MIAMI – Imagine the Ford EcoBoost 400 in November where cars are racing around the championship oval and with just a few laps left, the drivers are told to come down pit road for a final crucial pit stop. On Saturday, drivers from around South Florida had the chance to experience a similar scenario during Homestead-Miami Speedway’s “Give Back at the Track” charity event. Locals were welcomed to the Speedway for the incredible opportunity of driving their vehicle around the same 1.5-mile oval that hosts NASCAR’s championship races each November, along with racing down the Speedway’s 1/8-mile drag strip on pit road.

Car enthusiasts, racing fans and casual South Florida drivers were treated to a first-hand run of the track as they maneuvered the Speedway’s unique progressive banking and then dashed through pit road during drag racing. Proceeds from the event benefited Homestead-Miami Speedway’s charitable outreach program, “Driving for a Cause.” Since its inception in 2013, the funds raised through Driving for a Cause have been awarded through grants to several youth and education organizations. Last year, more than $40,000 in grants were donated to six local charities that support youth development and non-profit efforts.

“Give Back at the Track is about bringing together the South Florida community for a full day of fun and excitement,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. “In our 22 years of being a part of this community, we have been able to serve and give back through a number of charitable endeavors. The turnout today was tremendous and that is a true testament to the passion that the people of South Florida have for racing and helping philanthropic efforts.”

In addition to driving on the track, participants of the event also made donations to South Florida’s local food bank, Farm Share. The food items collected from the drive will later be distributed to those in need.

“It’s great to see so many people from around the community wanting to be part of this event,” said Farm Share Operation Manager John Delgado. “A lot of the food that we collected today will go to those that need it the most in the city of Homestead.”