BUSCH: IRL: Homestead-Miami 2002 preview

History-Making Season In 2002 At Homestead-Miami Speedway MIAMI, FL (1/2/02) - In 2002, the eyes of the world will be focused on Homestead-Miami Speedway, the site for two of the year's most exciting weekends in all of motorsports. The racing...

History-Making Season In 2002 At Homestead-Miami Speedway

MIAMI, FL (1/2/02) - In 2002, the eyes of the world will be focused on Homestead-Miami Speedway, the site for two of the year's most exciting weekends in all of motorsports. The racing season at Homestead-Miami Speedway begins with Indy Racing's season opener, the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami, March 1-2. In the fall of 2002, Homestead-Miami Speedway will make history as host of NASCAR Championship Weekend, November 14-17. That weekend, the three major NASCAR series, Winston Cup, Busch Grand National, and Craftsman Truck, will conclude their 2002 seasons at the same track for the first time in history.

At the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami, the speed of Indy Racing will be coupled with the world-class road racing of the Rolex Sports Cars Series on March 1-2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Grand Prix of Miami features the same cars and drivers that race every year in the Indianapolis 500 racing at speeds over 200 miles-per-hour on the Homestead-Miami Speedway 1.5-mile oval. Following the Grand Prix of Miami, the Rolex Sports Car series, featuring Porsche, BMW and Corvette, will race in the Nextel 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway's 2.21-mile road course.

Last year, the Indy Racing League made its debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway's 1.5-mile oval as Sam Hornish Jr. edged Sarah Fisher and Miami resident Eliseo Salazar in a thrilling finish. Hornish, Fisher, and Salazar along with former Indianapolis 500 winners, Al Unser Jr., Buddy Lazier and Eddie Cheever, Jr., are expected back for this year's Grand Prix. Joining these IRL veterans will be two-time CART champion Gil de Ferran and 2001 Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves of Marlboro Team Penske who recently announced plans to compete exclusively in the Indy Racing League in 2002.

The Rolex Sports Car Series features two categories of competition: SportsRacing Prototypes and GT cars. The categories are subdivided into five classes - SportsRacing Prototype, SportsRacing Prototype II, GTS, GT and American GT, all of which will be competing at the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course. Fans may view all the action either from the grandstand or from unique seating areas within the scenic road course.

Tabbed as the "Biggest Party of 2002", the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami will be much more than just a race. There will be plenty of special events surrounding the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami all leading up to race day. Stay tuned for more details on specific festivities and gatherings.

While the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami will mark the season-opener for Indy Racing, the NASCAR season will conclude at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the first-ever NASCAR Championship Weekend. On November 14-17, the NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series will all conclude their seasons at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The 2002 Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway will culminate with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season-finale, featuring NASCAR stars such as Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, and Tony Stewart, on Sunday, November 17. The NASCAR Busch Series season-finale will take place on Saturday, November 16, while the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season-finale will run on Friday, November 15. Along with the racing action at Homestead-Miami Speedway, all three series will hold special ceremonies crowning their season champions.

2002 will mark the first year that Homestead-Miami Speedway has served as the site of the NASCAR Winston Cup season-finale, having hosted the penultimate race of the schedule every year since 1999. Homestead-Miami Speedway has served as the host of the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series season-finale since the Speedway opened in 1995. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has traditionally visited Homestead-Miami Speedway in the spring.

As host of the 2002 NASCAR Championship Weekend, Homestead-Miami Speedway will become the first-ever site of the season-finales for all three major NASCAR series. It will also be the first time since 1993 (Atlanta) that both the Winston Cup and Busch Series will end their seasons at the same track, and the first time since 1986 that the Winston Cup season-finale will be hosted by a track other than Atlanta. With the Winston Cup finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it will also mark the first time in the 54-year history of NASCAR's premier series that the schedule will end in the state of Florida.

Fans will have the opportunity to preview this history-making season at the 2002 Season Kickoff/Select-A-Seat Day on Saturday, February 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This free-to-the-public event provides fans with the opportunity to select the best available seat for season ticket packages, the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami and NASCAR Championship Weekend, while enjoying a multitude of activities for all ages. Highlights include "insider" tours of the Speedway facility, a Watch Party for the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series season-opener in Daytona, a fan question-and-answer session with stars of the Indy Racing League, a Mayoral Go-Kart Race, and interactive displays. At the 2002 Season Kickoff/Select-A-Seat, fans will also be able to witness IRL teams test their machines on the Speedway oval at speeds over 200 miles-per-hour.

In addition to these spectacular weekend events, Homestead-Miami Speedway is active over 200 days a year with other forms of racing, testing, track rentals, driving schools and community events.

2002 EVENTS AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

March 1- 2, 2002 -- 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami
(Indy Racing League Season-Opener; Rolex Sports Car Series Nextel 250)

November 14 - 17, 2002 - NASCAR Championship Weekend
(Winston Cup and Busch Grand National and Craftsman Truck Season-Finales)

-www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am , IndyCar , NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Sarah Fisher , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Eliseo Salazar , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske