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Ralph Sanchez opened his new oval in 1995 in the wake of Hurricane Andrew, which had devastated the Miami area. The ultra-modern speedway’s grounds included 680 palm trees, and offered superb facilities for drivers, teams, and nearly 72,000 spectators. When the Champ Car World Series failed to draw the anticipated attendance, Homestead switched to the rival Indy Racing League in 2001. The track has also hosted a NASCAR race since 1999 which is now final race of the year and thus scene of the annual title decider. The 2.21-mile road course also held an FIA GT race for two years.