Speedway woos Drydene to sponsor October Cup race

DOVER — Triple announcements don’t happen very often.

However, one such rarity took place in front of the Monster Monument behind Dover International Speedway on Thursday morning in anticipation of the track’s upcoming Oct. 4-6 NASCAR tripleheader race weekend.

The only constant in each of the three announcements was the involvement of Drydene Performance Products, a company headquartered in Jonestown, Pennsylvania.

Drydene and Dover track officials announced that the company will sponsor the upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover’s mile-long, high-banked concrete oval on Oct 6.

Drydene also revealed it will sponsor Cup Series driver Corey LaJoie in that race and said that should he win one of the race’s three stages, one lucky fan will win a 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, courtesy of Hertrich Ford of Milford.

The announcements came as Dover International Speedway is preparing to cap its 50th anniversary season with its October races.
The track said earlier in the week that the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales will appear in Dover International Speedway’s FanZone throughout the upcoming race weekend, adding to a bevy of free fan entertainment as part of te track’s celebration.

The final announcement on Thursday morning alone was enough to get Mr. LaJoie, the driver of the No. 32 Ford Mustang of Go Fas Racing revved up about Dover’s race weekend. But he does face some huge obstacles — he has never won a stage in a Monster Energy Cup Series race and has only one top-10 finish in 84 career Cup races.

However, he did win a K&N Pro Series East race at Dover on Sept. 28, 2012, permanently putting his name on a plaque near the Monster Monument.
“Obviously if I can get the chance to give somebody a brand-new Shelby Mustang, that definitely makes me excited,” Mr. LaJoie said. “I always give 100 percent, but I might be able to conjure up 102 percent to try to get somebody a new Mustang. If we can do any sort of pit strategy stuff and maybe steal a stage win out there, you never know. That would make somebody really happy.

A lucky NASCAR fan could win this car.

“I’ve ran well (at Dover) in Xfinity cars and well as K&N (Pro East) cars. There’s no telling what can happen.”
Mr. LaJoie is a third-generation race car driver, following his grandfather, Don LaJoie, a member of the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame, and his father, Randy LaJoie, the 1996 and ’97 Xfinity (then Busch) Series champion.

Fans can enter the sweepstakes for the Ford Mustang by registering at Drydene400.com from today until noon on Oct. 6.
Mike Tatoian, the president and CEO of Dover International Speedway, was pleased the track known as the “Monster Mile” was able to attract an entitlement sponsor for the main event of its Oct. 4-6 race weekend — a Sunday Monster Energy Series race that will now be known as the Drydene 400.

“I think it’s a critical component to the success of any track,” Mr. Tatoian said. “Our sponsors are part of the oxygen that we breathe so to have them on board, especially a company like Drydene that has such a great reputation and brand, and that they’re going to be with us for a few years, is really terrific for both the track and for the brand, of course. It really does set us up great for the next few years.”

The multi-year sponsorship agreement with Drydene ensures that Dover International Speedway will have had a sponsor for both of its annual Cup Series races since the Dover 400 was held on Sept. 24, 2006. Prior to that, the Delaware 500 on Sept. 18, 1988 had been the most recent Dover race without a title sponsor.

While Dover’s races were mostly known as the Mason-Dixon 500 (spring) and Delaware 500 (fall) throughout the 1970s, CRC Chemicals became the track’s first race presenting sponsor with the CRC Chemicals 500 on Sept. 16, 1979.
Drydene made sure it will be a part of Dover International Speedway’s historic weekend when the track wraps up its 50th anniversary celebration with the running of its 100th NASCAR Cup Series race on Oct. 6. Dover will become just the 10th track to host 100 or more Cup Series events.

Mr. Tatoian said the agreement with Drydene was a natural fit.
“Things happen, the world changes, but I think a lot of it has to do with the history and the type of racing that we have here that attracts sponsors,” he said, “and obviously the platform of NASCAR from a marketing perspective, that does help as well.

“We are excited to partner with another historic and performance-driven brand, Drydene Performance Products, for the Drydene 400. We are looking forward to having Drydene as part of our Monster Mile family as we continue our track’s 50th anniversary celebration.”
Drydene has long been connected with dirt track racing — specifically sprint cars — in the past.

Dave Klinger, president of Drydene Performance Products, said that Dover’s racing heritage was undeniable and something that his company wanted to be a part of.
“Drydene Performance Products is thrilled to announce the inaugural Drydene 400 and bringing Corey LaJoie onto Team Drydene,” he said. “A partnership with the iconic track at Dover is a natural fit — like Drydene, Dover International Speedway is a part of American racing heritage.

“For the Drydene 400, Corey (LaJoie) is joining an outstanding group of drivers, both past and present, that have competed as part of the Team Drydene brand. From dirt to asphalt, local to nationwide, our drivers embody the hard work, dedication and tenacity that is part of who we are.”

Adds weekend horsepower
The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales will appear in Dover International Speedway’s FanZone throughout the Monster Mile’s upcoming NASCAR tripleheader weekend from Oct. 4-6, capping the track’s 50th anniversary season.

The Clydesdales will be on display throughout the weekend, including during special photo opportunities at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6, and noon on Saturday, Oct. 5, in front of the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza following parades around the property.

The Clydesdales will be just one of many free attractions coming on race weekend, including performances by the Harlem Globetrotters, a Grand Funk Railroad concert, Micro Wrestling Federation matches, the Winston Cup Mobile Museum, Bear Hollow Wood Carvers displays, and more.

“The entertainment options in our FanZone are bigger and better than ever during our 50th anniversary celebration,” Mr. Tatoian said. “Before the green flag drops on our postseason weekend of races, fans will have plenty of free entertainment options outside the grandstands.”

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

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