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Punkin Chunkin Canceled for 2014


Punkin Chunkin had been set to take place Oct. 24-26 at Dover International Speedway. Organizers announced Friday they’ll instead start the event in its new Dover location in 2015.

“Moving an event the size of Punkin Chunkin is not easy even when time is not a factor,” said John Huber, World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association president.

The event’s membership didn’t settle on the Dover location until early July, and ticket sales started in early September. More than 20,000 people attended the 2013 event, spread out over several days.

Huber said the pumpkin-launching competition will instead return on Nov. 6-8, 2015, in Dover. Customers who had already bought tickets and camping passes this year will see refunds on their credit cards within two weeks, he said.

Gary Camp, a spokesman for Dover International Speedway, said the postponement was due to several things, including permits, site layout, public safety and emergency service planning.

“All along we were cautiously optimistic that the event would go on as scheduled,” Camp said. “Ultimately, the logistics of trying to coordinate such a large established event in such a short time frame at a new venue became too difficult to overcome.”

Both parties are committed to hosting the event in Dover, Camp added.

Advance tickets sold will be refunded.

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Firefly Festival Alert! Win General Admission Passes

Image Courtesy of Delaware Tourism

Image Courtesy of Delaware Tourism

The winner of this giveaway will receive two 4-day general admission passes to the Firefly Music Festival from June 19 – 22, 2014 and a Wednesday premier tent campsite! Complete the entry form below and receive bonus entries when you invite your friends to sign up! The sweepstakes will run till May 1, 2014.

Last year’s winner shared that, “This was one of my most memorable experiences. It was definitely something I will never forget and would love to do again next year. Thank you so much to the Delaware Tourism Office for giving me this opportunity! See ya in 2014 Dover!” – Sara K.

The winner will be required to provide the Delaware Tourism Office with photos, video and a written testimonial about their experience at the Firefly Music Festival.

Check out the Delaware Tourism Facebook page:

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Delaware Rocks!

VIP and Super VIP passes are on sale now; General Admission passes going on sale Monday, Jan. 20
Foo Fighters, Outkast, and Jack Johnson Headline the East Coast’s Largest Music Festival


Source: Firefly Music Festival

Fans of the Firefly Music Festival are happy to see the exciting 2014 lineup. Along with headliners Foo Fighters, Outkast, and Jack Johnson, the lineup includes Arctic Monkeys, The Lumineers, Pretty Lights, Weezer, Imagine Dragons, Ziggy Marley, and more than 95 additional acts performing across seven stages.
Festivalgoers can expect to see the return of favorite attractions such as the Dogfish Head Brewery, The Arcade, The Coffee House, and Hammock Hangout.


Source: Firefly Music Festival

For ticket info:

The 2014 Firefly Music Festival Lineup:

• A Great Big World
• A-Trak
• Aer
• The Airborne Toxic Event
• American Authors
• Amos Lee
• Andrew Belle
• Arctic Monkeys
• Asaf Avidan
• Bad Things
• Band Of Horses
• Basic Vacation
• Bleachers
• Breach The Summit
• Bronze Radio Return
• Cage The Elephant
• Cash Cash
• Chance The Rapper
• Cherub
• Childish Gambino
• Christian Porter
• City And Colour
• Courrier
• Courtney Barnett
• Cruiser
• Dan Croll
• Foo Fighters
• G-Eazy
• Gemini Club
• Geographer
• Girl Talk
• Goldroom
• Gregory Alan Isakov
• Griswolds
• Grouplove
• Haerts
• Hey Rosetta!
• High Highs
• Holychild
• Hunter Hunted
• Imagine Dragons
• Iron & Wine
• Jack Johnson
• Jake Bugg
• John & Jacob
• Johnnyswim
• Kaiser Chiefs
• Kodaline
• Kongos
• Little Comets
• Little Daylight
• Local Natives
• Lucius
• Magic Man
• Martin Garrix
• Mean Lady
• Misterwives
• New Politics
• New Sweden
• Outkast
• Phantogram
• Phosphorescent
• Pigpen Theatre Co
• Portugal. The Man
• Pretty Lights
• Royal Teeth
• Saints Of Valory
• Salva
• San Fermin
• Shakey Graves
• Sir Sly
• Sky Ferreira
• Sleeper Agent
• Sleigh Bells
• Smallpools
• Son Lux
• Step Rockets
• Stop Light Observations
• Tegan And Sara
• The Ceremonies
• The Colourist
• The Lumineers
• The Mowgli’s
• The Weeks
• The White Panda
• The Wild Feathers
• Third Eye Blind
• Tune-Yards
• Twenty One Pilots
• Typhoon
• Unlikely Candidates
• Vance Joy
• Vic Mensa
• Walk Off The Earth
• Washed Out
• Weezer
• White Denim
• Wild Child
• Wild Cub
• X Ambassadors
• Young The Giant
• Ziggy Marley

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Paperless System at Dover International Speedway

Photo Courtesy of Dover International Speedway

Photo Courtesy of Dover International Speedway

Dover International Speedway is pleased to announce that beginning with the 2013 season; it will offer its customers Flash Seats®, an innovative, paperless ticketing system that gives ticket holders electronic venue access using nothing more than their credit card.

Flash Seats is the electronic ticketing system of Dover International Speedways ticket provider, Veritix®, and includes a number of great benefits for fans. Flash Seats allows fans to conveniently swipe in on race day with no paper tickets, using a credit card; to easily transfer tickets to anyone electronically, anytime, anywhere, right up to the start of the event; and to eliminate lost and stolen ticket issues.

“By implementing Flash Seats, the track is moving into the modern era of ticketing, while also promoting a greener, more eco-friendly ticketing option,” said Mark Rossi, vice president of sales and marketing for Dover Motorsports, Inc. “In addition, the Flash Seats capabilities create a number of benefits for fans, such as electronic ticket transfers and having your tickets live on your credit card, much like an airline check-in.”

Dover, the first NASCAR track to utilize Flash Seats, will offer the new ticketing option as a replacement for print-at-home tickets, and as an alternative for traditional track-printed tickets. Customers can select “Flash Seats” during the checkout process, at which point tickets will be applied to their credit card. On event day, all the customer will have to do is swipe their credit card to be scanned at the gate for entry.

“As the only NASCAR track to use Flash Seats, Dover is putting itself at the forefront of ticketing technology and showing its commitment to fans by giving them a system that is convenient and easy to use,” said Guy Villa, vice president of sales for Veritix.  “We know that Dover fans will appreciate the flexibility that Flash Seats offers.”

For tickets or more information, call 800-441-RACE or visit

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A Good Deal Supports a Good Cause

Dover International Speedway’s annual 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive

Donors will receive a free pace car ride around the Monster

Our good friend Gary Camp sent us this information of interest to all NASCAR fans.

Carrying on a tradition established more than five years ago, Dover International Speedway will honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with its annual 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive. The event will be Tuesday, Sept. 11 in the Rollins Center at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.

The Monster Mile and Blood Bank of Delmarva first teamed up in 2006 for this event, and its success has made it an annual occurrence since.

Photo Credit: Blood Bank of Delmarva

All donors will be offered the opportunity to take a pace car ride around the one-mile, concrete oval with Track Historian George Keller, who has not missed a NASCAR race weekend or other motorsports event in Dover since the track opened in 1969. In addition, 94.7 WDSD-FM will broadcast its morning show from the blood drive, with Sky Phillips and the Wake-Up Crew live and on-site from 5 to 10 a.m.

The 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive on Sept. 11 is open to the public and will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Rollins Center Ballroom at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. To make an appointment, call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit Although appointments are strongly encouraged, walk-in donors are welcome and will be taken if time permits.

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Danica Patrick added to Monster Mile Club

Patrick joins Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman for exclusive question-and-answer sessions


My friends at Dover International Speedway sent word that Danica Patrick, driver of the Chevrolet in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series, will appear for a question-and-answer session in the Monster Mile Club at 11 a.m. before the Sept. 30 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Joining Patrick on the schedule for the morning’s Q&A sessions are two-time Dover winner Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Best Buy Ford, and three-time winner at the Monster Mile Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet.

Patrick, one of the most recognizable figures in all of sports, is running a full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule for the first time this season in the No.7 Chevrolet, as well as a limited, 10-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule in the No. 10 Chevrolet. The Sunday, Sept. 30 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Monster Mile serves as one of those 10 races.

Fans in the Monster Mile Club will have the opportunity to hear all about Patrick’s experiences in both series this year, a recap of her performance in the Sept. 29 “OneMain Financial 200” NASCAR Nationwide Series race from the day prior, her plans to jump into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series full time in 2013 and much more.

The Monster Mile Club opens at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30 with a continental breakfast. Trackside Access begins at 8:30 a.m. with the hosted question-and-answer sessions with Patrick, Kenseth and Newman following later in the morning. An all-you-can-eat lunch will be served from 11 a.m. until the start of the “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at 2 p.m., at which point the Monster Mile Club will close.

NASCAR returns to the Monster Mile on Sept. 28-30, 2012 with the Sept. 30 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Sept. 29 “OneMain Financial 200” NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the Sept. 28 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.

For tickets or more information, call 800-441-RACE or visit

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NASCAR News: Matt Kenseth added to Monster Mile Club lineup prior to Sept. 30 “AAA 400”

Roush Fenway driver joins Ryan Newman for exclusive question-and-answer sessions
Photo courtesy of Dover International Speedway

Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Best Buy Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will appear for a question-and-answer session in the Monster Mile Club the morning of the Sept. 30 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Joining Kenseth on the schedule for the morning’s Q&A sessions is three-time Dover winner Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet.

Kenseth, a two-time victor at Dover, including in the 2011 spring race at the Monster Mile, and this year’s “Daytona 500” winner, has been atop the standings for the bulk of the season and is a near-lock to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. As the Sept. 30 “AAA 400” serves as race No. 3 in the 10-race Chase, fans will get to hear about Kenseth’s strategy, his expectations for the Chase and that day’s race, and how he plans on making a run for his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

For tickets or more information, call 800-441-RACE or visit

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The Excitement of Monster Racing: Driving the Monster Mile Part 2

The Monster Mile via Heath Lawson

The day of Monster Racing starts with a student-driver’s check-in at the start-finish line.  Monster Racing has a variety of packages available, from a four-lap passenger ride to a 30-lap drive program. Many participants receive their day-at-the-racetrack as a gift.

Monster Racing sends all student-drivers a Rule and Safety Handbook in advance.  The focus is on creating the excitement of a racing event, not on speed.  Monster Racing has specific rules for the safety of the drivers, crews and spectators.

The requirements for participation as a driver in Monster Racing are fairly basic; you must be 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license.  You need to be in good health, and physically able to enter and exit the race car on your own.

Cars are sized to fit almost all size drivers comfortably.  For safety reasons, the seats are bolted to the car frame, and don’t adjust.  Monster Car Racing will ask for some personal information in advance, including your height and weight.  You’ll be assigned to the car that best fits your size.  Drive order is set to maximize car rotation through your driver class.

You’re welcome to bring family members or friends with you to share your day.  They can watch you drive from the pits or share in the fun by taking a ride with one of the instructors.  Children under the age of 18 have to watch from a designated safety area.  Cameras and video equipment are welcome.

Once you’ve checked-in, driver-students are driven around the racetrack for an informative ride loaded with driving tips and safety reminders.      The drive also familiarizes the students with the “Monster Mile”- including its 24 degrees of banking through the corners and nine degrees down the shoot.  The 24 degrees feels a lot steeper than it sounds when you’re parked and tilted sideways in a van!

After the ride around the track, it’s time for the students to get into their suits and head for the drivers’ meeting.  Monster Racing provides a fire resistant driving suit, driving helmet, and driving gloves for all participants.  They suggest you wear comfortable, loose fitting street clothes under your driving suit.

In the drivers’ meeting, one of the driver-instructors reviews safety procedures, flag signals, and provides more driving tips.

The driving experience consists of a “follow the leader” format.  In most cases, two students drive behind one instructor, and maintain a space of six to eight car lengths.  Speed increases every lap.  Student-drivers are not allowed to pass one another, but if you get stuck behind a slower driver, don’t worry.  The drivers pull over, and the order of drivers switched to allow the instructor and faster student to proceed at a higher speed.

All of this preparation leads up to the main event: driving the cars.

After the meeting, student-drivers walk along the pit road and examine the race cars; snapping pictures standing next to their favorites.  A dry erase board posted on the concession stand indicates the order of the student-drivers.  Those who had signed up to ride in the passenger seat with one of the instructors are called to the racetrack.

Sharon Mc Cann of Newark  found the ride-along not only “great”, but it also “helped reinforce what they said in the orientation.  During the drivers’ meeting they showed us on the diagram where to start the turns, but during the ride-along the driver can actually show you on the course where to take the turns.  He also turns the steering wheel and travels back and forth on the straightaway and curves, so you develop confidence that the car isn’t going to flip.  It will stick to the course.”

Scott Traver of Wilmington agreed his ride along was “really cool” and “the car shouldn’t be able to do what the driver makes it do.  It’s not natural for the car to stick to the course at those speeds.”

After watching the instructors drive, and hearing the enthusiasm of their fellow students, the remainder of the student-drivers are even more anxious to get behind the wheel.

If some engines can be described to purr, the race cars’ are more akin to a full-throated snarl.  It’s as if they resent being tethered to the pit road, and are as anxious as their drivers to be off racing down the “Monster Mile”.  Some drivers pace along the pit road, or watch the other drivers on the track, while waiting their turn.  The excitement is palpable, contagious.

Soon it’s your turn, and you climb through the window into the driver’s seat.  There are last minute safety instructions, including how to use the fire extinguisher, as they strap you in.  Engine noise is loud, and you listen carefully to those last minute tips- but then you realize they’re pulling your leg and telling you remember to relax and breathe.

“We strive to create a sense of group,” said Dyer, “when you get done, we want you to feel like you had the experience with friends.”

The car is remarkably responsive and straightforward to drive.  You ease off the pit road, ready to follow the lead driver.  As promised in the drivers’ meeting, the first laps are taken slow, to acclimate you to your car. You get the green flag and you’re off.

Each lap is faster, with student-drivers setting the pace.  “Unlike racing pros, our instructors spend 95% of their time looking in their review mirrors.  They want to know where the students are.  The flagmen act as spotters and are in constant communication with the drivers to ensure safety.”

As your confidence and speed increase, you are pushed deeper into the seat on every turn.  Yet the tires stick to the track as promised, and the car performs solidly and nimbly.  Too soon the checkered flag flashes, and your ten laps are over.

Bill Campbell, of Chesapeake City, was confident he would go even faster on his second 20 laps.  Speed, he said, is not the important part.  As Monster Racing emphasizes, the key factor is the excitement of the racing experience. 

Monster Racing


This story was first published in the News Journal in 2002 under the byline of Gail A. Sisolak. All rights reserved.

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Rural History Comes Alive at The Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village

Visitors to The Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village have a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of rural Delaware lifestyle through the ages.  According to Executive Director Linda Chatfield, the museum’s mission is to give visitors a “living history” experience.  “You have the chance to immerse yourself in another time, trying through a variety of devices to get the flavor of living in that time.  To use the time honored cliché, it’s like walking a mile in their shoes.”

You may forget you are in modern Dover when you step into the re-created village of Loockerman Landing.  Bullfrogs sing in the old millpond as Canada geese parade nearby.  Silver Lake borders this “village that never was” which, said Chatfield, “was designed as a theoretical crossroads that gives one of each type of structure.

Representative of Delaware towns of the past, Loockerman Landing Village consists of 18 buildings waiting to be explored.  Many are common farm buildings, which would not have survived if they had not been moved to the museum.  Most rural structures built before 1900 were “vernacular architecture” said Chatfield, or common buildings designed by the builder since the owners could not afford an architect.  Vernacular architecture tended to be typical for a region, and can be defined by the building materials used, the room layout, and room use.

The Carney Farmhouse (ca. 1893) is not only a beautifully simple example of an 1890’s Cheswold Farmhouse; it demonstrates vernacular architecture with its efficient design.  Visitors can explore the ground floor, noticing the upwardly mobile furnishings in the parlor.  An important status symbol, a pump organ, has prominent pride of place.

Chatfield said the collection of buildings is important because the museum has chosen not to represent the house museums of the wealthy, as seen in other regional museums.  At The Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village, visitors have an opportunity to explore the lifestyle of working farmers and rural townspeople.

In 1864, a farmer built the Loockerman Landing Train Station in what is now known as Woodside.  According to local lore, the name “Woodside” was inspired by the piles of wood stacked near the station.  Train stations were critical to farmers and the development of the agricultural industry since they opened many new markets in the mid-19th century.  Once efficient transportation routes developed, fresh produce could be shipped quickly to market, and canned goods and livestock transported across the United States.

The Johnson & Son Blacksmith (ca. 1850)/ Wheelwright Shop (ca. 1886) came from a site near Staytonsville in Sussex County.  Johnson started out as a rural farmer, able, like many; to repair his own tools and shoe his horses.  Blacksmithing and wheelwrighting became his fulltime occupation by 1870

This building is typical of blacksmith shops found throughout rural America.  All sorts of clutter often filled the blacksmith shops; from broken pieces of equipment waiting repair to scrap iron, horseshoes, and tools.  Dirt floors helped to reduce the risk of a fire, while open high ceilings allowed smoke and fumes to escape.

Reed General Store (ca. 1871) may have been in operation for the longest consecutive period of time of any store in Delaware.  Few changes have been made to the one and one-half story building during its 123-year history. Some visitors to the museum still refer to it as “Elsie Jenkins’ Store” after the long time proprietor and Reed family member.

“Many people who visit Loockerman Landing Village remember buying milk at the General Store, or getting a haircut at the Gourley Barbershop.  Unfortunately, as the rural lifestyle disappears, we are loosing this heritage,” said Chatfield.

A bench on the front porch and chairs placed near the stove remind visitors of the social importance of the country store. Lanterns, dippers, pails, and rug beaters hang from the ceiling while tin advertising signs decorate the walls.  Rakes, hoes, scythes, and other farm implements are “for sale” in the back room.  Jewelry, candies, tobacco, notions, threads, medicines and spices cheerfully line the display shelves.

Harry Gourly owned and operated his one-chair barbershop, (ca.1900) in Magnolia, Delaware.  Legend has it he cut children hair for ten cents if they wiggled and nine cents if they sat still.  Like other barbers of the time, Gourley displayed the shaving cups used by his customers, which advertised the number of customers he served.

Permanent exhibits in the Museum’s main exhibit hall feature thousands of objects. Part of the building has been extensively remodeled, enabling the museum to host traveling exhibitions they would not have qualified for in the past.  Some of the new gallery space is available for private rental.

“Powering Inventions” forms an important part of the museum’s display in the main exhibit hall, and explains the development of farm machinery from simple hand tools through modern machinery

The Whittlin’ History, a collection of woodcarvings by Delaware resident Jehu Camper, is housed in the remodeled section of the exhibition hall.  The Smithsonian Museum sought this significant collection of folk art.  It features 44 hand-carved scenes of farm and village life at the turn of the century in Delaware.

In the Round Barn Gallery vintage vehicles show the many ways farm crops traveled to the market.  An old wood wagon could be used to carry a variety of crops depending upon the type of rack used.  Photos from the collection show the wagon overflowing with lima beans.  A gleaming Ford Model T illustrates more modern transportation modes.

The Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village
866 North DuPont Highway
Dover, Delaware 19901

This story was first published in the News Journal in 2002  under the byline of Gail A. Sisolak. All rights reserved.

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Stewart-Haas Racing driver Ryan Newman
Image Courtesy of Dover International Speedway

Stewart-Haas Racing driver Ryan Newman will make an appearance in the Monster Mile Club the morning of the Sept. 30, 2012 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway, race No. 3 in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Fans in the Monster Mile Club will be treated to an interview with the driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, as Newman will participate in a question-and-answer session during his visit.

The Monster Mile Club ticket add-on is a hospitality option for fans the morning of the “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. On top of the Newman appearance, it also includes a Trackside Access pass to the front stretch of the track prior to the race, unlimited food and beverages (Pepsi and Anheuser Busch products), a race program and a souvenir gift. Ticket holders can add this hospitality option to their tickets for just $99.

Newman has had a lot of success in his career at the Monster Mile, winning three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races (two in 2003 and one in 2004), claiming four poles, and racking up six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes, all in 21 starts. The win in 2004 was in the first-ever Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway, making Newman the first driver to ever win the now-famous Monster trophy. In addition, Newman has one NASCAR Nationwide Series win at Dover in the fall 2005 race.

The Monster Mile Club opens at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30 with a continental breakfast. Trackside Access begins at 8:30 a.m. with the hosted question-and-answer session with Newman following later in the morning. An all-you-can-eat lunch will be served from 11 a.m. until the start of the “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at 2 p.m., at which point the Monster Mile Club will close.

NASCAR returns to the Monster Mile on Sept. 28-30, 2012 with the Sept. 30 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Sept. 29 “OneMain Financial 200” NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the Sept. 28 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.