MIAMI— As Homestead-Miami Speedway prepares for Ford Championship Weekend, some of NASCAR’s up and coming drivers visited the South Florida track to gear up for the season’s homestretch.
NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) rookies Chase Briscoe and Noah Gragson traveled south to the 1.5-mile oval where each driver was able to gather valuable racing information that they can utilize for Ford Championship Weekend, November 15-17.
For Briscoe, who is locked into the NXS playoffs with a win at Iowa Speedway earlier this year, the testing session was important as he prepares for a championship run knowing that he has found success at Homestead-Miami Speedway previously.
“I feel like if we can get to Homestead, we’ll have a really good shot,” said Briscoe. “This is one of my favorite racetracks. It’s where I got my first NASCAR win. I always love coming here so hopefully we can surprise them again.”
Briscoe’s teammate Cole Custer also came to South Florida for the test session. Custer, who is one of the title favorites this year with a series-high five wins, was not able to participate in the testing, but he went to the Speedway to learn as much as he could by spectating Briscoe during the two-day test session.
“This is the championship race,” Custer said. “You have to be prepared and on you’re A-game so I wanted to come down here and see what they were doing for changes, look at some of his data and get back in the mindset of the track.”
As Custer and Briscoe are preparing for a title run, JR Motorsports driver Noah Gragson sits 7th in the NXS points standings and is comfortably ahead of the playoff cutoff line. Gragson hopes the test session will give him an advantage over his competitors when they come back to Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.
“Testing here this week is definitely going to help me have a foot forward on those other guys,” Gragson said of the two-day test. “Obviously they’re all really good racecar drivers in the playoffs, but just getting repetition and laps up against the top and being able to put it in my notebook for when we come back here for the championship is going to be very valuable.”
The two-day test wraps up Tuesday evening as the NXS heads to Road America this weekend for the CTECH Manufacturing 180.
Tickets for 2019 Ford Championship Weekend, which consists of the Ford EcoBoost 200 (NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship race), Ford EcoBoost 300 (NASCAR XFINITY Series championship race) and Ford EcoBoost 400 (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship race), are now available and can be purchased by calling (866) 409-RACE (7223) or visiting www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.
About Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway has been open since 1995 following an initiative to spur economic recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The Speedway, which was founded by Miami businessman, racing enthusiast and philanthropist Ralph Sanchez, is a 650-acre facility that features a 1.5-mile oval and 2.21-mile road course. The Speedway hosts on-track events nearly 300 days per year and generates more than $301 million annually for the region. In 2018, NASCAR crowned champions in all three of its national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend for the 17th consecutive year (2002-18). Champions crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2018 were Joey Logano (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series), Tyler Reddick (NASCAR XFINITY Series) and Brett Moffitt (NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series). 2019 Ford Championship Weekend will be held November 15-17. In 2020, the Speedway will commemorate its 25th anniversary as it hosts NASCAR’s three national series in the spring.