NASCAR track in possible path of Hurricane Irma with 100-115 mph winds expected
“Thanks for calling Homestead-Miami Speedway. Our offices will be closed due to Hurricane Irma until further notice,“ a message reads upon calling the track office.
So what going on at Homestead-Miami Speedway?
Neal Gulkis is the director of communications at the NASCAR track. He offered some information.
“We began preparations from a facility standpoint in accordance with our hurricane preparedness plan yesterday,’’ Gulkis told NASCAR.com. “They continue today (Wednesday) and in all likelihood into tomorrow.
“They include many of the same things you would do at home – i.e. putting up shutters, taking down canvas and awnings, etc. We are also tying down or storing away anything that could become a projectile including banners on the leaderboard, garbage cans, temporary bleachers around the road course, etc.”
Homestead-Miami Speedway actually stemmed from a re-building project in 1995. Three years earlier, the area was deeply effected by Hurricane Andrew.
Ralph Sanchez offered a big plan to help rebuild the city. His plan was Homestead-Miami Speedway. That project become known as the “Gateway to the Florida Keys.”
Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted it’s first NASCAR race that same year. In 1995, it hosted the NASCAR Busch Series finale. The race was won by Dale Jarrett is front of a sold-out Florida crowd.
In 2002, the track also added the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series finale to it’s schedule. It’s hosted the final race of the NASCAR season ever since.
On Saturday night, the storm is likely to role into the area. Weather.com predicts 100-115 mph wind gusts. By Sunday night, those winds are expected to fall to 15-25 mph winds.
“Our operations team – many of who have been here almost as long as the track and are from South Florida – has prepared extensively for weather systems such as this, and our emergency safety procedures are in place,” Gulkis assured.
The NASCAR finale is scheduled for November. The Ford Eco-Boost 400 will take place on November 19th.
Author: Shane Walters