MIAMI- With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 set for November 20, drivers in NASCAR’s top series made their way to Homestead-Miami Speedway on Tuesday to participate in the first of two scheduled team testing sessions. They are slated to conclude testing Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In Tuesday’s session, teams and their drivers took advantage of a full day’s worth of testing to prepare for November’s championship race. The 11 teams who took part in the tests had the opportunity to gain valuable racing data while experimenting on the Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval.
With just four races to go before the Ford EcoBoost 400, drivers are eager to return to the Speedway for a variety of reasons.
“At this place you drive into the corners and slide right up by the fence. I really feel like I’m driving a race car here. I was just telling my spotter it’s a fun place to drive,” said Carl Edwards, driver of the No.19 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. “My dream is to be in that final four at Homestead-Miami Speedway, to win the race and to be the Sprint Cup Series champion.”
“This is a track that we have been really close at winning at,” said Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Ford Fusion for Team Penske. “The last two races here we finished third both times. I think we have a really great shot at winning the race, so we are really looking forward to doing just that.”
Aside from competing at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race, the drivers are also looking forward to coming to Miami for the weather and the family-friendly atmosphere that the Speedway provides.
“NASCAR has always been about family,” said Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing. “267 laps [at Homestead-Miami Speedway] and to watch a championship is what we are all here for. A family can also come and find all types of different activities around the event. Perfect weather usually. The race ends right around nightfall, so you can get back home before it gets too late on that Sunday night and get the kids back to school on Monday.”
“It’s one of the things that makes NASCAR fun,” said Keselowski. “I grew up in the sport watching my dad race at the participant level, but I think you can also look at it at the fan level. I know I have a lot of fans that can say the same that they came to their first race with their dad and they keep coming back. Whether it’s camping across the street or buying tickets in the stands, there’s always been a really strong family element to this sport.”
NASCAR testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway will resume tomorrow, October 19, and will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. where fans can watch from the infield Pit Road Cabanas, grandstands and the Speedway Club located on the fourth floor. Fans attending may park their vehicles in the parking lot located on S.W. 336th Street and S.W. 137th Avenue. Entry to the facility is through Gate 4 where a tram will be available to take fans to the infield. Concessions will be made available to fans at the Pit Road Cabanas.
Tickets to the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race, in addition to the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 championship race Saturday, November 19, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 championship race Friday, November 18, are now available and can be purchased by calling (866) 409-RACE (7223) or visiting www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers that participated in the testing session today included:
- Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Ford Fusion, Team Penske
- Chris Buescher, driver of the No. 34 Ford Fusion, Front Row Motorsports
- Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 21 Ford Fusion, Wood Brothers Racing
- Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 Ford Fusion, Roush Fenway Racing
- Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet SS, Chip Ganassi Racing
- Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet SS, Hendrick Motorsports
- Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet SS, Richard Childress Racing
- Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Chevrolet SS, Stewart-Haas Racing
- Michael McDowell, driver of the No. 95 Chevrolet SS, Circle-Sport Leavine Family Racing
- Carl Edwards, driver of the No.19 Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
- David Ragan, driver of the No. 23 Toyota Camry, BK Racing