John W. Rollins, Sr.

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John Rollins was a visionary business leader who brought world-class motorsports to Delaware and personally kept the sport of harness racing alive in the First State in the 1980s when its
future here was threatened by competition from neighboring states. As chairman of Dover Downs, Rollins oversaw the growth of Dover Downs International Speedway. The facility at one time was the
world’s second-leading motorsports venue, attracting more than 500,000 auto racing fans annually. Because of Rollins’ commitment to auto racing, leading NASCAR drivers compete in Sprint Cup races at
Dover two weekends each year. Dover International Speedway also hosted a major Indy Racing League event, which attracted fans from around the country. In harness racing, Rollins subsidized the sport
for a number of the final years in the 1970s and 1980s. Rollins was a member of a partnership that raced a number of outstanding harness horses. Foremost of these was the great Albatross, who
dominated the sport in the 1970s, winning 59 of 71 lifetime starts against the top competition in the world. Albatross went on to become the most productive stallion in the sport at that time.
Rollins also raced such outstanding pacers as Jefferic Adios.



Every inductee into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame since our inaugural year in 1976 is represented on our website. Honoring the athletic excellence of these men and women is an integral part of Delaware sports history.


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