Beginning in 2009 Homestead will be home to four season-ending racing series events, with the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 for the IRL IndyCar Series moving to October from its traditional early season slot.
The speedway was constructed, with the efforts of promoter Ralph Sanchez, as part of a plan to help Homestead rebound after the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew. Groundbreaking began August 24, 1993, less than a year after the hurricane. It opened in November 1995 with a NASCAR Busch Series race. In the spring of 1996, the CART series held its first race there.
The facility is considered by some to be one of the most beautiful in the country. Though located southwest of Miami, the track reflects the art deco district of downtown Miami with its liberal use of colors such as aqua, purple and silver, among other colors.
However, the racing at Homestead was initially not considered very good. The track opened as a four-turn, rectangular-oval, based on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's layout. The sharp, flat turns and aprons made passing difficult and lowered overall speed. The geometry also created unfavorably severe crash angles. In 1996, track management attempted to correct the problems by widening the aprons of the turns by as much as 24 feet. In the summer of 1997, an $8.2 million reconfiguration project changed the turns from a rectangle to a traditional, continuous turn oval.
In 2003, the track was reconfigured once again. The turns were changed from mostly flat to steep variable banking. Shortly afterwards, lights were installed to allow night racing for the first time. The renovations were praised by fans, and the track has produced a number of close finishes, including 2005's last-lap battle between Greg Biffle and Mark Martin.
On March 26, 2006 Indy Racing League driver Paul Dana suffered fatal injuries in the warm-up session before the race when he was involved in a high-speed collision with Ed Carpenter at over 215 mph. Other drivers to suffer fatal injuries at the speedway areJohn Nemechek in a Craftsman Truck Race in March 1997, and Jeff Clinton who died in a Grand Am sports car event at the track in March 2002.
|Season||Date||Official Race Name||Winning Driver||Car #||Sponsor||Make||Distance||Avg Speed||Margin of Victory|
|1999||November 14||Pennzoil 400 presented by Kmart||Tony Stewart||20||Home Depot||Pontiac Grand Prix||400.5 mi||5.289 sec|
|2000||November 12||Pennzoil 400||Tony Stewart||20||Home Depot||Pontiac Grand Prix||400.5 mi||4.561 sec|
|2001||November 11||Pennzoil Freedom 400||Bill Elliott||9||Dodge/UAW||Dodge Intrepid||400.5 mi||1.42 sec|
|2002||November 16||Ford 400||Kurt Busch||97||Rubbermaid||Ford Taurus||400.5 mi||2.070 sec|
|2003||November 16||Ford 400||Bobby Labonte||18||Interstate Batteries||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||400.5 mi||1.749 sec|
|2004||November 21||Ford 400||Greg Biffle||16||National Guard/Subway||Ford Taurus||406.5 mi *||0.342 sec|
|2005||November 20||Ford 400||Greg Biffle||16||National Guard/Post-it||Ford Taurus||400.5 mi||0.017 sec|
|2006||November 19||Ford 400||Greg Biffle||16||National Guard||Ford Fusion||402 mi *||0.389 sec|
|2007||November 18||Ford 400||Matt Kenseth||17||DeWalt Nano||Ford Fusion||400.5 mi||0.852 sec|
(miles / km)
|Date||Driver||Chassis / Engine||Time||Average Speed|
(mph / km/h)
|1.485 / 2.390||March 25, 2006||Sam Hornish, Jr.||Dallara / Honda||0:00:24.462||218.539 / 351.704|
|297.000 / 477.975||March 26, 2006||Dan Wheldon||Dallara / Honda||1:46:15.530||167.730 / 269.935|
|Record||Year||Date||Driver||Car Make||Time||Average Speed|
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series|
|Race (400 miles)||1999||November 14||Tony Stewart||Pontiac||2:51:14||140.335 (before reconfiguration)|
|NASCAR Nationwide Series|
|Race (300 miles)||2001||November 10||Joe Nemechek||Chevy||2:16:10||132.191 (before reconfiguration)|
|NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series|
|Qualifying||2007||November 16||Jon Wood||Ford||31.180||173.188|
|Race (200 miles)||2002||November 15||Ron Hornaday||Chevy||1:30:30||133.260 (before reconfiguration)|