Here are the fastest race tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule. While Talladega has the all-time official NASCAR track record, this list is sorted by fastest qualifying speed since 2000.
By limiting this list to speeds since 2000 I am throwing out three of the fastest qualifying track records in NASCAR history.
- Bill Elliott’s 212.809 MPH lap at Talladega in 1987
- Bill Elliott’s 210.364 MPH lap at Daytona in 1987
- Geoffrey Bodine’s 197.478 MPH lap at Atlanta in 1997
NASCAR occasionally changes the rules to keep speeds down in the name of safety. This is the list of the fastest modern NASCAR Sprint Cup race tracks.
1. Michigan Speedway – 203.241 MPH
A fresh repave of Michigan International Speedway in 2012 set the stage for Marcos Ambrose to shatter the old track record by nearly nine MPH. His lap of 203.241 MPH in June of 2012 put Michigan International Raceway solidly on top of this list.
The top 38 drivers in that race all posted speeds higher than previous number one Texas Motor Speedway’s record lap of 196.235.
Michigan’s new smooth surface makes it the king of speed.
2. Daytona International Speedway – 196.434 MPH
Daytona International Speedway is another race track where teams are required to use restrictor plates. The official track record is again held by Bill Elliott who posted a 210.364 MPH lap to sit on the pole for the 1987 Daytona 500.
Since 2000 the fastest qualifying lap belongs to Danica Patrick who drove the new Gen 6 car to the Daytona 500 pole at 196.434 MPH.
3. Texas Motor Speedway – 196.235 MPH
Texas Motor Speedway was repaved during the 2006 season providing an entirely different racing surface for the drivers when they returned during The Chase for the Cup. When Brian Vickers took advantage of the smooth surface and posted a 196.235 MPH lap to take the pole. This vaulted Texas into first place as the fastest race track on the modern Sprint Cup schedule.
4. Atlanta Motor Speedway – 194.690 MPH
Until 2006 Atlanta Motor Speedway had held the title of NASCAR’s fastest speedway since it was reconfigured during the 1997 season. However it must now settle for third on the list with the quickest qualifying lap posted here since 2000 belonging to Ryan Newman at 194.690 MPH. Newman has held this track record since 2005.
In 2012 Atlanta feel another spot to third on the overall list when Carl Edwards took the pole for the 2012 Daytona 500.
5. Charlotte Motor Speedway -193.216 MPH
In 2005 Elliott Sadler set the Charlotte Motor Speedway track record. Sadler clocked in with a 193.216 MPH lap to vault Charlotte Motor Speedway up to the fourth spot on this list. Speeds jumped nearly five MPH from the previous year as a result of the track being smoothed and repaved.
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