Miami-Dade County to co-designate Speedway Boulevard in Honor of Ralph Sanchez
The Miami-Dade Board of County Supervisors will conduct a street co-designation ceremony at Homestead-Miami Speedway recognizing track founder Ralph Sánchez.
“Homestead-Miami Speedway stands today because of Ralph Sánchez,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. “His vision continues to pay dividends for this region, as the track hosts more than 280 events a year highlighted by NASCAR’s championship races and a worldwide audience. Ralph’s life story from his roots in Cuba, his childhood in an orphanage to a successful developer and racing promoter is legendary. I commend Miami-Dade County, and the City of Homestead for acting promptly to create this honor that Ralph clearly deserves.”
Sánchez, who founded and managed the Grand Prix of Miami starting in 1983, led efforts to bring the motorsports facility to Homestead. He worked with City of Homestead and Miami-Dade County officials to make the track a reality. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the track took place on August 24, 1993 -- exactly one year after Hurricane Andrew wiped out much of Homestead. The track is credited with being a major catalyst for redevelopment following the category five hurricane that leveled large portions of Miami-Dade County.
Businessman H. Wayne Huizenga joined Sánchez as a track partner before the facility opened two years after construction began with a NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series race in November 1995. In 1997, Penske Motorsports (PMI) and International Speedway Corporation (ISC) became partners with Sánchez and Huizenga. Less than one year later, PMI and ISC purchased Sánchez’ remaining interest in Homestead-Miami Speedway.
ISC became the sole operator in 1999. The facility will host season-ending championship races in NASCAR’s top three touring series for the 12th consecutive year in November (15-17).