As Homestead-Miami Speedway prepares for Ford Championship Weekend, some of NASCAR’s up and coming drivers visited the South Florida track to gear up for the season’s homestretch.
Harrison Burton, Sheldon Creed and John Hunter Nemechek took laps around the 1.5-mile oval, gathering valuable racing information that they can utilize for Ford Championship Weekend, November 15-17.
For Nemechek, a rookie who sits comfortably in the tenth spot of the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) points standings, the testing session was important as he prepares for a championship run and hopes to improve on a third-place finish in last year’s Ford EcoBoost 300 when he led 52 laps.
"I felt like we had one of the cars to beat last year," Nemechek said. "We’re here testing trying to get our cars ready to come down here and see what speed we can find. Homestead is a fun racetrack. I really like running the wall here. It’s something I used to not be very good at and I’ve worked on it quite a bit. That’s really where you have to be in order to win this race."
While Nemechek is getting ready for a title run, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) rookies Sheldon Creed and Harrison Burton each face a must-win scenario at Michigan International Speedway this weekend to keep their playoff hopes alive in the regular season finale.
"Coming off a good finish (at Eldora) I feel like is going to help our confidence going into Michigan," said Creed. "It’s a must-win situation so really our one goal is go there to win, and if not then we’ll go into the playoffs and try to the best we can, pick up a few wins and be ready for next year."
Regardless of whether Burton or Creed makes a playoff run, the testing will help them have a better chance to win the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15.
"Racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway is always a ton of fun because of the multi-groove racing that you get," said Burton. "As a driver you have to find a way to get in a rhythm of running the same lap time over and over. The guys that win are the best at doing that here."
Aside from the drivers who were on the track for testing, the session will also benefit Creed’s GMS Racing teammate and reigning series champion Brett Moffitt, who came down to South Florida not to get behind the wheel, but to watch his teammate and help GMS find speed in their trucks.
"This is the site of my first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship in 2018, and we’re trying to make our trucks run good here so we can do it again," Moffitt said. "I love this racetrack and I love being here. To come back and fight for another title is tough, but like I said, I like this place. I feel good about it. We have to get our trucks running good here and then we’ll go fight for another one."
The two-day test wraps up Tuesday evening as the NXS heads to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the NGOTS travels to Michigan International Speedway for the regular season finale.
Tickets for 2019 Ford Championship Weekend, which consists of the Ford EcoBoost 200 (NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship race), Ford EcoBoost 300 (NASCAR XFINITY Series championship race) and Ford EcoBoost 400 (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship race), are now available and can be purchased by calling (866) 409-RACE (7223) or visiting www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.
— Homestead-Miami Speedway —