Last weekend we capped off the 2019 NASCAR season with
another memorable Ford Championship Weekend here at Homestead-Miami Speedway. After months of anticipation, we finally crowned championship in all three of NASCAR’s national series – the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
The weekend got started on Friday with the Ford EcoBoost 200 as Austin Hill won the race and Matt Crafton captured the championship. For Crafton, the title added to the legacy of his NGOTS career as it was his third career championship. He now only trails NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. for the most championships in NGOTS history.
On Saturday, we saw Tyler Reddick go back-to-back as he won the Ford EcoBoost 300 and the NXS championship for the second consecutive year. I wasn’t surprised to see Reddick hoisting the trophy at the end of the night as he has always said Homestead-Miami Speedway is his favorite track. It’s easy to see why, as he’s made six starts across both the NGOTS and NXS at our track and he’s never finished worse than sixth.
Reddick’s success the last two years has set high expectations as he
prepares to move up to the Cup series full-time next season. The two-time NXS champion will be vying for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award and perhaps even looking for his first career MENCS win when he returns to Homestead-Miami Speedway in March.
We wrapped up Ford Championship Weekend on Sunday in front of a sold out crowd once again. The Ford EcoBoost 400 saw plenty of drama as all four Championship 4 drivers led laps before Kyle Busch took the checkered flag to secure the second MENCS title of his career.
It was a monumental moment for Busch as he has been cementing his place in history as one of the best drivers in NASCAR history this season. Earlier this year, he collected his 200th win across NASCAR’s three national series and is first all-time with 96 NXS wins and 56 NGOTS wins. Having now won his second title, Busch joins Jimmie Johnson as the only active MENCS drivers with multiple championships.
As much fun as Ford Championship Weekend was, it was also a bittersweet moment. We culminated 18 years of crowning champions in South Florida and next year will transition to new spring dates as we host all three of NASCAR’s national series, March 20-22, 2020.
Having hosted NASCAR’s championship races for 18 years is a tremendous accomplishment and something the entire city of Homestead and South Florida should be proud of. While we always put on a good show on the racetrack, it was the local businesses and community that supported us and showed the racing industry that Miami was a great place to host Ford Championship Weekend for so long. Hosting an event of this magnitude for 18 straight years is something that likely will never be seen again in NASCAR and says a lot about how we all worked together in unison.
Now, as we prepare for our new March race date, we’ll still be counting on everyone in the community working together to make our race weekend as good as it possibly can be. One thing about NASCAR is that no matter the date, it is not referred to as a race weekend, but an event weekend. And that’s what NASCAR has been about and will continue to emphasize.
Despite the change of date for 2020, NASCAR remains integral to the track’s identity. It will be here for many years to come and will continue to be a key element in both the content at the track as well as the economic benefit that it has infused locally since 1995 when Ralph Sanchez founded the Speedway.
So as we go racing in March and celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2020, we’ll take a nod to our past and all the history made here in South Florida, but also look ahead to our future and what’s in store. I’m excited about really embracing the Miami community like we started to do this year with the Infield Party at Ally Beach and the art at the track exhibit in the iHeartMedia Fan Village.
Another Ford Championship Weekend is in the books and I can’t thank you all enough for the support. Now, we’ll get ready for March, where the racing will be as competitive as always and the pageantry as colorful as ever.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY
Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 Formula & Automobile Racing Association (FARA)
Dec. 6 Fast Lane Friday
Dec. 7-8 Championship Cup Series (CCS)
Dec. 21 Miami Exotic Auto Racing
Dec. 22 Performance Driving Group
2020 HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY NASCAR DATES
Mar. 20 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Race
Mar. 21 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race
Mar. 22 Dixie Vodka 400 NASCAR Cup Series Race