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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Smokin' fast; Cars break 200 mph lap barrier at repaved Michigan International Speedway

We knew they'd be fast this weekend at the newly repaved Michigan International Speedway. And they exceeded our expectations.

In a practice session Thursday morning, several Cup drivers topped the 200 mph mark for their overall lap. First it was Martin Truex, who ran 200.261 mph in the a.m. and several others followed suit in the record breaking runs.

Early session times were led by Mark Martin, whose lap time was 201.089. Not bad for an old man. Kevin Harvick just missed the 201 mph mark at 200.999. Dale Jr. also topped 200 mph.

In later action Thursday, speeds got even faster.
Tony Stewart ran a lap at 201.896, Greg Biffle ran 201.556 and Kurt Busch ran 201.174.

For reference, the old track record was 194.232, set by Ryan Newman in 2005.

That, my friends, is super super fast. And usually when that happens, you can bet that there will talk of whether the cars need to be slowed down. Well, apparently, that isn't going to happen, as officials said later Thursday that they have no plan to add restrictor plates to reduce speeds. They expect speeds to slow on their own as the track rubbers in and the temperature rises. Series director John Darby said NASCAR has a speed at which liftoff is a concern as is the case at Daytona and Talladega, and "we're not there yet," according to an ESPN report.

We'll see if that statement holds up Friday.

Stay tuned for coverage from me here at the blog this weekend from Brooklyn, starting Friday. and follow my Twitter updates all weekend @MattMyftiu


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