Ford Championship Weekend sponsorship extended
June 15, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
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Officials with Ford Motor Company and Homestead-Miami Speedway have announced a title sponsorship extension for the season-ending NASCAR race weekend at the 1.5-mile track. The extension runs through 2019, with an option through 2024.
"We've spent the better part of a year re-negotiating this extension and we would not have expended the time and energy we did had we thought there was any chance that the championship could be leaving Miami in the near future," HMS president Matthew Becherer said Sunday.
Known as the Ford Championship Weekend, the three-day program officially crowns champions in the sanctioning body's three national series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the Camping World Truck Series.
"It’s a whole weekend; it’s not just one race," said Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of the Americas for Ford Motor Company. "With the Chase format and the way it's now lined up, this really sets up for a very … exciting weekend for our fans and all NASCAR fans."
This year's race weekend, scheduled for Nov. 14-16, consists of the Ford EcoBoost 200 for the Truck Series, the Ford EcoBoost 300 for Nationwide and the Ford EcoBoost 400 for Sprint Cup.
A re-tooled Chase format this year will see four Sprint Cup drivers vying for the title in the season-ending event, with the highest finishing driver crowned champion.
Ford has been the title sponsor for all three series events at HMS since 2002. The track began hosting NASCAR sanctioned races in 1995. Becherer called it "the perfect track for not only a championship, but a winner-take-all format for a championship."
Homestead became the final race on the Cup schedule in 2002, replacing Atlanta Motor Speedway as the season finale. In that event, an 18th-place finish by Tony Stewart, then with Joe Gibbs Racing, proved to be enough to hold off Mark Martin and secure Stewart's first Cup title.
The Nationwide Series has ended its season at HMS since 1995 while the Camping World Truck Series began dropping the curtain on its season there in 2002.
From 1996 through 2001, Homestead was one of the first three stops for the Truck Series.
The announcement of the extension was made today at Michigan International Speedway, site of this weekend's Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race.