CHAMPCAR/CART: Homestead reconfiguration praised

Source: CART Online Reconfigured Homestead Receives Raves The Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex received a new name last week, while its reconfigured 1.517-mile oval received high praise following several...

Source: CART Online

Reconfigured Homestead Receives Raves

The Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex received a new name last week, while its reconfigured 1.517-mile oval received high praise following several days of testing by Marlboro Team Penske and Team KOOL Green. The name change, to the Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex, was the result of a change in the name of the county in which the facility is located to Miami-Dade County.

Meanwhile, Al Unser Jr. (Marlboro Penske Mercedes) and Andre Ribeiro (Marlboro Penske Mercedes) combined to put more than 700 miles on a pair of 1998 cars in two days of testing at Homestead while Tracy logged a total of 248 miles during his two-day stint. Average speeds on the new "pure oval" at Homestead are expected to approach 210 mph, well above the track's record qualifying speed of 198.590 mph set by Tracy in 1996. "The reconfigured Homestead track is definitely different than it used to be." said Ribeiro. "The track is much nicer and allows for more passing. It's also safer because now, we don't have a wall facing us at a bad angle. The reconfiguration is definitely a very big improvement. You will see lap speeds well over 200 miles per hour in qualifying and in the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota."

Michael Andretti (Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford) was scheduled to test at Homestead Tuesday and today. "They've done a great job," said Andretti, defending Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota champion. "They (track management) listened to us and did the right thing. I think the track feels much safer to drive, and I think it's going to be more competitive as well, so I'm very happy with it." The FedEx Championship Series visits Homestead for its third annual Spring Training, Feb. 3-5 before returning to open the PPG Cup season with the March 15 Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Michael Andretti , Andre Ribeiro
Teams Team Penske