Ralph Sanchez was not only a racing legend in South Florida, he was also a devout husband and model father. To me, Ralph was a business partner and an unconditional friend. He will be missed by all whose lives he touched.
Following Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida, the Cleveland Indians abandoned Homestead’s newly built baseball stadium. Ralph had the vision to bring motor racing to Homestead. With the help of our county commissioners, the city of Homestead and friends like Wayne Huizenga and Alex Muxo, Ralph’s dream became a reality. In many ways, it gave the city hope and put Homestead back on the map.
In 2004, many of Ralph’s friends worked to promote the concept of renaming Speedway Boulevard as Ralph Sanchez Boulevard. Although there was strong support for renaming the street, it was not strong enough to overcome the opposition from then-County Commissioner Natacha Seijas — and the NASCAR lobby, which at that time opposed the move, too.
But the landscape has changed, and the time is right to do the right thing. There could be no stronger message to honor Ralph Sanchez’s legacy of bringing world-class motor racing to downtown Miami in the 1980s and then building Homestead Motor Speedway in the 1990s than by renaming Speedway Boulevard in his name and memory.
Willy A. Bermello, Bermello, Ajamil & Partners, Miami