Supporting the Community

Matthew Becherer, president, Homestead-Miami Speedway
Matthew Becherer, president, Homestead-Miami Speedway

When it comes to being a member of the South Florida community, we are always looking for ways to use our facility here at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Aside from Ford Championship Weekend, where we’ve crowned NASCAR’s champions in all three national series for each of the last 17 years, we’re able to put our world-class facility to use for over 300 different events throughout the year.

Some of the most special events are the ones where we get to give back to the community and touch the lives of others. This past Sunday, we had the opportunity to host the “Ride2Revive” charity event. For the third consecutive year, Ride2Revive welcomed children who are battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases to the Speedway for a ride along in exotic cars, which were provide by Prestige Imports and its owner Brett David.

The children who took part in the event came from a variety of hospitals and organizations in South Florida, including Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Holtz Children’s Hospital, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Chai Lifeline and Mystic Force Foundation.

As was the case the last two years, Ride2Revive took full advantage of our venue and was able to put together a number of great activities for the children in addition to the on-track action. Children got to participate in other festivities such as getting their faces painted, taking pictures at a photo booth and even meeting some of their favorite superheroes such as Batman and Captain America. The kids even had the opportunity to sign their name and draw on a Lamborghini HURACAN.

But once the children got out onto the track and into the supercars, their faces really started to light up. Each time that one of the kids got into one of the cars, you could see their excitement and ear to ear grin from a mile away. The children were treated to high speed rides in Lamborghinis, Porsches, Ferraris and even a Batmobile.

And on top of everything that Ride2Revive provided for these children during the course of the day, the City of Homestead also came out to show their support. The Homestead Police brought out emergency vehicles, their K-9 units and even a special Lamborghini police car. When the kids weren’t on the track, it was really neat to see them interact with the police department and get a chance to see the K-9 dogs and police vehicles up close.

Like Ride2Revive, we hold a myriad of philanthropic events throughout the year that benefit both outside charities as well as our own charitable arm, “Driving for a Cause.” One of those charity events is “Give Back at the Track,” which we held twice last year. During Give Back at the Track, South Floridians are invited out to Homestead-Miami Speedway to drive their own cars around NASCAR’s championship oval. The proceeds from the event benefit Driving for a Cause and Farm Share, South Florida’s local food bank, also comes out to the event and collects food to later disperse to people in need. The success of Give Back at the Track is truly a testimony of our community and the passion they have for charitable endeavors.

In addition, the track launched its youth field trip program in 2016, which provides groups of students an educational experience at Homestead-Miami Speedway unlike any other. The field trip program uses curriculum from NASCAR Acceleration Nation and works to educate kids in the South Florida community by utilizing vital critical thinking skills across multiple subjects just like they would do in school. The field trip program has a heavy focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), which has become increasingly prevalent in the classroom.

The program allows the participants to an interactive experience to learn about STEM through hands-on activities. The children are given the opportunity to make their own simulators and partake in games that help them understand the key aerodynamic principles of NASCAR’s Three D’s of Speed – drag, downforce and drafting. The field trip program has become a great way to introduce kids to the world of NASCAR and get them familiar with motorsports, all while still learning some valuable lessons.

There’s also our yearly holiday visits to Homestead Hospital and PATCHES Prescribed Pediatrics Extended Care in Florida City. At each location, we bring along gifts and Santa Claus to spread the holiday cheer and help bring a smile to the children’s faces. The holiday visit has become one of my favorite traditions at the track as it really shows how much of an impact we can have on the community.

So throughout the entirety of the year, we do everything we can as a track to support the community through a number of different events. As one of the preeminent facilities in South Florida, it’s important to us to keep the community on the forefront. We will continue to put our world-class facility and staff to good use, as we are set to host many more events in 2019 that will benefit the community.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

Feb. 1 Fast Lane Friday

Feb. 2-3 Chin Motorsports Car Club

Feb. 8-10 SKUSA Winter Series (AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex)

Feb. 9-10 Championship Cup Series

Feb. 13 Miami Exotic Auto Racing

Feb. 16-17 Formula & Automobile Racing Association

Feb. 18 Rusty Wallace Racing Experience

Feb. 23-24 National Auto Sport Association

2019 HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY NASCAR DATES

Nov. 15 Ford EcoBoost 200 Gander Outdoors Truck Series Championship Race

Nov. 16 Ford EcoBoost 300 XFINITY Series Championship Race

Nov. 17 Ford EcoBoost 400 Monster Energy Series Championship