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Teams push 217-plus mph at Michigan test

April 09, 2014, Staff report,

Earnhardt Jr., Biffle, Bowyer help Goodyear wrap two-day session

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Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams heated up the speed charts Wednesday at Michigan International Speedway, pushing 217 mph and beyond for top speeds in the last of two days for Goodyear tire testing at the 2-mile track.

Reports of gaudy numbers, unofficial because they were not recorded during a race weekend, flew on Twitter shortly after the test began. Five drivers -- Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Ryan Newman -- were on hand for the two-day test.

Earnhardt, a relative Twitter newcomer, was among the first to send out a photo through social media with his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet posting a top speed of 215.2 mph.

"This is one of our better tracks, and our fans will probably say the same," Earnhardt Jr. said in a track release. "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."

Two of Junior's 20 career Cup wins have come at Michigan.

From there, Bowyer tweeted out a best speed of 217 mph, a speed that track officials confirmed through their Twitter account. Later, Greg Biffle told ESPN reporter Shannon Spake that he had topped the 220 mph mark on the straightaways.

"That's white-of-your-eyes-fast," Bowyer said.

Joey Logano set the track qualifying record last August at 203.949 mph in winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the Pure Michigan 400, posting the fastest qualifying lap in NASCAR history at a track other than Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Since the Michigan track was repaved (over a span from fall 2011 to spring 2012), the pole speed has topped 200 mph in three of its four races.

The track will next play host to NASCAR's premier series June 15 for the Quicken Loans 400.


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