Every sport has its own way of celebrating champions. Parades through city streets, taking the Stanley Cup Trophy through the hometowns of the players on the NHL championship team or appearing on numerous late-night TV shows. There are certain customs that have become synonymous with honoring those who have reached the pinnacle of their respective sports.
NASCAR is no different. For many years, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion has had his own week of festivities that are designed to honor the sport and the champion’s special season which surpassed all of his competitors. The tradition started in New York, moved to Las Vegas and this year for the first time, Champion’s Week as it is known, is being held in the Music City of Nashville.
While the week is designed to recognize the champions in our sport – which this year includes Kyle Busch (Cup), Tyler Reddick (Xfinity) and Matt Crafton (Gander RV & Outdoors Truck) - it’s a celebration of 36 weeks of fierce racing, something which also is aimed at creating many activities for the fans. Autograph sessions, driver appearances, concerts and burnouts on Broadway by all 16 playoff drivers from last year are just a few of the things that took place this past week in Nashville.
For Homestead-Miami Speedway it has obviously always been very special, knowing that the drivers being honored earned their championships just two weeks earlier at our venue. This year is no different as we’ve seen NASCAR’s three champions in Nashville enjoying the festivities.
By this time, while the feeling of being a champion – the third for Crafton and the second for Reddick and Busch in each of their respective series – has had a chance to sink in, the euphoria is still the same. The praise that is showered upon the champions comes from many ends and is something that is certainly well-deserved.
The other thing that is pretty special about Champion’s Week is that it is a time when the entire industry comes together for a period of almost a full week. Race teams, tracks, sponsors and many others spread throughout the industry are all represented, making it a time which allows for evaluation of the previous season and devising ways in which we can get better as a whole.
And that is something which we continually strive to do, especially at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and particularly as we move to our new our time of the year in March. You saw a taste of this last month when we unveiled several new elements during Ford Championship Weekend including our Infield Party at Ally Beach and our newly designed iHeart Media Fan Village, which incorporated many elements of Miami.
As we move forward we will look to build on the successes that these additions brought, and find new ways and create different areas which will make a visit to Homestead-Miami Speedway for a race weekend about a lot more than just the great racing that it offers – but also the fun for which Miami is renowned.
Just like the NASCAR fans of Nashville are taking in all of the festivities this week, we want our fans – NASCAR fans and event-goers – to be able to experience everything that is Miami under one roof, per se. We began to embody the Miami culture much more this year and will continue to do so. We view our new date as an opportunity to offer our fans many of the things they have been asking for.
It’s the way the sports industry as a whole is evolving as our business grows. No longer are people coming just to watch an event, whether it’s a football game, basketball game or NASCAR race. It’s about the day in its entirety and not just the three hours that it takes to run a race. We have to be able to put on a great show off the track as well. People want to leave a venue knowing that they had a terrific time, regardless of whether their favorite team or driver won.
So as I mentioned earlier, we will continue to build upon on our new additions as we prepare for March and get ready to give all of our fans another exciting event to be a part of. And just like this past week in Nashville, we will have something that everyone can be a part of and enjoy when they come to our facility during our 25th anniversary race weekend, March 20-22, 2020.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY
Dec. 6 Fast Lane Friday
Dec. 7-8 Championship Cup Series (CCS)
Miami Exotic Auto Racing
Dec. 22 Performance Driving Group
2020 HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY NASCAR DATES
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Race
NASCAR Xfinity Series Race
Dixie Vodka 400 NASCAR Cup Series Race