Give Back at The Track Returns to Homestead Miami Speedway

Drivers participate in cruising the fast lane at speeds above 100 miles per hour. (Courtesy of Kristy Mulholland)

On a recent scorching Saturday morning, driver Brooke Greenfield, 22, jumped about in excitement after pushing her BMW 330i past 110 miles per hour for six laps around the 1.5-mile track at Homestead Miami Speedway. 

In a single-file line, cars rolled their wheels across the hot tarmac in preparation for their turn. Greenfield made her way past the bellowing flags to purchase another six laps. “It’s insane because you don’t really realize how high the bends are!” she exclaimed.

About 500 cars participated in the Homestead-Miami Speedway Give Back at the Track earlier this month. From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., locals and tourists alike had the opportunity to push their personal vehicles to the limits on the professional track. Participants were given the opportunity to drive three laps for $25, six laps for $45, or 10 laps for $80. The event raised over $15,000 for charity.

A driver follows the pace car. (Courtesy of Kristy Mulholland)

Homestead Miami Speedway opened in 1995 when Dale Jarrett won the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series Jiffy Lube Miami 300. In 1999, the speedway nearly doubled its seating capacity in order to host NASCAR’s premier division. Lately, though there’s been less action at the track. 

First, NASCAR cancelled the Dixie Vodka 400, which was scheduled for March 2020. Then the pandemic slowed things even further. 

“We are very community-focused so we always try anything we can do as far as helping out with the community, whether it is veterans or locals,” said Kristy Mulholland, director of the marketing department at Homestead Miami Speedway. “We provide this platform for them to come out on the track and have a good time.” 

For over 25 years, NASCAR has been putting on events like this one; Give Back At The Track has been hosted semi-annually since 2015 at this speedway. They also offer different hospitality areas for rent if you want to organize your personal celebrations at the track; the pit box premium seating includes an all-you-can-eat-and-drink package, an indoor lounge and a driver’s meeting access pass.

On June 6, members of local car clubs started to arrive at the track around 8 in the morning when they each were given 15 minutes to cruise the track. At 10 a.m., the gates were opened to the public; as the crowds flooded in, many people scurried back to the starting line. There were two pace cars to follow– depending on how many laps you signed up to drive.

Anthony Addison, 24, who was on vacation from Naples, posted up next to his 2020 Dodge Charger after cruising at more than 120 miles per hour for ten laps. He shared that it was “honestly amazing to be able to drive that fast legally,” and that he will definitely be returning to the speedway for Fastlane Friday, a similar event.

After their laps, many returned to the carports where they parked their vehicles and networked with car fanatics. Some popped their hoods and had a few drinks while getting to know each other. 

Most were maskless, exchanging smiles and laughter while talking about their car experiences and adventures. Homestead Miami Speedway raised over $15,000 for the NASCAR Foundation, which provides resources for children in need.

For more information visit the Homestead Speedway’s website.

Julia Tsairis is a senior broadcast journalism student at Florida International University. She was born and raised in Miami. Her passion for journalism started out very young as a simple hobby and has blossomed. In addition to her work as a journalist, she enjoys photography and videography and has won many awards for her work. She also enjoys networking in the FIU community. Julia looks forward to achieving her ultimate goal of being able to travel the world, using journalism to help expose the injustices that occur in other countries.

Eduardo Guilamo is currently a junior at FIU majoring in digital media and broadcasting. His interests include watching sports, listening to music/podcasts and go to the beach. After graduation, he hopes to work in the entertainment business, interviewing the best.