Back in August when we announced that we would host a Give Back at the Track event, I talked about how it was just one small step in a return to normalcy here at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which encompasses a plethora of events that we host throughout the year. Some of those are public facing – such as the track laps – which allows guests to experience the uniqueness of our facility. Others are private events, which while they are limited to a specific group of people, they provide the economic impact that our track was built to achieve 25 years ago.
Now I am proud to say we have another staple of our venue returning to Homestead-Miami Speedway as Fast Lane Friday makes its long-awaited return next Friday, October 30. And we couldn’t be more excited to see it come back because we know what a popular event it has become over the many years it has taken place at our track.
One of the most satisfying things about being in the role that I am is seeing people come through our gates and having a great time. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a NASCAR race weekend, a track laps event or Fast Lane Friday. We are in the business of providing entertainment, and as a promoter there is no better feeling than to see people enjoy their free time, especially when it is here at Homestead-Miami Speedway, no matter the event. We are fortunate to have such a tremendous facility right here on our own backyard that lends itself to these experiences.
When Fast Lane Friday started many years ago, it was designed with the thought in mind to take illegal drag racing off the streets of the local community and bring it to a safe, confined area where much of the danger was taken out of it. Legalized drag racing has become extremely popular over the years, serving two purposes. First, it alleviates many of the perils associated with street racing, and it also brings the community together in a very good way. In fact, it had become such a phenomenon that starting last year we had expanded it to twice a month so we could serve those enthusiasts even better than what we were before.
Now, we are doing the same with its return. While it will be a little different from what it looked like the last time it was run in February, there will be many more similarities. Due to COVID-19, we are limiting our numbers to 200 participants at any one time.
Because of this, re-entry is not permitted in an effort to accommodate as many people as possible. And face coverings must be worn by everyone coming through our gates, in addition to a screening process upon entry. Outside of that, it will look very much the same.
Like many events that are slowly starting to make their return following the start of the pandemic, we hope to be able to expand our capacity each subsequent time we host Fast Lane Friday. We are very pleased that people will be able to look forward to something that had been lost amidst the times we are in. We ask that everyone to adhere to the guidelines which have been set forth and are available on our web site (www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com). The more we can all do to help follow them, the better chance we will have to continue having these types of events – and maybe even begin to do them more often.
As we have witnessed during this pandemic, our track has the ability to be utilized in many ways – some of which it had never been used for
previously. In June we began hosting high school graduations as well as a scholarship ceremony for the Homestead Rotary Club, among others. Hopefully some of these can become a part of normal repertoire, long after the pandemic.
CHAMPIONSHIP 4 SPOTS CLINCHED: Last weekend at Kansas Speedway, the Round of 8 of the Playoffs commenced in each of NASCAR’s three national series. And in all 3 – Cup, Xfinity and Gander Trucks – a driver in the Round of 8 won their respective race, thus filling in one of the Championship 4 slots for all three series. This included a pair of 2018 champions in Brett Moffitt from the Gander Trucks Series and Joey Logano from the Cup Series. Each driver will now have a chance to repeat what they did two years ago at Homestead-Miami Speedway and win their second titles each.
I’m sure that moment in November 2018 had to be the highlight of their respective careers, and I know they would like nothing more than to claim multiple championships. There are many great drivers out there who have never recorded one championship, so that would be a tremendous feat. In fact, once Jimmie Johnson retires following the 2020 season, Kyle Busch – who won titles in 2015 and 2019 at Homestead-Miami Speedway – will be the only active Cup driver with multiple championships. Could Logano join him in that select group? In the Xfinity Series, Chase Briscoe locked up his spot in the Championship 4. Earlier in the week it was announced that he would drive in the Cup Series for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2021. Four of the last five Xfinity Series champions went on to drive in Cup the following year, including the 2019 champion Tyler Reddick. Briscoe would like to duplicate that.
This Week’s Racing Schedule – Texas Motor Speedway
Saturday, Oct. 24 - NASCAR
Xfinity Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300, 4:30 pm (NBCSN)*
Sunday, Oct. 25 - NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series SpeedyCash.com 400, 12:00 pm (FS1)*
Sunday, Oct. 25 - NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark
Automotive 500, 3:30 pm (NBCSN)*
*Denotes Playoff race
Sirius XM NASCAR Channel 90