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Dover International Speedway honors Jimmie Johnson in his final season

Dover News Desk
NASCAR Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson was honored in his final season by having his No. 48 Ally car installed into the waiting hand of the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza, presented by Ally, before the races this past weekend at Dover International Speedway.

Dover International Speedway unveiled permanent recognitions for the most accomplished driver in its long history when Jimmie Johnson made his final trip to the Monster Mile as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver this past weekend.

Johnson visited the sites Aug. 22.

The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports is recognized in several locations around the track including:

(BULLET) Permanent recognition on a plaque on Dover’s Victory Lane, honoring Johnson as “The Monster Mile Master.” The display recognizes his 11 wins and lists each of his Dover triumphs.

Dover International Speedway has installed a plaque in Victory Lane, honoring Jimmie Johnson as “The Monster Mile Master,” recognizing his 11 wins at the Dover track.

(BULLET) A road outside the frontstretch grandstands, previously known as Finish Line Drive, has been renamed Jimmie Johnson Drive.

(BULLET) For Sunday’s race, 11 large pictures of Jimmie Johnson were on display in the grandstands, one for each of his record 11 Dover victories. 

(BULLET) Also on Sunday, a billboard overlooking turn 2 proclaimed “Thanks, Jimmie.”

(BULLET) The recognitions complement the previously announced efforts of Johnson’s primary sponsor Ally. Ally, a leading digital financial-services company, is the presenting sponsor of the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza and the Monster Bridge suite complex overlooking turn 3. On Aug. 11, the No. 48 Ally car was installed into the waiting hand of the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza, presented by Ally.

“Jimmie Johnson has been The Monster Mile’s greatest champion through the years,” said Mike Tatoian, Dover International Speedway’s president and CEO. “As he says farewell to a full-time schedule in the NASCAR Cup Series it is fitting that we celebrate his legacy and memories he gave to thousands of fans here at Dover. He’s been a great ambassador for the sport and for Dover and we can’t thank him enough. And we couldn’t think of two better areas of our property to permanently honor Johnson – outside of Victory Lane, which has become his home-away-from-home throughout his career, and by renaming the road previously known as Finish Line Drive – now forever known as Jimmie Johnson Drive.”

Johnson’s first racing experience at Dover came in 1999, as part of the ASA National Tour. From there, Johnson never looked back at Dover when he entered the NASCAR Cup Series, sweeping two Dover events in his rookie year in 2002, completing another sweep in 2009 and gaining momentum for many of his seven NASCAR Cup Series championship runs.

“I was able to win there twice in my rookie year and really get the momentum I needed to start my career,” Johnson said. “The fall race has always been a great springboard for me on my championship years to put me in a position to win a championship. I’m really thankful that Dover is on the schedule and where it has been placed on the schedule, especially in the playoff era, has served me very well.”

Johnson raced in the “Drydene 311” NASCAR Cup Series races Aug. 22 and Aug. 23 as part of the “Drydene Doubleheader Weekend.” 

“A big thank you to all the fans for their support,” Johnson said. “I’m not sure this will be my last time to Dover. If it is, just thank you for the memories and the support. The track has meant so much to me. I love that area as well. I really enjoyed my time cycling or going out to eat at the various restaurants around town. So, thank you for welcoming me to your area and I’ve truly enjoyed all the success that I’ve had there.”

Dedicated in 2008, the Monster Monument in Victory Plaza, presented by Ally, stands 46-feet tall and holds a full-scale stock car in the monster’s right hand, which now features Johnson’s No. 48 car. The base of the monument pays tribute to every race winner at Dover International Speedway and features larger dedications to legendary drivers who are recognized for their special accomplishments earned on the world’s fastest one-mile oval. In just more than a decade, the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza presented by Ally has become the unmistakable symbol for Dover International Speedway throughout the sports and entertainment landscape.