BROOKLYN, Mich. — Drivers were topping 217 mph during the second day of Goodyear tire testing Wednesday at Michigan Int’l Speedway.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer reacted to hitting 217 mph during the morning session. “That’s white-of-your-eyes-fast,” said Bowyer, driver of the No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota.
Bowyer, along with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Trevor Bayne participated in the two-day test at the two-mile track.
Earnhardt said he was hitting speeds between 212 to 215 mph in the straightaways and about 180 in the turns.
And while speed was the topic of the day, the drivers were at the track to test tires for Goodyear.
“This is one of our better tracks, and our fans will probably say the same,” Earnhardt said. “Having 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.”
Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle agreed, adding that the winter has aged the track, making the super-smooth surface less oily, and creating additional grooves.
Though speeds on a race track are sexy, speedway President Roger Curtis said passing and fierce competition is what makes great racing.
“The drivers are posting 200 mph. That’s awesome. The fans get very, very excited about that,” Curtis said. “But at the end of the day, on Sunday when the green flag drops, the speed numbers are not anywhere in the fans’ minds. It’s lead changes, it’s the competition.”