Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dover International Speedway. I received complimentary tickets to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for my participation at the conclusion of the program. My family is a NASCAR family so I happily took on this opportunity! Know that I only promote items, services and opportunities we use and enjoy! Read my disclosure policy here.
Yep, we were headed to the FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks to see drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon as they tried to tame the Monster Mile! You might think we’re crazy bringing an active 21 month old to a sport that typically involves a lot of sitting, but then you might not have realized the amount of family friendly activities they provide at the speedway, especially before the race!
We tried to get there as early as we could, arriving around 9:30. I was SO surprised at how little of a traffic issue we had and how CLOSE we were able to park to the speedway! We were even able to make our way back to the car at a later point to cool down, stock up on refreshments and drop off purchased goodies before the race.
We made it inside, just in time to use our trackside access passes and walk out on the track. Brielle and Derek walked out towards turn 1 where 43 cars would later being barreling down at high speeds.
We were able to see them bring out the cars and set them up in their pit boxes with this special before the race access.
Here’s our little (growing) family out on the Dover International Speedway track. As Derek, my 7 month old preggo belly self and our 21 month old posed for this photo, some old man passed us with a smile saying “ya gotta start ’em young!” Can’t get any younger than in the womb!
We received special passes to hear driver, Jimmie Johnson during a special Q&A session. He seemed calm, cool and collected as he addressed the announcer and audience questions. Little did we know that he would eventually be the race winner later that day! Congrats again Jimmie for your TENTH Dover win!
With this adventurous day, we were able to experience the new kids club from Dover International Speedway, the “Monster Mile Youth Nation,” was all about. This club is exclusively for Nascar’s younger audience, meaning race fans 14 and under, so Brielle definitely fit the bill! This club allows young fans to explore the sport of NASCAR for an annual membership of only $20.
For that affordable price, members receive a free Fan Vision rental on one race weekend, free welcome gift (you can see the water bottle, magnet and and diecast car above, plus a missing merchandise coupon we already spent!), Special VIP area in the Monster FunZone and other exclusive access to race weekend activities.
We continued over to the “Monster FunZone,” where they had all sorts of free activities for kids a little bigger than Brielle, like mini race cars, a moon bounce and blow up obstacle courses.
We did find the above activity that was right up her and Derek’s alley, making the Monster Mile the location of her first mini golfing experience!
Prior to the green flag the Monster Mile also hosted several concerts, like Cassadee Pope and Thompson Square, at another fun activity area known as the Monster FanZone. You could also find tons of food and merchandise options here, like this cute mascot plush Brielle is holding. (Trivia: Did you know that the mascot’s name is Miles?)
With all the fun morning activities and the fairly warm weather, our little trooper was running out of steam. We made our way up to our seats with a great view and got ready for the green flag. Our friend Jesse and Derek’s Aunt Linda and Uncle Dave had joined us here for the great view of the Monster Mile at turn 4.
Derek and Jesse watched the Fan Vision for the drivers they picked in this weekend’s pool Derek hosts, while Brielle practiced wearing daddy’s headset.
The heat was a bit too much for this preggo momma and a little tot. After a few hundred laps we made our way back to the parked car to cool down while Derek and the rest of the gang enjoyed more of the race in our awesome seats. Brielle passed the time enjoying the cool AC in the parked car and coloring in the “Flat Jimmie” coloring book we received as part of the Q&A session.
With about 50 laps to go, everyone returned to the car and we were back on the road, listening to the race finale on the radio in an attempt to miss any traffic getting home. Brielle meanwhile was tuckered out from her big day at her first race and quickly well asleep for a late afternoon nap!
Sad you missed out on this experience this May? Luckily, you have a chance to go to the October 4, 2015 race, especially if you enter Dover International Speedway’s “Families, Start Your Engines!” sweepstakes here. Entrees will have the opportunities to win great prizes and access to the October “AAA 400” Nascar Sprint Cup Series Race!
Thank you to Dover Interntional Speedway for helping us introduce our little one(s) to the need for speed and this fun first NASCAR experience!