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Homestead Miami Speedway

Homestead Miami Speedway(formerly Homestead Motorsports Complex) consists of an oval and an infield road course located in Homestead Florida, near Miami. Homestead hosts NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Grand National races, IRL races and SCCA races throughout the year.

There is a kart facility located on site, Homestead Karting.

New: 1997-01-10  Last Updated: 2007-05-22

TrackTapes.com has in-car video of this (and many other) tracks

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Track Facts

Elevation: sea level Latitude: 25.451451 Longitude: -80.408635 GPS: N 25 27.0870, W 80 24.5181 Time zone: EST/EDT (-0500/-0400)

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Historical Note

Originally built by Ralph Sanchez (now a partner in the Panoz-Sanchez Group, who promote IMSA events in the US), the track opened on November 3rd, 1995. The original configuration was a cut down version of IMS, with somewhat squarish, slightly banked corners. After the 1996 season, the corners were reconfigured in a more conventional manner in response to safety concerns. The track is currently owned by International Speedways Corporation.

The track has variously been refered to as Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex, Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex and Homestead Motorsports Complex.

References

Alan E. Brown, The History of America's Speedways: Past & Present. Comstock Park, Michigan: Brown, 2003 , ISBN 0931105617 , pp. 200. Order from National Speedway Directory

Track Office

Homestead Miami Speedway
One Speedway Boulevard
Homestead FL, 33055

305-230-5200
305-230-5223 (fax)

Track Maps and Imagery

The following map, while somewhat crude, gives a good idea of the intial layout of the Homestead Complex. Subsequently, the banked turns in the oval were extensively rebuilt to address concerns raised by NASCAR. The resulting layout may be seen in the aerial imagery.

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Hot Lap

A hot lap of Homestead-Miami International Raceway submitted by Chris W. Ingle - 2005 & 2003 Southeast Division T1 National Champion. You can get great in-car video of Homestead and other great tracks at www.tracktapes.com.

Overall. Homestead is located south of Miami, Florida and is similar to other NASCAR tracks which have an added road course in the infield. Homestead's primary surface however is glass smooth and the infield is very well cared for. Tires and brakes hold up very well here and it's an easy course to learn. Depending on which course you drive and what time of year you go, will determine how hard it is on the driver. If you get to use the Grand Am course (using NASCAR curves 3 and 4), it takes a lot of guts to go through those fast and it does strain neck muscles more than usual because you're driving counterclockwise, which is different from most road courses. If you use the cut through (which bypasses the banking), then it's a fairly boring course with some interesting/challenging braking zones. The apex curbs are high, but the entry and exit curbing is low and rippled and give the driver plenty of warning without upsetting the attitude of the car (or driver). There are plenty of walls, both on the infield and of course the NASCAR portion of the track, but the most critical areas have gravel traps in front of tire barriers. I felt safe driving there. The garages and overall facilities are what you'd expect from a new, premier NASCAR circuit - immaculate. There is plenty of both paved and grass paddock space depending on your preference. There are many hotels and restaurants in the local area, but are pricey! If you go during the late spring, summer or early fall months, I highly recommend using a driver cooling system!!!!

All shift points and approximate speeds are using a fully T1 prepared 2001 Z06 with stock transmission and gearing.

Important Note: If you are using the NASCAR banking, it's imperative you adjust your tire pressures (and driving) accordingly. This track has predominately left hand corners so you will need more negative camber on the right and higher pressures too. Watch the tires closely for blistering!!! I increased my right side tires +2 while dropping the left side -1 (from my normal pressures). I also increased the negative camber on the right side by .5 and if the time is available, you could decrease the negative camber on the left! Do at least 1 good warm up lap before trying to go through the high banking at full speed. The speed and banking puts incredible force on the tires and it's vital to get them up to temperature before making a banzai run. Again, watch your tires carefully.

For practice sessions, get to the pit lane by going thru several open areas in between the primary garages. Races start from the false grid, located in a small area at the far end of the garages where pit lane ends. The false grid then enters the track at Pit Out.

Leaving the pits, you must check your mirrors for cars flying thru turn #1 and under heavy braking. Stay to the left and hug the inside of the left hand turn #2 until you're sure there's no traffic.

Once you're on the main racing line, move to the right and brake hard for yet another left hand curve. I am in 3d gear here. Late apex this one because you don't want to drift too far out on the exit. This corner is slick and understeer is predominant upon entry. You'll go slightly down hill and approach turn #4. Brake and turn hard to set the front end and rotate the car back up the hill. Get on the power as soon as possible because this is the start of a long straight away. Avoid undue rear tire spin by unwinding the wheel as you apply the power to the exit of #4 (which is the start of turn #5). 5 is just a left hand kink and most drivers will have their left side tires along the low rippled curbing. It does not affect the suspension. Keep the power down and unwind the wheel exiting 5 to avoid scrubbing any speed. Shift to 4th gear and slowly work your way to the left side of the track.

Turn #6 is a sharp right hand corner with high apex curbing. There are braking markers on the left side of the track (on the fence) to give you some reference points. Brake hard and heel-toe 4-3 shift. Use all of the track. Trail brake the entry and apply the power to the exit which has more of the low and unobtrusive curbing. You'll need to ride along the curbing to make the entry to #7 easier.

7 is a flat-out right-hand corner with high apex curbing. Keep the power down. If your car is well set up and you have good tires, you should be able to keep your foot down all the way through the corner. Slight oversteer is evident toward the exit and is a real blast if you get it right! The exit curbing is nice, low and rippled to give you excellent feedback of remaining track space. Shift to 4th upon exiting 7 and slowly move back to the right. Turns 6 and 7 are the key to having a good infield segment because of the long straight that follows down to #8.

Approaching turn 8, there are braking markers on the right side fence. You'll be well over 100 mph here and I could wait until nearly the 200 marker before braking. Heel-toe 4-3 downshift and really stand the car on its nose. 8 is a very tight, left hand, hair-pin corner leading to the NASCAR portion and the most important corner on the track. It's a key to having a fast lap. If you have good torque, you can go thru the corner in 3d. If not, or if you get held up by traffic, you can downshift to 2d. It's easy to loop the car though if you drop that far down. 3d gear seems to be best for overall consistent lap times and tire conservation. [The 2006 SCCA National Race that I have on video is a perfect example of this. Late in the race, as I am gaining on Phil Croyle in his yellow #6 Corvette, you can distinctly hear him downshift to 2d gear trying to get a better run out of the corner. As he applies the throttle, he gets power-on oversteer and loops the car right in front of me. I select 3d gear on entry and zag to the left at the exit to avoid him nearly backing into me. 2d gear can work, but you must be very, very gentle on the throttle!] Use all the low curbing at the exit of 8 to avoid wheel spin and to get the best possible exit. Turn 9 is just a left hand kink and is basically the back straight on the NASCAR track. Shift 3-4 and keep the hammer down to the entry of NASCAR #3.

Circle track drivers are experts in making their car turn left. If you can set yours up perfectly, there is quite a bit of time to be had for #3 and #4. There's also multiple lines thru this high bank, so it's important to experiment and find the quickest way. The lowest (quickest) lap time could be earned by going either high or low. I like to enter NASCAR 3 high, and on the power. I keep the throttle down until I see God, and then lift a bit to control either the over or understeer through there. Normally you just need a quick 'breathe' of the gas and then you can plant your foot again. It's important that you don't coast through here or make any dramatic moves. The G-forces are around 1.5 on most cars/drivers and consistent, smooth power is key. I slowly drop the car down the banking and am on the low/inside line at mid corner. Keep the power down and unwind that wheel to help the car maintain the speed and transition easier. Track out all the way to the wall and avoid tire scrubbing. I exit this corner in 4th gear and over 6K rpms. I stay in 4th all the way down the front straight and end up around 7K. You can shift to 5th if you choose or just stay in 4th. I didn't notice any difference in lap times between the two. Shifting to 5th is easier on the engine, but adds 2 additional (and somewhat un-needed) shifts and possible places to make a mistake.

You'll cross start/finish and still be accelerating. You want to stay a few feet off the right side wall and SMOOTHLY apply the brakes to set up for turn 1. 4th gear at 7K rpms is around 150-155 mph in my car so it's vital to apply the brakes smoothly here. If you stab the brakes, that could send the car off to the left or into the wall. If you miss your mark, don't brake enough, or just don't feel you can make it through Turn 1, don't force the issue. Keep going straight (on the main NASCAR circuit), punt a few cones and continue on through NASCAR turn 1 and 2 until you link up with the rest of the racing circuit (turns 8 and 9) on the other side of the track. It's better to do this than to push a bad situation and bend your car and/or get hurt!

Assuming you do brake well and slow the car appropriately, stay in 4th gear and turn left for the entry into Turn #1. It's a reasonably smooth transition into the actual road course part and there's rippled curbing on the left, inside. I like to put my left tires on that curbing, but not much over it. If you get it right, as soon as you turn in, you can be back to full throttle thru the corner. This again, helps settle the car and plant the suspension. Once thru, unwind the wheel to the exit and prepare for a 'dicey' braking zone.

Once thru #1, you must get the car straight immediately and stand the car on it's nose. It's a SHORT, downhill, braking zone and slightly bumpyÉand you're doing well over 100 mph to boot. Brake harder than you think necessary and make sure the car is in a straight line. Smoothly heel-toe downshift 4-3. You should try to aim for the end of the curbing on the right side of the track. That is the end of the braking zone and turn-in point for #2.

Turn #2 is an off camber left-hand turn that looks very simple, but it's very easy to miss the apex. It's slick upon entry and the tires just don't seem to bite well, especially later in the race. After slowing the car from #1, trail brake the entry to #2 and then get back on a smooth throttle. Nail that apex. Unwind the wheel gradually and apply the power all the way to the low, rippled curbing on the outside.

Set up on the right side of the track and take a late apex through turn #3 and you should now be up to 'full song.' As I said before, understeer is predominant here. If possible, try to get back to the left side to set up for turn 4 and the upcoming long infield straight.

If possible, you can be fairly aggressive on set up here. Stiff springs, sway bars and shocks would certainly work because the track is very smooth and the banking is high and very, very fast. A neutral set up would probably work the best because of the myriad of corners (oversteer and understeer). Toward the end of the race, you may end up a bit loose in some, but still pushing in others. The banking (NASCAR 3 and 4) and turn 1 separates the contenders from the pretenders.

If you're unfortunately not able to run the NASCAR 3-4 banking, then you'll exit turn 9 and still shift 3-4. Stay a foot or so off the outside wall and medium brake for the left-hand entry at turn #10. This next series of turns is essentially just a large chicane that by-passes the fast banking. Once you turn in for 10, it's very similar to #1, so get back on full throttle and unwind the wheel to the right side of the track in preparation for, you guessed it, another left-hand turn. You should still be in 4th gear.

Turn #11 is fast and I like dropping to 3d gear. Smoothly heel-toe 4-3 and apply big power thru this fast cornerÉunwind that wheel to the exit curbing. Once through, get back to the left quickly for the next really tight 'S' turn.

#12 and #13 are short, slick and tight, but vitally important because 13 leads to the front straight and big speed. Late apex both these turns. Sacrifice exit position in 12 for a perfect entry into 13. Get on the power as soon as possible and unwind the wheel as far out as the sanctioning body will allow. Some clubs put up tires, cones, or other barriers on the exit of 13 to slow you down even more. What are they thinking????

Final note. It's unwise to try to enter the pit lane from the NASCAR banking (exit of #4). Because of the deceptive speeds and the fact that the car is still essentially turning, it's easy to loop the car trying to get into the pits. Instead, enter the pit lane road before entering NASCAR #3. There may be a speed limit there so watch it.

Drive hard and enjoy!!!!

Chris Ingle
www.tracktapes.com

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