How Far We’ve Come - South Dade News Leader: Opinion

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How Far We’ve Come

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Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 1:15 am | Updated: 11:49 am, Sat Aug 25, 2018.

As Ford Championship Weekend rapidly approaches, we are continuing our hard work here at Homestead-Miami Speedway. We strive to put on a magnificent and breath-taking show on behalf of South Florida come race time, but just as we prepare for the nearing weekend of festivities and excitement, the drivers who will be participating in our championship races are also getting ready for the big weekend.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week, we got a sneak peak of race weekend with NASCAR drivers back on the track. The drivers came out to the Speedway for two full days of testing, where they got to run laps around the 1.5-mile oval and experiment with different car set-ups to see what might work best when they return to our track for Ford Championship Weekend, November 16-18.

Three of the XFINITY series’ top drivers and one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver were on hand as they prepare for a playoff run. It was thrilling to see reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Christopher Bell, along with fellow rookies Tyler Reddick and Austin Cindic, get some practice on the track knowing that the next time they return to Homestead they might be competing for an XFINITY series championship.

November will be here before we know it, and as NASCAR testing showed us just how close we are to Ford Championship Weekend, today reminds us how far we’ve come as a track since being built.

Twenty-five years ago today, groundbreaking began for Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Following the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, longtime Miami motorsports promoter Ralph Sanchez sought a way to help revitalize the city of Homestead. After striking a deal with Homestead City Manager Alex Muxo to build a motorsports facility that could help revive the economy, the construction of Homestead-Miami Speedway commenced on August 24, 1993, as the ceremonial shovels dug the first mounds of many during the two years of building. In the 25 years since, the Speedway has lived up to the vision Sanchez had in mind when building the facility.

Homestead-Miami Speedway has become one of the most prominent event spaces in South Florida. With more than 300 events each year, the track is busy nearly every day. While we host many different events, including both racing and non-racing, Ford Championship Weekend remains our signature event each year.

As the host of NASCAR’s championship races in all three of its national series since 2002, the Speedway has become one of the premier destinations during the NASCAR season. Year after year we aim to provide fans with an entertaining weekend, while showcasing just how magnificent of a location South Florida can be. We’ve become a track that both fans and drivers enjoy visiting each year. And not just because we crown champions, but because the experience of visiting Homestead-Miami Speedway is always captivating.

Homestead-Miami Speedway however, has always been about more than just Ford Championship Weekend. The track was built to be a staple of the local community and help rejuvenate the city of Homestead. With an economic impact of more than $300 million annually, I’d like to think we’ve been able to accomplish that goal.

But our community involvement goes beyond the financial impact we have each year. We have always worked tremendously hard to put on community events and maximize our involvement with local organizations. Whether it’s hosting school field trips, the city’s annual 4th of July party or our Give Back at the Track event, I am proud of the ways we are able to get involved in the community and give back to South Florida.

So as Ford Championship Weekend returns to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 17th consecutive weekend in November, remember that although it may be our biggest and most publicized weekend of the year, it is not the only thing that defines us as a track. We are just as proud of accomplishing the community goals that Ralph Sanchez set for us, as we are about the fact that we host NASCAR’s championships. As we celebrate 25 years since the groundbreaking of the track today, we look forward to many more years of being a mainstay in Homestead.  

UPCOMING EVENTS AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

August 25-26

FARA Summer Challenge

September 7

Fast Lane Friday

September 8-9

Miami Exotic Racing

September 15

Performance Driving Grp

September 21

Fast Lane Friday

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