Saturday, November 5, 2022

Hurricanes/Homestead-Miami Speedway Weekend

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

To say that these past couple weeks have been a whirlwind would be mildly stating the obvious.

But they have!

As we get ready to cover the Miami Hurricanes vs Florida State Seminoles sold out contest at Hard Rock Stadium tonight at 7:30, it’s time to look back at the last time that we were at the Miami Gardens venue.

That weekend occurred from Oct 21-23.

On Friday, October 21, I decided to get down to the Speedway and get the press credentials for myself and photographer, Candy Ebling. I figured by race day, the agenda was to get to the track early and avoid the extra traffic having what I needed in advance. Mission accomplished.

Unlike Talladega Superspeedway, this 1.5 mile racetrack is easy to move around. The garage areas are very close to the media center and getting onto the track is quite easy.

On Friday, I just locked in and started working Social Media hard to make sure that I was able to get my NASCAR updates to my followers on Facebook and Twitter. I left the track about 7 PM and returned home by 8:30.

On Saturday, the scene shifted to Hard Rock Stadium as the Miami Hurricanes hosted the Duke Blue Devils. This was an important game for Miami as the Hurricanes are trying to get back to national prominence under new Head Coach Mario Cristobal.

The Blue Devils came away with a 45-21 win and out scored Miami 21-0 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

The loss was a costly one for Miami as starting QB Tyler Van Dyke left the game with a shoulder injury after going 11-16 for 81 yards and a touchdown. 

He would be replaced by Jake Garcia. The back-up signal caller went 13-21 for 198 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

The main bright spot for Miami was the play of wide receiver Colbie Young, who caught six passes for 127 yards and had two touchdowns.

Saturday would be the early day of this weekend as I got home by 7 PM.

I knew that Sunday would be the marathon day as I left my house by 7:45 AM and returned to the track by 9 AM.

During this time of the year, my Social Media Responsibilities are extremely strenuous as not only do I have to keep my followers updated on NASCAR developments, but we all know that the NFL rules on Sunday.

By picking up the credentials early, life was a bit easier on Sunday. In between my Social Media, there were three pre-race media interviews that took place and by 2:30 PM, it was time for the Dixie Vodka 400 to get started.

Kyle Larson led 199 of 267 laps in the No.5 Hendrick Motor Sports Chevrolet to pull away to a 1.261 second victory over Florida native Ross Chastain in the No.1 Trackhouse Racing Chevy.

The win was 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champions Larson’s third of the year and 19th of his career, but the first at the 1.5 mile Homestead Oval after a pair of near misses. He led a race best 132 laps in 2016, but finished runner-up. He led 145 laps in 2017 and finished third.

With the victory, Larson’s No.5 Hendrick Chevrolet is eligible for the owner’s title.

When the race was over, there was the most incredible celebration in sports, a trip to victory lane where the confetti and photo opportunities were plentiful.

Finally, there were the post race interviews led by Larson.

Before we left the Speedway, Director of Communications Russell Branham and I discussed our next projects the Rolex 24 Hours in late January and the Daytona 500 in February.

But before we do that, he’ll be appearing on the Sports Exchange on Monday Evening, November 14 with me on the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel. After that, we’ll target another show in January.

First things first.

We ended up leaving the speedway at 8:30 PM because 45 minutes up the road off the Florida Turnpike, the Miami Dolphins hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football.

Our day ended at 10 PM but what a weekend it was.

Two trips to Homestead-Miami Speedway with a college football game sandwiched in between.

For me that’s what I call a true marathon but it would not even end there.

I would have to take a 48 hour business trip from Fort Lauderdale to Detroit during the middle part of the week to transport a marketing/advertising truck that had to be delivered by Saturday at Noon.

But mission accomplished and I enjoyed the challenge of an eventful period of time.

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

Also, Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel to see all of his broadcasts both streaming and in the field. We have a lot of great shows in the pipeline.

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