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Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 10:07 am

As we celebrate Christmas this week and prepare to ring in the New Year, I wanted to take the time to wish everybody a happy holiday. I hope everyone is able to use this week to spend quality and fun time with friends and family.

For many, the holiday season is a joyous time of the year that allows for treasured memories with family and friends. Beyond making new memories, this period of the year is also about taking the time to reflect on special moments that happened throughout the year. People often use this time to recall specific instances, accomplishments and events that made impressions on their lives as well as the lives of others.

Here at Homestead-Miami Speedway we have a lot to look back on at the conclusion of each year. Of course we host Ford Championship Weekend, which is always a rewarding experience as we crown champions in each of NASCAR’s three national series. In addition to the championship racing, we were also able to continue making an impact in the community. As members of the South Florida community, we strive to find a variety of ways to reach the community whether it’s at the track or through local outreach.

At the track, the community has always showed us tremendous support and so we do our best to reward them during our events such as Ford Championship Weekend. In fact, during Ford Championship Weekend, we relied on 

the efforts of South Florida in a myriad of ways. During the three days of racing, more than 40 different local organizations volunteered at the Speedway to lend their support in different areas of the event including parking, information centers, catering and

concessions, among others.

Between Homestead-Miami Speedway and Americrown, our food and beverage partners here at the track, more than $135,000 was donated to these organizations for their time and efforts. Without the support of each and every one of these organizations, Ford Championship Weekend would not have been possible, and so I want to thank everyone who volunteered their time with us.

Away from the track, we try our best to reach out to the community in as many ways as possible. Just this past week, we were able to spread the holiday cheer to two child care facilities that are right in our backyard – PATCHES Prescribed Pediatrics Extended Care in Florida City and the Speediatrics unit at Homestead Hospital. As they do every year, our staff brought along Santa Clause to both facilities to help brighten the children’s day.

At PATCHES, Santa gifted more than 70 presents to the pediatric patients, and at Homestead Hospital, Santa interacted with the children, giving out gift cards and teddy bears. We’ve now been running this holiday toy delivery for 12 years and it has become one of my favorite days of the year. From the second Santa walks into the room, you can see everyone’s faces light up. Watching these kids grin from ear to ear is a tremendous experience and I’m proud that we are able to partake in this opportunity every holiday season. It brings me great joy to know that our track is a part of something that brings a smile to so many people.

Like the aforementioned initiatives, there are a number of other programs and outreach we do throughout the year. It all culminates with the holiday season and toy delivery to end the year, but we have many other charitable components that lead up to this time of the year. Some of our other keynote outreach programs include Write Track Poetry and Give Back at the Track. Each one gives us a different opportunity to reach members of the community.

This year the track held its third annual Write Track Poetry competition. The track once again teamed up with the Jason Taylor Foundation’s Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network to host a creative writing contest for students. The neat thing about this contest is seeing the power of poetry and spoken word. When we started this initiative I had no idea how influential poetry would become to some of the kids who participate, but seeing them use this artistic avenue to express themselves has shed a light for me on our ability as a track to help spark creativity and inspiration in our youth in South Florida.

Give Back at the Track is another annual event we host at the Speedway where we invite the South Florida community to drive their own vehicle around the 1.5-mile oval. The only thing we require to get onto the track is a donation to benefit our charitable arm, “Driving for a Cause.” Many participants also bring food to donate to Farm Share, a local food bank. This year, Farm Share collected more than 700 pounds of food and the turnout was a true testament to the passion that the people of South Florida have for philanthropic efforts.

So as a member of South Florida, we will continue to facilitate a number of community-oriented events in 2019 and beyond. The holiday season gives us all a

reason to reflect on the many good things that happened during the year, but it was great to see so many of our community members involved throughout the entirety of 2018. Seeing South Florida recognize the importance of working together as a community means a great deal and helps remind us just how great a year 2018 has really been.


Dec. 28 Miami Exotic Auto Racing

Jan. 4-6 Sports Car Club of America

Jan. 11 Fast Lane Friday, presented by Metro by T-Mobile

Jan. 11-13 NASCAR Racing Experience: Driving 101

Jan. 18-19 24 Hour Ultra Skate

Jan. 20 Performance Driving Group

Jan. 26 Miami Exotic Auto Racing


Nov. 15 Ford EcoBoost 200 Gander Outdoors Truck Series Championship Race

Nov. 16 Ford EcoBoost 300 XFINITY Series Championship Race

Nov. 17 Ford EcoBoost 400 Monster Energy Series Championship

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