|The 2013 Nationwide Series Ford Ecoboost 300 at HMS|
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images
Four drivers – Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman – head to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend with hopes of becomimg a first-time Sprint Cup Series champion. Learn more about the track that has hosted Ford Championship Weekend for NASCAR’s top three national series in this week’s Fast Facts.
- The idea for Homestead-Miami Speedway stems from the destruction caused by Hurricane Andrew in Aug. 1992. In an effort to revitalize the area after the storm, promoter Ralph Sanchez presented his idea for a motorsports facility in Sept. 1992; on Aug. 24, 1993 – exactly one year after the Hurricane – groundbreaking for the track took place. The facility currently has a 1.5-mile oval and a 2.1-mile road course.
- The first official NASCAR race at the track was a Busch Series race on Nov. 3, 1995, won by Dale Jarrett. The day before, Geoffrey Bodine won a Truck Series exhibition race at the track.
- The first Cup Series race at the track was on Nov. 14, 1999, won by Tony Stewart. To accommodate the event, the speedway doubled its seating capacity.
- After the Indy Racing League made its initial appearance in 2001, with Sam Hornish Jr. taking the checkered flag, the speedway is awarded NASCAR’s Ford Championship Weekend beginning in 2002: all three of NASCAR’s top series – Trucks, Busch and Cup – would end their seasons at HMS.
- In May 2003, a $12-million track reconfiguration transforms the nearly-flat track to one with 18- to 20-degree variable banking. In Nov. 2005, the first season finales took place under the lights.
- In 2009, HMS hosted season finales for six of North America’s major motorsports series: IndyCar, Firestone Indy Lights, GRAND-AM, Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the Truck Series.
- Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart lead all drivers with three wins; Jeff Gordon has the most top fives (seven) and top 10s (11). Jamie McMurray set the track qualifying record in Nov. 2013 (181.111 mph/29.816 seconds).
- It’s in the numbers: in 2009, former IndyCar Series and NASCAR driver Dario Franchitti entered the season finale for the IndyCar Series on Oct. 10 (10/10) driving the No. 10 car for Target Chip Ganassi, looking for the team’s 10th win of the season. He won the race as well as the championship – no, not by 10 – by 11 points over Scott Dixon.
- Find out more about Homestead-Miami Speedway at www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.