While some may see the Hafb series as a mere distraction, we at Road to Profit see it as nothing more than a marketing tool. Yes, we all know about the infamous Homestead-Michiana race and how it gets a little hairy sometimes, but it’s more than just a racetrack. What else could a sport as exciting as auto racing offer?
To make things more interesting, the Homestead-Michiana race comes at the end of a grueling season. Teams have to battle it out for every last spot in the top-three, and sometimes even those aren’t enough. The pressures are immense, yet the adrenaline rushes that accompany a close call make it all worth it.
So, is the Homestead-Michiana race built on sand? Or are they firmly planted on solid ground? Let’s take a quick look.
Key Facts About The Homestead-Michiana Race
There are a few essential facts about the Homestead-Michiana race that every new entrant should know.
First off, it’s been officially sanctioned by Hock Funeral Home, so all you doubters out there should know that it’s been tested and approved. You can rest assured that it’s safe for spectators as well as competitors. Second, it’s a must for every driver to go through a mandatory driver’s ed class before the start of the season. Finally, all teams must adhere to car-buying regulations. These are meant to ensure that each team buys cars based on budget restraints rather than on performance alone.
The Sand Versus The Gravel Version
A quick refresher for those of you who may have forgotten what sand and gravel racing is like: It was first held at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in the 1930s and got its name from the type of tires that were in use at the time. These tires were designed to stick to the salt spray, which is mostly made up of sand. In the beginning, only open-wheel, or racing cars, competed in these events. However, that has changed over the years, and sprint cars have become commonplace as well. These are the cars that Tony Stewart drives for example.
So, is the Homestead version built on sand or gravel? Well, it depends on where you’re standing. While the track is indeed made up of dirt and rock, it doesn’t look like the traditional sand track that came before it. The outer portions of the track are made up of compacted gravel. Like most tracks these days, the inner portions are asphalt paved. So, in that sense, the Homestead track is more like a traditional road racing circuit. However, the lack of long, straightaways means that the cars are more maneuverable than they would be on a regular road. You might compare it to an off-road course with the exception that there are no puddles of water to avoid.
The History Of The Trackage
Before we get started, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and revisit some of the history of the Homestead-Michiana Race. Back in 1911, the track was first paved in sections with some gravel mixed in for good measure. In 1924, the track was widened and realigned, and in 1930 they built the current main grandstand. However, that was only a temporary structure, and in 1934 the spectators were treated to a permanent grandstand. This was the first year that the track was officially sanctioned by the ACU, or American Car Owners’ Union. Over the years, the track has received upgrades and improvements that have made it what it is today. The pits, the paddock area (where the cars are stabled and crews change cars), and even the racetrack itself have all undergone dramatic improvements. It’s amazing the work that has gone into this one track. No wonder it’s been dubbed the “Jewel of the Automobile Racing Industry”.
The History Of The Drivers
While we’re on the subject of the history of the drivers, let’s not forget about the men and women behind the wheels. One cannot talk about the Homestead-Michiana race without also mentioning the men and women who’ve graced its podium over the years. This is a prestigious award, as the names of the winners are engraved on a plaques that line the trophy case in the winner’s garage.
Some of the greatest names in the history of motor racing have taken part in the Homestead-Michiana race. Names like Louis Meyer, Al Holbert, Ralph DeMond, George Montgomery, Herb Thomas, and many more have all earned their place on the podium. One of the more recent winners is John Fishwick, who won in 2015. We bet there are a lot of racing fans who were thrilled to see that name on the podium.
Points To Consider
Now that you have the basics out of the way, it’s time to put this into perspective. Before you make up your mind and commit to going to Homestead, here are some points to consider.
First, while it is a mandatory requirement that drivers go through a driver’s ed course, it is not a requirement that they take part in the Homestead-Michiana race. In fact, there’s no point in getting all worked up about it. You can always find another racing series or circuit that you’ll find more agreeable to your tastes. Second, the cars are not street legal, so you’ll have to find a way to get them to and from the race track. Depending on how far you’ll be driving, you may also need an extra set of hands to help you get them there and back. Last, make sure you’re aware of all the caveats and restrictions that are part of the Homestead-Michiana rulebook. You’ll also need an ACU membership card to get all the gates open for you, and parking around the track can be a nightmare. That’s if you can find a spot at all, which is extremely unlikely, especially during race days. So, if you can, practice driving around the track to get a feel for the different surfaces and the unique driving dynamics that mark this event. You’ll have a blast!
Now that you’re all caught up to speed, it’s time to figure out what kind of driver you’ll be. Is it better to be fast or stable? Do you need to go for a rough ride or can you take it nice and smooth? The choice is up to you, but we hope this article has helped you in considering all the pros and the cons. If you want to go for a drive and see what all the fuss is about, go for it! Just make sure you know what you’re getting into.