By: Angela Caraway-Carlton
Experience three thrilling NASCAR championships in one weekend in Homestead.
Die-hard race fans with a need for speed head to the Homestead-Miami Speedway in November, to witness NASCAR crown three champions in the Ford Championship Weekend.
Thunderous Race Weekend
Homestead-Miami Speedway is the epicenter of a thunderous weekend of NASCAR competitions each November. More than 150,000 spectators from 50 states and 30 countries pack the grandstands to watch the nation’s top drivers compete for the chance to win a championship crown.
Ford Championship Weekend in Homestead consists of three different races over the course of three days: Ford EcoBoost 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ford EcoBoost 300, and the granddaddy of them all, NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400.
Life in the Fast Lane
The biggest names in racing such as Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jimmie Johnson have all burned rubber at Homestead-Miami Speedway.Crowds get a rush watching the drivers reach speeds up to 180 miles per-hour around the 1.5-mile oval track.
"You can run all over the race track and really put on a good show for all of the fans," says NASCAR driver Kyle Busch about Homstead-Miami Speedway, who first hit the Homestead track in 2003. "They do a great job of bringing out a full crowd down there.
"No matter where you are in the 55,000 seats scattered around the grandstands, you’ll feel like part of the action. In other words, it will be loud! Spectators-in-the- know bring their ear plugs, along with sunscreen, since the grandstands are not covered.
Those looking for a more luxe (and cool) experience can catch all of the excitement on the track from the upscale Champions Club, which sits high above Turn 1 and features an air-conditioned lounge area with food and beverages, or inside the Pit Box, which is a private VIP hospitality area, located on the start/finish line.
Insider tip: Die-hard fans can rent FanVision, which is a device that allows you to listen to the race, and eavesdrop on the communications between the drivers and their pit crew.
Over the course of the three days, expect a big, rowdy block party created for fans of all ages, including a kids’ zone, driver trailers to buy racing memorabilia, and stages for local musical acts. Music superstars like Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, and Dierks Bentley have performed before the start of the Ford EcoBoost 400.
"There really is nothing that compares to the feeling, the energy and the excitement that is in the air for Championship Weekend," says DJ Irie, Miami’s iconic DJ who often performs at race festivities. "It’s a great source of pride for all of us in Miami and it has totally changed the perception of Homestead."
History of the Track
Homestead-Miami Speedway, which is situated on 650 acres, was built in an effort to revitalize Homestead after Hurricane Andrew devastated the community in 1992. The first races were held in 1995, and every year since 2002, NASCAR has crowned its champions at Homestead. Ford Championship Weekend is a thrilling event for visitors and the economic impact is huge. The race weekend pumps more than $301 million into the South Florida community each year.
Tickets and Tips
Tickets to the Ford Championship Weekend usually go on sale the first week of May. There are many different price points and a variety of packages tailored to any type of experience a fan could want, including opportunities to be on the track before the race and even celebrate the winners on the track.
Parking at the track is free, but you’ll want to arrive early because traffic getting into the speedway will be heavy. For those who want to camp out for the weekend, there are 1300 RV parking spots which must be reserved ahead of time. Spectators are allowed to bring in soft-sided coolers filled with their favorite beverages and concessions are also available.
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