’s fantastic to see fans and visitors line the streets of historic Dover to experience this exciting parade.

“We look forward to welcoming all visitors and fans and we are very appreciative of the economic impact these fans bring to our area twice a year.”

October’s NASCAR tripleheader weekend at Dover’s high-banked, one-mile concrete oval includes the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on Sunday, Oct. 6, as the track becomes the 10th in the nation to host 100 or more NASCAR Cup Series race.

The undercard leading up to Sunday’s premier event includes the General Tire 125 K&N Pro Series East season finale on Friday, Oct. 4, and the Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200 Xfinity Series playoff race on Saturday, Oct. 5.

The hauler parade will kick off Dover’s planned events and celebrations capping the Monster Mile’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration.

In addition to the special gold Monster trophies given to the race winners at Dover this year, fans can also take in free Harlem Globetrotters performances and a free Grand Funk Railroad concert at the Xfinity Stage in Victory Plaza on Sunday, Micro Wrestling Federation matches on Saturday and Sunday, a Winston Cup Mobile Museum display all weekend and more in the speedway’s FanZone.

Additional 50th anniversary events will be announced as race weekend approaches.

“We really made a commitment,” Mr. Tatoian said. “Our planning really started a couple of years ago for this event and it really was keeping our fans in mind, as we always do, but especially elevated because the last 50 years really has been successful because of our fans, our sponsors and our network partners.

“We think every weekend, of course, is special, but there’s some things were doing, just from an elevated perspective to help our fans really kind of enjoy this and it’s also a way to say, ‘Thank you’ to them.”

He added, “NASCAR works extremely hard to put a great product on the track and that’s their expertise, so we leave that to them and they leave what happens off the track to us, so it’s our responsibility to the sport to provide that kind of entertainment and I think we’ve nailed it.”

For tickets or more information on Monster Mile events and 50th anniversary activities, call (800) 441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com. Race fans can also keep up with track activities at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway, or on Twitter and Instagram at @MonsterMile.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@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.

Facebook Comment
WP RSS Plugin on WordPress