The History of Homestead-Miami Speedway
Sept. 1992: After Hurricane Andrew leaves its trail of destruction, longtime Miami motorsports promoter Ralph Sanchez negotiates a deal with Homestead City Manager Alex Muxo to build a facility that will revitalize the city.
Aug. 24, 1993: Groundbreaking takes place for the new 434-acre facility that will be known as Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS). Businessman H. Wayne Huizenga becomes a partner in the project prior to completion.
Nov. 3, 1995: Grand opening ceremonies for the Speedway are held and NASCAR debuts in front of a sold-out crowd. Executives and dignitaries are given the honor of cutting the ribbon, and Dale Jarrett wins the Nov. 5 Jiffy Lube Miami 300.
Nov. 4, 1995: Former Daytona 500 champion Geoffrey Bodine becomes the Speedway's first race winner in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series exhibition race.
Nov. 5, 1995: Dale Jarrett wins the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series Jiffy Lube Miami 300.
July 23, 1997: Penske Motorsports, Inc. (PMI), and International Speedway Corporation (ISC) become partners with Sanchez and Huizenga.
March 15, 1998: PMI and ISC acquire Sanchez's remaining interest in Homestead-Miami Speedway, and longtime Penske employee Brian Skuza is named president.
Nov. 14, 1999: The Speedway hosts NASCAR's premier division, the Winston Cup Series, and Tony Stewart wins the Pennzoil 400. Prior to the event, Homestead-Miami Speedway nearly doubles its seating capacity and adds a massive expansion in Turn 1 under the direction of new track President Curtis Gray.
April 8, 2001: The Indy Racing League makes its debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Sam Hornish Jr. wins a thrilling victory at the inaugural Toyota Indy 300.
Nov. 17, 2002: Homestead-Miami Speedway reaches another milestone when it is awarded Ford Championship Weekend. For the first time, each of NASCAR's premier series—the Winston, Busch, and Craftsman Truck Series—concludes its season and crowns its champion on the same weekend at the same track.
May 2003: The Speedway undergoes the most technologically advanced track-reconfiguration project in the history of motorsports: a $12 million re-banking project that transforms the track from a flat 6-degrees to a computer-designed 18-to-20-degree variable banking system in the turns.
Nov. 16, 2003: Ford Championship Weekend takes place on Homestead-Miami Speedway's new banking, drawing rave reviews from fans.
Feb. 29, 2004: Homestead-Miami Speedway hosts the Toyota Indy 300, the first IndyCar event to take place on the new banking. Sam Hornish, Jr. beats Helio Castroneves in an exciting neck-and-neck finish.
Nov. 21, 2004: The first Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup finale takes place at the Speedway, as Kurt Busch secures his first NEXTEL Cup Series championship.
March 6, 2005: The Speedway welcomes the Toyota Indy 300, as Dan Wheldon snags his fourth career IndyCar Series victory.
Nov. 1, 2005: The Speedway completes construction on the new Turn One tower, which includes the Champions Club premium-seating level and private suites.
Nov. 18, 2005: Homestead-Miami Speedway hosts Ford Championship Weekend under the lights for the very first time.
Nov. 20, 2005: Tony Stewart wins the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Greg Biffle wins his second consecutive Ford 400.
March 26, 2006: Dan Wheldon wins the Indy SpeedJam 300.
Nov. 19, 2006: Jimmie Johnson wins the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship, and Greg Biffle wins his third consecutive Ford 400.
March 24, 2007: Dan Wheldon wins the Indy SpeedJam 300.
Nov. 18, 2007: Jimmie Johnson wins his second consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship, and Matt Kenseth takes the checkered flag in the Ford 400.
March 29, 2008: Scott Dixon wins the Gainsco Auto Insurance Indy 300 at SpeedJam 2008.
Nov. 15, 2008: Motorsports history is made when it is announced that Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2009 will become the first venue ever to host all of North America's premier motosports championships: the IndyCar, Grand-Am and Firestone Indy Lights Series on Oct. 10, 2009; and NASCAR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series Nov. 20-22, 2009.
Nov. 16, 2008: Jimmie Johnson wins his NASCAR record-tying third consecutive Sprint Cup Series Championship, and Carl Edwards takes the checkered flag in the Ford 400.
Oct. 9, 2009: Homestead-Miami Speedway unveiled a brand new state-of-the art scoring tower featuring the most advanced technology available to motorsports. Under construction since late-May, the new leader board will provide fans unprecedented illustration and recap of all the on-track action. The new tower stands 158 feet above sea level and features tilted video panels tailored to the layout of Homestead-Miami Speedway. LED displays residing on either side of a 90-foot scoring pylon feature Panasonic video technology that provides high-resolution graphics and animation, and easy-to-view statistical information.
Oct. 10, 2009: Racing drivers are a superstitious group, and heading into the Firestone Indy 300 one number was particularly wild for IndyCar Championship contender Dario Franchitti: He would be racing his No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Dallara Honda on Oct. 10th in search of Target Chip Ganassi’s 10th win of the season. And in Miami, he came up a Perfect 10. Thanks to fuel strategy, Franchitti (616 season points) claimed the first-ever IndyCar Championship crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway, narrowly defeating fellow title-contenders Scott Dixon (605) and Ryan Briscoe (604), who led 103 of the 200 laps. The 201.420 MPH average was the second fastest race in IndyCar Series history. Dixon rallied to a third-place race finish behind Briscoe to secure a second place finish in the Championship standings.
Oct. 10, 2009: Series leaders Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty in their GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley started from the pole in the GRAND-AM Rolex Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In qualifying, Jon Fogarty set a new record with a lap of 1:12.879, averaging 113.612 mph around the 2.21 mile, 14-turn Homestead-Miami Speedway road course. Gurney and Fogarty held an eight-point edge over nearest rivals Brian Frisselle and Max Angelelli in the Florida-based SunTrust Ford. The pairing of Fogarty and Gurney was seeking their second Grand-Am Daytona Prototype Championship in addition to being the series leaders in victories with 12. The team’s fourth-place finish assured the team’s second GRAND-AM Rolex Series Championship. Bob Stallings Racing took the title by a slim six point margin over SunTrust Racing teammates Frisselle and Angelelli.
Nov. 22, 2009: Going Four It: Johnson Makes NASCAR History at Homestead-Miami. Jimmie Johnson claimed an unprecedented fourth consecutive title in NASCAR's premier Championship Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway. With a fifth-place finish in the Ford 400 Championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the No. 48 team claimed its fourth on the road in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. With his fourth Miami title, Johnson joins Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jeff Gordon as only the fourth—symmetrically enough—driver to win four or more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championships. Denny Hamlin won the Ford Championship Weekend finale, finishing just ahead of Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick. It was Hamlin’s fourth victory of 2009—there’s that number again—as he led three times en route to his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
March 6, 2010: Ganassi Racing’s GRAND-AM squad picked up where their IndyCar counterparts left off at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last fall, Dario Franchitti and his Ganassi team won the Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway to capture the 2009 IndyCar Championship. And in Race 2 of the 2010 GRAND-AM campaign March 6 at Homestead-Miami, it was TELMEX/Ganassi Racing-pair Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas taking the checkered flag in the Grand Prix of Miami. The GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing duo of Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty—who claimed the 2009 Rolex Sports Car Series Championship last fall at Homestead-Miami—led early, followed by the Brumos Porsche of David Donohue and Darren Law. But it was the TELMEX/Ganassi Racing Riley-BMW who led when it mattered most: The 2008 Championship duo controlled the race as day turned to night, crossing the start/finish line just .255 seconds ahead of the polesitting Brumos Porsche.
Oct. 2, 2010: Dario Franchitti entered Saturday night’s IndyCar Championship finale trailing points leader Will Power by 11 points. But come the end of the night, Franchitti had earned his third career IZOD IndyCar Championship, by a five-point margin. Target Chip Ganassi Racing made it a clean sweep of the NextEra Energy Indy Championships at Homestead-Miami Speedway in winning the team’s third straight Championship while also taking the checkered flag of the Cafes do Brasil Indy 300, via Scott Dixon. Danica Patrick finished third. Dixon, who started on the front row alongside teammate Franchitti, led the final 26 laps and held off Andretti Autosport teammates Patrick and South Florida resident Tony Kanaan to win the race by 2.7587 seconds. With the title, Franchitti earned his third IndyCar Championship (2007, 2009) to become just the second driver to win three IndyCar Championships—and two consecutive—joining Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, 2002, 2006). Franchitti has won the IndyCar Championship the last three seasons in which he has competed in the series, having raced NASCAR in 2008.
Nov. 21, 2010: Homestead-Miami Speedway served as host to a one-race shootout to decide the closest Sprint Cup Championship Chase in NASCAR history. And when it was over, Jimmie Johnson had prevailed as the series’ points Champion for an unprecedented fifth straight season. Carl Edwards took the day’s checkered flag in the Ford 400. Denny Hamlin entered Ford Championship Weekend with a 15-point lead over four-time reigning Champion Johnson and just a 46-point margin over Kevin Harvick. With the points so tight, the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship was close enough that one spin or poor pit stop could determine whether Johnson would stretch his unprecedented Championship streak to five, or if Hamlin or Harvick would put an end to one of the most dominating runs in sports history.
March 5, 2011: Defending “Grand Prix of Miami” Champions Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas again made themselves welcome in Miami, taking the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway to capture a fifth consecutive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series win. When the “Grand Prix of Miami” began under sunny skies and 76-degree temperatures, however, victory seemed unlikely. The Pruett/Rojas duo was assessed a drive-through penalty for contact in the early going, and pole-sitting GAINSCO/ Bob Stallings Racing teammates Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty led the two-hour, 45-minute race. In fact, it wasn’t until just six minutes remained in the race that Pruett took the lead from the SunTrust Racing Dallara-Chevrolet of Max Angelelli. In what may be an omen for the rest of the GRAND-AM DP field, in each season (2008, 2010) the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing team has won at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it has gone on to win the overall Championship.
Nov. 21, 2011: For the first time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history, the championship ended in a draw. The Ford 400 also marked the first time since 1975 the eventual champion came from behind to win the championship by winning the final race of the season. Two early cautions and a rain delay added some drama but didn't change the storyline for the NASCAR Championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Carl Edwards entered the weekend with the points lead and Tony Stewart in hot pursuit for both the Ford 400 race victory and the first Sprint Cup Series title for a driver-owner since Alan Kulwicki in 1992. When it was over, Stewart prevailed as a three-time series points champion after winning five races in the NASCAR Chase For The Sprint Cup Series Championship.
Homestead-Miami Speedway by the Numbers
|Ground Break:||Aug. 24, 1993|
|Dedication Date:||Nov. 3, 1995|
|Inaugural Race:||Jiffy Lube Miami 300 - Nov. 5, 1995|
|Busch/Nationwide Series||Winner: Dale Jarrett|
|Pole Winner: Joe Nemechek|
|Inaugural Race:||Pennzoil 400 – Nov. 14, 1999|
|Winston/Nextel/Sprint Cup||Winner: Tony Stewart|
|Pole Winner: David Green|
|Inaugural Race:||Florida Dodge Dealers 400 – March 17, 1996|
|Craftsman Truck:||Winner: Dave Rezendes|
|Pole Winner: Geoff Bodine|
|Inaugural Race:||Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami – April 8, 2001|
|Indy Racing League||Winner: Sam Hornish, Jr.|
|Pole Winner: Jeff Ward|
|Current Capacity:||65,000 Grandstand seats|
|Property Size:||600 acres|
|Tower Building:||5 levels; equivalent in height to a 12-story building|
|Course:||1.5 mile oval, 2.21 mile road course|
|Length of front straight:||1,760 feet|
|Length of back straight:||1,760 feet|
|Banking in turns:||18-20 degree variable banking|
|Banking in straights:||3 degrees|
|Width of Track:||55 feet|
|Pit Road:||1,900 feet long; 50 feet wide|
|Garage Area:||30 stalls (spaces for 120 cars)|
|Garage Suites:||30 suites available for viewing above garages|
|TV Monitors:||750 monitors (15,140 inches of monitors)|
|Press Areas:||A new 18,000 square-foot, two-story media facility was completed in October 2008. The current accommodations include an Infield Media Center seating 61; an adjacent Meeting Room seating 48; an Infield Media Tent with 80 seats; the Tower Building’s 5th-floor press box with 156 seats; and a 6th-floor area with seven TV/radio booths. Three auxiliary infield media areas can be added to accommodate 100 media members.|
|Fencing:||The oval fencing/cable barrier system includes more than 33 miles of high-strength steel cable, and more than 9000 clamps are used to hold this cable in place. The cable is long enough to stretch from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale.|
|Palm Trees:||1005 palm trees of 15 different varieties.|
|Tunnels:||Two tunnels, both below sea level. The back tunnel is the southernmost tunnel in the continental United States and is large enough to hold two tractor-trailer trucks.|
|Water:||The facility's water tower has a capacity of 1 million gallons (enough water to fill 20,000 bathtubs).|
|Lakes:||Four lakes were created, providing more than 2.5 million cubic yards of lime rock fill to create the banking. Three of the four lakes are located on the Speedway's property, with two lakes in the infield. The largest of the lakes is 18 acres and stocked with rare Peacock Bass. This lake is deep enough to submerge an entire six-story building.|
|Parking:||Spaces for over 30,000 cars|
|RV Parking:||1300 RV parking spaces|
|Weight:||The entire speedway landscape weighs an estimated 10 billion pounds.|
|Lights:||Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2005 installed state-of-the-art lighting throughout the facility, making it feasible for the first time that Ford Championship Weekend be held after dark.|
|Electrical System:||2.4 millions watts of power per hour are necessary to illuminate the Speedway. Equal to the amount of power needed to light 17,143 blocks with residential street lighting in South Florida|
|Champions Club Tower:||This luxurious facility, located outside Turn One, includes 16 skyboxes that seat 32 people each and offer amenities including an air-conditioned club area with buffet and full-liquor bars; plasma televisions; outdoor chair-back seating; a private elevator; pre-race track-pass access and a spectacular view of the Speedway.|