NASCAR practice speeds continue to soar

Nationwide on track for first time

A day after numerous teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series topped the 200 MPH mark, the speeds continued to be the theme. And the speeds only got faster after the teams fine-tuned their cars.

Greg Biffle set the pace and it was one fast lap. He finished the day with a mark of 204.708 MPH. The next fastest driver was Marcos Ambrose who had a lap of 203.551 MPH.

In the final practice session on Friday, 43 of the 45 drivers surpassed the qualifying record of 194.232 MPH. Ryan Newman set the previous mark in 2005 and owns a pair of victories in the Irish Hills.

Kevin Harvick (202.954) and Carl Edwards (202.943) each posted speeds of over 202 MPH. In the final practice session, 14 cars had a speed that eclipsed 200 MPH.

The official NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying is scheduled to begin on Saturday at 1:10 p.m. The Quicken Loans 400 will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

The Nationwide drivers got their opportunity to test the repaved surface at MIS for the first time. And it did not take them long to confirm they like the speeds.

Danica Patrick was the first driver to surpass 190 MPH on the day. She was the second fastest in the first practice with a speed of 190.506. But Austin Dillon registered the fastest speed in the first two sessions and appeared on his way to leading the day.

In the final practice session, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano had a fast lap of 189.773 MPH to lead the field.

Biffle set the Nationwide qualifying mark of 186.548 MPH in 2007. A total of 19 Nationwide drivers in the first practice session and 18 each in the next two sessions topped the record.

The Nationwide will qualifying on Saturday at 11:05 a.m. The green flag will drop on the 21st Annual Alliance Truck Parts 250 on Saturday at 3:45 p.m.

© 2014 Michigan International Speedway

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