Monday, October 17, 2022

Championship Weekend In The Tropics

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The last time that I attended a NASCAR Event at Homestead-Miami Speedway was when the circuit was named Winston Cup early in the century. 

At the time, this was a flat track and has been reconfigured with some banking.

On Saturday, October 15, Kurt Busch decided to step away from the sport and will miss the rest of the season with a concussion. 

He will not compete full-time in 2023.

Busch is the last active driver who competed in a Cup race against the late Dale Earnhardt, and the last driver who was part of the inaugural 10-driver Chase for the Cup in 2004, the year he upset the Hendricks Motorsports juggernaut and won his only title.

Busch’s retirement leaves Kevin Harvick as the last active driver who raced when the NASCAR’s top series was called the “Winston Cup Series.”

On Tuesday, September 20, more that 20 NASCAR Cup Series teams came from 14 different organizations took advantage of a NASCAR ‘Next Gen’ car test at the Homestead-Miami Speedway while preparing for the track’s upcoming Dixie Vodka 400 premier series playoffs race on October 23.

The two day test held on September 20-21 also featured 12 of the drivers who remained eligible for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

Fans got to witness the Tuesday practice for Free from the grandstands.

The Dixie Vodka 400 at the 1.5 mile Homestead-Miami Speedway will serve as the second race in the round of eight. 

If an eligible wins the event, he will automatically punch his ticket to the Championship Four at Phoenix Raceway in November.

While the fans were enjoying their time in the grandstands, Homestead-Miami Speedway also conducted a Media Availability to not only talk about the testing but to preview the Dixie Vodka 400 and Race Weekend that takes place on October 22-23.

The one thing I’ve enjoyed about Motor Sports Drivers is that they’re the most humbled and appreciative athletes in sports!

They’re friendly and sincere and I’ve enjoyed covering all facets of Motor Sports through the years, especially NASCAR.

With that said, it was a productive day at the racetrack and I did double duty first in Homestead and later at night I covered the Miami Martlins.

The drivers featured in this story include: Chase Briscoe, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott.

I recently attended the YellaWood 500 up in Talladega, Alabama and Elliott won that race.

These drivers talked about the testing but also had a lot of insightful comments about this weekend’s event in South Florida. 

While in life, it’s difficult to look ahead, there was no shortage of enthusiasm to come to the tropics and do what they love doing. Racing!

Track President Al Garcia also gave us time and talked not only about the weekend, but Homestead-Miami Raceway.

On Monday Night on a Special Edition of the Sports Exchange on the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel, Russell Branham, who is the Regional Director and Historian for Talladega, Daytona International Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway joined Myself and Garcia to talk about Championship Weekend.

In addition to the enclosed videos from Brisco, Logano, Elliott and Garcia, in September, check out the Sports Exchange. 

There is no doubt that you’re going to learn a lot! 

These guys are fantastic and are just great to work with!

We covered all bases in this interview and now I’m looking forward to an electric weekend!

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gamil.com and you can find him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

Also, to see his broadcasts, Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel to get those notifications as well as the videos in the field.


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