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Punkin Chunkin Canceled for 2014

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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.

http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/no-flying-pumpkins-this-year/1249938


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Win 2014 Punkin Chunkin Tailgate Tickets for New Dover International Speedway Location

UPDATE: OCTOBER 4, 2014 PUNKIN CHUNKIN CANCELED FOR 2014
https://midatlantictravel.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1824&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

Contest Ends: 10/13/14

Photo by David S. Holloway/Getty Images)

Photo by David S. Holloway/Getty Images)

The countdown has begun for one of Delaware’s most popular events, the Punkin Chunkin World Championship. Dover International Speedway will be the new host site for the World Championship Punkin Chunkin event.

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA) hosts a signature pumpkin-launching event each year, fueling innovative engineering and science-based ideas that draw spectators from all over. They believe that Punkin Chunkin cultivates the odd, challenging, and competitive quest for distance that inspires creativity, ingenuity, teamwork, and passion. It is this very dedication that drives teams to compete using science and engineering skills and brings spectators to the gate.

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This year, you and seven friends could be tailgating at the 2014 Punkin Chunkin World Championship. Contest winner will receive one (1) tailgate pass on the fire line and eight (8) tickets for the Saturday, Oct. 25 event.

Contest entry:
http://greenflagclub.doverspeedway.com/contest/761?utm_campaign=Call%20it%20Punkin%20Chunkin%20Tailgate&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Dover101&utm_term=Non%20Sponsored&utm_content=Experience

What started as a challenge in 1986 has turned into an epic, world-class competition drawing hurlers and mega crowds. For three days, engineers, both serious and home grown, bring their huge contraptions and give it all they’ve got to chunk their 8- to 10-pound pumpkin as far as it can go.

The gates open at 7:30 AM each day. All machines fire at least once a day, starting at 8:00 AM. The order can change from day to day depending on weather (they can’t shoot in foggy conditions), whether they finished all the machines the previous day, etc.

Image Courtesy of Rope, Inc.

Image Courtesy of Rope, Inc.

They have to play it by ear, but usually they start on both ends of the firing line, alternating shots with the adult trebuchets and the Youth mechanical teams – catapults, trebuchets and human power. Once the youth mechanicals are done, they continue firing the adult mechanicals, moving towards the center of the firing line. Once they are done, they then move to the youth air cannons, the adult centrifugals and the adult air cannons. Then, after all that, they usually have a free-for-all period until dusk where the machines may fire as much as they wish.

Cant’ wait? Play online to get in the mood.
http://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows/punkin-chunkin/punkin-chunkin-game.htm

For more information:
http://punkinchunkin.com/


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Traffic Alert for Firefly Music Festival in DE; I-495 Alternate Routes

Edit June 19, 2014
When you’re getting close to Dover, from either the north or south, make sure to take Bay Road exit 95 as opposed to another exit your GPS or maps may tell you.

Edit June 17, 2014–check out contest for 2015 Firefly Tickets: https://midatlantictravel.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/win-firefly-music-festival-swag-and-2015-firefly-festival-tickets/

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Many of you may not have caught the news, but I-495, the alternate route around Wilmington De has a large section that will be closed for the summer. This may impact concert goers traveling to Delaware from the north. Wondering which is the best way to get to Firefly? Due to the closure of the I-495 bridge, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) recommends the following routes.

From Pennsylvania using I-95
Because of the emergency closure of I495 DelDOT recommends timing your trip to avoid the morning (7:00-9:00AM) and evening (4:00 to 7:00PM) peak travel times. Also consider the following alternate routes to avoid the I-495 closure area:

North and West of Philadelphia:
Consider using I-76 to the Walt Whitman Bridge, continue on i-76 to I-295 or the New Jersey Turnpike south to the Delaware Memorial Bridge, continue on I-295 to I-95 southbound to DE1 south to Dover.

New Jersey and North:
Use I-295 or the New Jersey Turnpike southbound to the Delaware Memorial Bridge, continue on I295 in Delaware to I95 south to DE1 south to Dover.
Routes to Firefly 2014:

From the North:
Campers and RVs: DE1 southbound to Exit 104 Dover to a left turn at US13 southbound to a left turn at Leipsic Rd (DE88) to the Check-in point (Lot 1)

Daily Festival (Day trippers):
DE1 southbound to Exit 104 Dover to a left turn at US13 southbound to a left turn at Dover International Speedway (Dover Downs) main entrance.

NOTE: Should delays become excessive for southbound US13 traffic DelDOT may elect to close Exit 104 southbound ramp and direct vehicles south to Exit 95 to come north on US13.

From the South:
Campers and RVs: DE1 north to Exit 95 DE10, to Bay Road, to US13 north, to a right turn at Jefferic Blvd to Check-in point (Lot1).

Daily Festival (Day trippers):
DE1 north to Exit 95 Dover, to Bay Road, to US13 north, to a right turn at Dover International Speedway Main Entrance.

From the West:
Campers and RVs: DE8 eastbound to left turn to US13 North, to a right turn at Jefferic Blvd to Check-in point (Lot1).

Daily Festival (Day trippers): DE8 eastbound to left turn to US13 North, to a right turn at Dover International Speedway Main Entrance.

Real Time Traffic and Parking Information:

Real time traffic conditions and travel times will be available on WTMC 1380 AM, web at http://www.map.deldot.gov, and on the DelDOT Smartphone App, free for download at Google Play and the Apple App Store.


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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 http://www.DoverSpeedway.com


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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 http://www.DelmarvaBlood.org. 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

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My friends at Dover International Speedway sent word that Danica Patrick, driver of the GoDaddy.com 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 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, as well as a limited, 10-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule in the No. 10 GoDaddy.com 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 DoverSpeedway.com.


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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 www.DoverSpeedway.com.


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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

1-800-GO-TO-WIN

http://www.monsterracing.com

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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Join the Fast Crowd: Driving the Monster Mile Part 1

Dover International Speedway
Wikipedia: Ted Van Pelt

 

Imagine a perfect summer morning; a clear blue sky covers Dover International Speedway.  It’s hot on the pit road, and as you walk around “your” Winston Cup car, it’s easy to envision thousands of cheering fans filling the stands.

The Real Deal

Welcome to the world of Monster Racing, the people who will strap you into authentic Winston Cup, Busch Grand National or Ford Super Truck Series Racers and give you the opportunity to drive the “Monster Mile” at Dover International Speedway.

This is the real deal, said Operations Manager Ken Dyer; you are driving genuine “Cup cars”, not cars built to look like racecars.  They’ve all seen race action somewhere, and have been retired, usually because a Winston Cup team has decided to build the “next generation” or improved car.

Monster Racing takes the retired car, and prepares it for public use.  They completely refurbish it, inspect it for safety, and install a new engine.  The only difference between Monster Racing cars and actual Winston Cup cars are found under the hood.  Monster Racing engines are in the 400-425 horsepower range said Dyer, which gives the car good acceleration and a durable, reliable power plant.  “People have an easier time driving them because they have a more consistent throttle response.”

Most participants choose to drive a car with a four-speed, “because they want their driving experience to be as authentic as possible. They want to experience what their favorite drivers feel when they are racing-a true Walter Middy experience.”

For those “unaccustomed to driving a standard,” said Dyer, “Monster Racing pioneered the concept of an automatic in a stock car.”

Increasing interest in motor sports has led to an increase in those seeking the excitement of the racing experience.  In June and September, the Dover International Speedway draws over 250,000 race fans for the two NASCAR Winston Cup Races it hosts each year, said John Dunlap, Director of Public Relations.

In his opinion, fans from north Virginia, the Baltimore area, Philadelphia, and New York City come to Dover to experience what a race weekend is like.  Dover International Speedway has grown from 22,000 seats in 1986 to its current 140,000 seats, mirroring the national growth in interest in racing.  Once ESPN and FX television networks began broadcasting the races, and drivers acquired fans, the popularity of the sport took off.

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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NASCAR News

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.