People of Appalachia have long had an, uh, independent streak -- the area remains a top pot-growing region and that independence is perhaps manifested by extreme poverty. In decades past, these hillbillies brewed moonshine and then distributed it in souped-up cars. It got to be where the chase was more fun than the booze, and so stock-car racing was born. Things have changed, and Homestead is not Appalachia, though its spiritually close. Todays stock-car racing comes as a spectacular Ford Championship Weekend, featuring three days of racing (including the finale of the NASCAR Nextel Cup) on the venues well-regarded 1.5-mile oval, as well as concerts, exhibits, golf and fishing tournaments, even a dancing contest.
Highlights begin with the clutch Ford 400 Cup race, the Craftsman Truck compo, and the Busch 300, not to mention the lucky-amateur fantasy run. The party starts with practice and qualifying races into tonight (beginning at 8:30 a.m.); the big Ford 400 takes up all of Sunday (starting at 10:00 a.m.). The Homestead-Miami Speedway is located at 1 Speedway Blvd., Homestead (drive south until you hear it).
Fri., Nov. 16, 2007