By Chris Slone
June 14, 2014
Kevin Harvick won the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Quicken Loans 400 race at Michigan International Raceway.
The driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet broke the track record with a lap of 204.557 mph. The fastest lap in NASCAR history was record by Bill Elliott in 1987 at Talladega Super Speedway with a speed of 212.809 mph.
Elliott’s lap set a precedent in a sport that re-defined boundaries. After that record-breaking performance, NASCAR implemented a restrictor-plate rule, which is instituted at Daytona and Talladega.
A restrictor plate is a device that limits the engine’s power by reducing wind flow in the motor. Daytona and Talladega are now reffered to as restrictor-plate tracks.
After Harvick’s record-breaking lap on Friday, he was asked if they speed element of the sport was getting out of control at a place like Michigan.
“How fast is too fast … ,” Harvick said. “It’s the perfect storm with fresh pavement and the cars in qualifying trim. The cars will slow down a tremendous amount when you get them in race trim and you get them in a pack …
“They’ll slow down. Qualifying speeds are high. It’s just a matter of who’s opinion you take on whether it’s too fast or not.”
Jeff Gordon qualified second with a lap of 203.776 mph, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. placed third after running his lap at 203.729 mph.
Aric Almirola will start fourth after running 203.2 with Paul Menard rounding out the Top 5 with a lap of 203.04 mph.
The top 20 drivers eclipsed the 200 mph mark.
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or on Twitter @crslone.