For many people, the start of a new year offers an opportunity for a new beginning. The New Year marks a fresh start and allows people to evaluate themselves and look for way to make positive changes in their life. This is why it has become tradition for people to make New Year’s resolutions. They give people a way to set and track their goals for the upcoming year.
Similar to most of you, NASCAR will also see many changes as we ring in a new decade. While there will undoubtedly be even more change between now and when the season kicks off at Daytona International Speedway next month, many changes have already been announced including some of the drivers on new teams that I highlighted last week.
Perhaps the biggest alterations that are already known are the sweeping changes that have been made to the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. While NASCAR announced these changes several months ago, I think it’s important to refresh everyone as we prepare for the 2020 season – a season in which Homestead-Miami Speedway will be hosting the Dixie Vodka 400 NASCAR Cup Series race in March instead of NASCAR’s championship races in November like we have all become accustomed to.
Of course, as many as you are aware, the biggest change made to the schedule is that NASCAR will now crown its champions at ISM Raceway in Phoenix. While it is bittersweet to have our race moved to spring, I am incredibly proud of everyone at the track and in the community that we were able to host the championship races for 18 years – a feat that will likely never be accomplished in another professional sports league again.
With that being said, we are all working hard to deliver a great show when NASCAR’s three national series – the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series – come to South Florida March 20-22, 2020. And while we might be the change on the schedule you’re most familiar with, there are plenty of others to take note of NASCAR embarks on a new year.
The season will begin as it always does with the 62nd running of the DAYTONA 500, but this year the regular season will also end in Daytona as the track’s second race moves from its traditional July 4th date to the end of August. This sets up for an exciting ending to the regular season as any driver who’s on the outside of the playoffs
looking in will have one last chance to make the Round of 16 at the high-banked track who has seen surprise winners in the past such as Trevor Bayne or Justin Haley.
Of course the playoffs also got some exciting changes as they will commence in Darlington during NASCAR’s throwback weekend. Given that the theme of this year’s throwback race is past champions, it will be really neat to see drivers giving a nod to champions of past years as they begin the pursuit of their own title.
To close the opening round of the playoffs, NASCAR will head to Bristol Motor Speedway as they race under the lights. Bristol is a track known for its ferocity and tight racing. It’s a place where we see plenty of beating and banging, and tempers flaring even during the regular season. Now a cutoff race in the playoffs, I can’t wait to see the intensity ratchet up even another notch as drivers trade paint for a chance to make the Round of 12.
Similarly, Martinsville Speedway will now be the penultimate race of the 2020 season. Another place known for tight quartered racing, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an eye-opening moment as drivers face their last attempt to make the Championship 4, similarly to what we saw in 2018 when Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. made plenty of contact racing for the win.
There are many other changes you may notice during the season, including Pocono Raceway hosting two Cup series races in one weekend for the first time in NASCAR history, Martinsville having a night race and Indianapolis Motor Speedway taking over the July 4th weekend that Daytona held for many years.
So as we get ready for the 2020 season, there are many of new changes for many of the tracks on the series. Here at Homestead, we’re excited for a new beginning and the opportunity to celebrate our 25th anniversary and become a part of South Florida’s spring event season which boasts events such as Ultra Music Festival, Calle Ocho and the Miami Open.
And just as many of you are looking at the new year as a chance to improve, so too are we. We already started introducing some new areas to the track during 2019 Ford Championship Weekend, and as we prepare for our new March dates, we can’t wait to build upon our 2019 success and deliver another tremendous weekend of racing and fun for everyone.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY
Sports Car Club of America (SCCA)
Fast Lane Friday
NASCAR Racing Experience
Florida Track Days
24-Hour Ultra Skate
Fast Lane Friday
2020 HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY NASCAR DATES
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Race
NASCAR Xfinity Series Race
Dixie Vodka 400 NASCAR Cup Series Race