Wednesday, October 30, 2019


To become a NASCAR driver, it takes skill at the amateur levels and racing at small, local tracks across the country to make it to the premier series. As we see other sports interact with their little league counterparts, Homestead-Miami Speedway envisions similar criteria by visiting these tracks where amateurs race.

Most NASCAR legends like Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt began their careers at local tracks around the country. Whether it was an asphalt or dirt tracks, superstars have come from different types of grassroots racing.

NASCAR on NBC began to focus on a grassroots racing tour campaign throughout the season. It emphasizes on NASCAR race tracks and drivers rebuilding relationships with local tracks around the country.

NBC aired a few episodes of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers visiting the tracks they grew up racing. For instance, Erik Jones grew up in Michigan and headed back to Owasso Speedway in his home state.

As we approach Ford Championship Weekend, Homestead-Miami Speedway is preparing to host what may be the biggest championship weekend in their history. This marks the 18 straight season that the 1.5-mile track hosts the glorious event.

Making a presence at the local tracks in the state of Florida exposes Ford Championship Weekend and the track itself. This makes an impact on not only the Speedway but the fans that spend their Saturday nights watching grassroots racing. You can sort of compare it to a major league team visiting a little league game.

Homestead-Miami Speedway visited Hendry County Motorsports Park in late September. The dirt track in Clewiston, Florida is the closest dirt track to the Speedway and hosts various events throughout the year.

Over the weekend, Homestead-Miami Speedway spent time at 417-Southern Speedway. The short asphalt track is where NASCAR driver Ross Chastain raced growing up. Chastain expressed how the competition in racing has always been fierce and described what it’s been like to make it to NASCAR’s top-three series coming from Southwest Florida.

“When I was racing at 417-Southern Speedway a lot of the drivers didn’t like me and I’ve had to learn to race with a little bit of couth I guess, where I pick and choose my battles a little wiser these days,” Chastain said. “When the time comes you just have to go race and whatever happens, happens. I had good support growing up here but there were nights people booed me and I’ve still had that occasionally in NASCAR but luckily a few of the big item incidents have swung my way on the fan side.”

For Chastain, his road to NASCAR hasn’t been as smooth compared to other drivers in the sport. Racing for different teams throughout his career, Chastain continues to stay busy racing in all three series. The Alva, Florida native is currently in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs with Niece Motorsports.

The ties between Homestead-Miami Speedway and the local tracks across the state will only grow stronger. As the speedway now shifts to a new race date in 2020 (March 20-22), they will continue to make a presence throughout the winter at the local tracks.