There’s a reason why Tony Stewart earned the nickname Smoke. Besides winning three championships and 49 races in the Cup Series, Stewart also set the record for the quickest qualifying lap at a 1.5-mile speedway by going 200.111 mph at Texas in 2014.
Three years later, one of the men who races for the aforementioned driver at Stewart-Haas Racing broke his boss’s record. That man would be Kurt Busch, who lapped Texas Motor Speedway in 26.877 seconds and reached a top-speed of 200.915 mph.
Busch spoke with reporters after qualifying and shared what it feels like to go 200 mph in a stock car
“The car, once it goes into the banking–it travels–the suspension collapses in the car and travels. The car gets lower to the ground and it actually picks up speed because you’re lower to the ground and therefore you have less drag,” Busch said, according to NASCAR.com. “It’s a sensation that–it’s hard to describe it–when you have that grip level in the car, it gives you the feeling that, ‘Man I can put it down to the floor and there’s not going to be any consequences.’
“Turns one and two, that’s where I think the lap time comes from. If you can get it to hook and stay right on the bottom, because that end of the track is lot flatter and you have to back out of the gas all the way. Where in three and four you can almost hold it wide open. So both ends of the track are very different and it’s a cool sensation driving through three and four holding it almost wide open.”
The Coors Light Pole was the 22nd of Busch’s career, but his first this season. Furthermore, even though the 39-year-old Busch won the Dayton 500 earlier this year, he does not have a contract to drive next year in the Cup Series.
The AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway kicks off at 2 p.m. this Sunday and will be televised by NBCSN.