Melvin Joseph

Class of


Melvin was a giant in stock car racing..He was a pioneer in the formation of NASCAR , bringing it to Delaware in 1949. He designed and built Delaware Speedway in 1949 running sanctioned NASCAR events there. In 1969, Joseph designed and built the famous “Monster Mile” at Dover Downs, with Ralph Moody. He brought the “Winston Cup Series” to Dover..Joseph gave the “Gentlemen, start your engines” announcement at every Dover Downs NASCAR race since 1969. His number 49 car became legendary. Joseph’s first car was a 1937 Ford Coupe. His 1940 car won the 125 Modified Sportsman race on a 4.1 mile beach course in 1955 with a winning speed over 100 mph. His cars beat such top stars as the Allisons, Unsers and Pettys..He won two races (Sportsman Division & Modified Class) in the same car on the same day. His new class (Grand American) race cars, driven by Bobby Allison, David Pearson and Tiny Land won six televised events inthe 1970s. One of his cars still holds the track record at Talladega..Joseph pioneered the use of concrete in 1994 as a track surface at Dover Downs..He opened the new Nashville Superspeedway in 2001 with a sold-out Busch series NASCAR race..Joseph also co-owned several top horses..He built a state-of-the-art harness horse training facility in Georgetown in 1960. Joseph was instrumental in the success of the Delaware State Police Youth Camp (Camp Barnes), sponsoring a car race, which annually contributes $30,000 to Camp Barnes..He was presented Badge #49 by the state police for his contributions.



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.


From our annual Delaware Sports Hall of Fame induction gala in May, celebrations of Black History Month and Women in Sports Month, as well as individual sports highlights, there is something for every sports fan.


A visit to the museum will take you back over 100 years of sports in Delaware, from the Lenni Lenape Indians right up to today. Experience memorabilia, artifacts, and the stories of Delaware legends.


Memberships to the Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame can be purchased throughout the year. Come join our First State Family and have the opportunity to select our next induction class, receive free group tours of the museum, host an event for your family, friends, and business associates, receive our quarterly newsletter, and more!