Homestead–Miami Speedway is a motor racing track located in Homestead, Florida. The track, which has several configurations, has promoted several series of racing, including NASCAR, the Verizon IndyCar Series, the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series, and the Championship Cup Series.
Since 2002, Homestead–Miami Speedway has hosted the final race of the season in all three of NASCAR’s series: the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. Ford Motor Company sponsors all three of the season-ending races; the races have the names Ford EcoBoost 400, Ford EcoBoost 300, and Ford EcoBoost 200, respectively, and the weekend is marketed as Ford Championship Weekend. The Xfinity Series (then known as the Busch Series) has held its season-ending races at Homestead since 1995.
The speedway was constructed, with the efforts of promoter Ralph Sanchez, as part of a plan to help Homestead rebound after the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew. Groundbreaking began August 24, 1993, exactly one year after the hurricane.
It opened in November 1995 with a NASCAR Busch Series race, the last race of that season. The Busch Series would continue to hold its season-ending races at Homestead; in 2002 NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series and Craftsman Truck Series would also hold their season-ending races at Homestead as well. Since 2002 NASCAR has marketed the seasons-ending Homestead races as Ford Championship Weekend.
In the spring of 1996, the CART series held its first race there.
The track reflects the art deco district of nearby Miami Beach with its liberal use of colors such as aqua, purple and silver. Though the track itself has been considered to be aesthetically pleasing from the outset, initially the racing at Homestead was not considered very good. The track opened as a four-turn, rectangular-oval, based on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s layout, coincidental considering that circuit and Miami Beach were developed by Carl G. Fisher. However, due to its shorter distance, the track was not able to maintain the racing characteristics of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Instead, the sharp, flat turns and aprons made passing difficult and lowered overall speed. The geometry also created unfavorably severe crash angles. In 1996, track management attempted to correct the problems by widening the aprons of the turns by as much as 24 feet. The movie Super Speedway was shot at the speedway before the track was reconfigured to an oval. In the summer of 1997, an $8.2 million reconfiguration project changed the turns from a rectangle to a traditional, continuous turn oval.
In 2003, the track was reconfigured once again. The turns were changed from mostly flat to steep variable banking. In 2005, lights were installed to allow night racing for the first time. The renovations were praised by fans, and the track has produced a number of close finishes, including 2005’s last-lap battle between Greg Biffle and Mark Martin.
On March 26, 2006 Indy Racing League driver Paul Dana suffered fatal injuries in the warmup session before the race when he was involved in a high-speed collision with Ed Carpenter at over 215 mph (346 km/h). Other drivers to suffer fatal injuries at the speedway are John Nemechek in a Craftsman Truck race on March 16, 1997, and Jeff Clinton who died in a Grand Am sports car event at the track in March 2002.
In 2009 Homestead became the home to a total of five season-ending racing series events, with the GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300 finale for the IRL IndyCar Series as well as the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series moving to October from their traditional early season slots. The Indy Car series would discontinue its Homestead race while the Rolex Series later changed its Homestead race to a date earlier in the season.
Behind the main grandstand is the Homestead RC Raceway for radio controlled cars, it was used to host the 2011 IFMAR Worlds for 1:8 IC Track cars.
Track Length of Paved Oval
The CART measured for the inaugural race in 1996 a length of 1.517 miles. This length was referenced to the old rectangular layout. In 1998 was the track length remeasured to 1.502 miles. This length was also used for timing and scoring till last CART race in 2000. This length was referenced to the flat paperclip-layout. The NASCAR timing and scoring use a length of 1.50 miles. This length was used by IRL between 2001 and 2003, too. Since 2004 the IRL timing and scoring use a remeasured track length of 1.485 miles. This length referenced to the new banked layout. NASCAR still use the 1.5 miles for new banked layout.
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