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Clint Bowyer hits ‘white-of-your-eyes-fast’ speed of 217 mph in tire test at Michigan

Apr 9, 2014, 5:19 PM EDT 400 - Qualifying Getty Images

There’s fast, and then there’s Michigan International Speedway fast … uh, err, make that F-A-S-T!

In the final day of a two-day Goodyear tire test at MIS, Clint Bowyer‘s Toyota Camry hit an eye-popping 217 mph Wednesday.

“That’s white-of-your-eyes-fast,” Bowyer said.

Bowyer was part of a quintet of drivers that took part in the test at the two-mile facility in south-central Michigan. The others were Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Trevor Bayne.

According to a media release issued by the track, Earnhardt consistently hit speeds of 212 to 215 mph on the straightaways on the racing surface, which was resurfaced in 2012, making it the fastest non-restrictor plate track in the sport.

“This is one of our better tracks, and our fans will probably say the same,” said Earnhardt, who has two wins, two other top-five and a top-10 at MIS in the last six seasons. “Having the success here over the last four or five years has given us a lot of confidence when we come here, and I think that’s why Goodyear brings us to test.

“I enjoy racing here. It’s a fun track. The asphalt is really aging well and it’s just going to keep getting better and better over the next couple of years.”

Joey Logano holds the official speed record at MIS at 203.949 mph, set during qualifying there last August.

During a tire test at MIS last May, Kurt Busch and Bayne both topped 211 mph.

The Sprint Cup Series returns to MIS for the Quicken Loans 400 weekend on June 13-15.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

  1. testover6370 - Apr 9, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    217? That’s cute.

    • midtec2005 - Apr 9, 2014 at 8:36 PM


      • testover6370 - Apr 9, 2014 at 8:42 PM

        Besides, the record at MIS 234.949 mph by Paul Tracy. But hey, 217 is still pretty good for cars that aspire to be FWD family sedans.

      • vsawmike - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:19 AM

        The record in an open wheel car does not matter here so it’s just stupid to bring it up.

    • moezilla - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:56 PM

      As to your FWD comment below….you do realize that the Chevy SS is a RWD sedan, right?

      • moezilla - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:57 PM

        ….or above…..Motor Sports Talk, you tricky website, you….

      • testover6370 - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:49 PM

        That’s the only one that makes sense, and the charger before it. I laugh when Toyota ads pitch the Camry as a race-winning car, then cry when I realize people believe that.

  2. bear1138 - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Top speed isn’t that important – not when we’re talking 215 in NASCAR vs. 235 in open-wheel. Open wheels weigh half as much and are precision engineered aerodynamically. Of course they’re going to be faster.

    In my opinion, however, the heavier stock cars and less downforce make them tougher to drive and tougher to set-up. Drivers have to work the throttle more and even drag the brake at times. It’s a lot easier to get that heavy stock car out of shape – when 3,400 lbs. starts to come around on you, it’s already too late. Takes a lot of finesse.

    I mean I love all motorsports, but I’m just not sure I’m big proponent of open wheels on 1.5+ mile tracks. Indianapolis is the exception. I just get sick when I think of what happened at Las Vegas. Those cars obviously don’t have the same type of protection as a big heavy stock car.

    • vsawmike - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      Understand that Bill Elliot still holds the Nascar record at Talladega before restrictor plates. He hit over 235 down the back stretch in 1988. That was when they were running about 550 hp in a car that was a square brick. Imagine what one of these cars could do now. The story is about a Nascar cup car not an open wheel car. If you want to bring in other types of cars just cut to the chase and bring up a top fuel car. Then your speed gets well over 300. Completely stupid to even bring up any other type of car.

  3. yourenotfromhere - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    The one things that is consistent between an open wheel car doing laps at 234 and a NASCAR car doing them at 205 (whole lap not straightaway speed) is the racing stinks. I’m not advocating having the cars in packs, but they do not need to be that fast to put on a good show.

  4. indycarseries500 - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    I think 217 going into a corner in a 3300lb car that isn’t going to stick when you get there is a heck of a lot more impressive than the Indy Car 252mph trap speeds in the late 90s early 00s.

  5. kitnamania13 - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    Nascar and Goodyear get extremely uncomfortable when the cars go this fast. I just hope they don’t turn Michigan into another Daytona or Talladega.

  6. techmeister1 - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    The restrictor size will be reduced as it should be. These cars are not going to do well at sustained speeds above 200 mph. The fans can’t tell the diff between 190 and 210 mph so it’s pointless to run above 200 mph in these cars.

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