MIAMI – Thursday evening, 25 local students took a well-deserved victory lap around Homestead-Miami Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval. The students, comprising both high school seniors and those already in college, were the 2020 scholarship recipients of the Homestead Rotary Club.
All from the Homestead area, the high school seniors represented schools such as South Dade, MAST Academy, CIE, Palmetto, and Coral Reef. The colleges attended by the local students consist of Florida, Florida State, Florida International, Nova Southeastern and Columbia.
The students lined up one by one in their cars on pit road before receiving their award. While being honored for their accomplishments, students had the chance to stand in Gatorade Victory Lane and have their photo taken with the official pace car of Homestead-Miami Speedway, a Mustang GT. The fun didn’t stop there as they took two laps around the track, ceremonially crossing the finish line.
The Rotary Club of Homestead Charitable Foundation has been awarding college scholarships to area students since the mid-1980s. To date, the Club is closing in on $1 million in scholarships to help ensure the future of Homestead and South Dade leadership. Earlier this year, the club held a successful seafood festival and was able to increase the 2020 scholarship fund to $50,000.
“These students saw the fruits of their labor tonight, and we couldn’t have been happier to host them at Homestead-Miami Speedway,” said track President Al Garcia. “It is evident that they all have very bright futures, and we wish them the best of luck as they move forward in their academic careers.”
“I have had the great honor and fortune to serve on the Rotary scholarship committee, and am in awe and inspired by the caliber of applicants.” said Bill Duquette, CEO of South Miami Hospital, “Besides their academic achievements, they all participated in numerous community service activities, living the “service above self” Rotary motto. Deep south Miami-Dade continues to nourish and fledge a bright, talented next generation.”
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 2019, NASCAR crowned champions in all three of its national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend for the 18th consecutive year (2002-19). Champions crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2019 were Kyle Busch (NASCAR Cup Series), Tyler Reddick (NASCAR Xfinity Series) and Matt Crafton (NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series). In 2020, Homestead-Miami Speedway commemorates its 25th anniversary in 2020, as it hosts four NASCAR races over two days – June 13-14 – capped by the running of the NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 on Sunday, June 14.