From The Marbles

  • Martin Truex Jr.'s car catches fire in pit lane, he drives off in a hurry

    Jay Busbee at From The Marbles4 days ago

    HOMESTEAD, Fla.—There's a reason they tell you not to smoke anywhere near pit road at a NASCAR race.

    Martin Truex Jr., one of the four drivers in the hunt for a championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, had a heart-stopping moment roughly halfway through the race. While Truex was in for a routine pit stop, a random spark ignited the race fuel being pumped into his car. Both the car and the gas can nozzle burned, and Truex drove off in a hurry. His gas can holder tilted the can upward to keep more fuel from burning, and within moments the flame was a memory.

    Once again: NASCAR drivers, and their crews, are just a bit insane.

    ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter.

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  • Born of tragedy, Homestead Speedway has helped a city return

    Jay Busbee at From The Marbles4 days ago

    HOMESTEAD, Fla.—America’s highway system, for all practical purposes, ends about a mile from Homestead-Miami Speedway. The tunnel leading into the track bears the designation of “Southernmost Tunnel in the United States, 180 miles from Cuba.” The track sits in the middle of swampland, the runoff of the Everglades.

    The roads around the track, such as they are, stretch on perfect compass lines, meeting at right angles. Some are sun-bleached pavement, others are twin tire ruts plunging into the underbrush. Palm tree farms dot the territory around the Air Base and the track, advertising BLOW-OUT SALE in eight-foot-tall weatherbeaten letters.

    There is no earthy reason for a track to be here. And yet here it is, now 20 years on, the host of NASCAR’s championship hunt and an arena with one of the more fascinating backstories in American sports.

    In mid-August of 1992, a small storm system formed in the Atlantic. Meteorologists didn’t even bother naming it until August 22, and even then, Hurricane Andrew seemed to be one of the dozens of storms that sputter out in a spray of rain.

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