What Are The NASCAR Track Lap Records?

Motor junkies live for motorsport racing, and NASCAR is the type of sport that can make them crazy. The thrill of cars going around the track at speeds that can make your head spin kind of makes a person wonder: “ How fast can a NASCAR go?” we will answer this question in this article.

NASCAR cars can go faster than 200 miles per hour. The fastest recorded time for a Nascar vehicle is 212.809 miles per hour. That speed was clocked at Talladega superspeedway in 1987 during a qualifying round. The driver was Bill Elliot, and he was driving a Ford Thunderbird stock car.

The fastest official speed is still Bill Elliott’s lap at Talladega of 212 miles an hour. It still remains the fastest recorded speed because the previous generation (Gen 6) NASCAR cars had plates installed to limit their speed for safety reasons. It is safe to assume that the current NASCAR cars would go much faster if they were not limited, especially at the superspeedways of Talladega and Daytona.

In this article about Nascar, we will explore the topic of how fast a Nascar has gone on the different tracks.


How Fast Can A Nascar Go?

The fastest recorded time for a NASCAR racecar is 212.809 miles per hour. We will use the historical data and NASCAR speed records in this post section. The best way to get all this information over is with the use of a table. This table includes the circuit, the date of the event, the name of the driver, How fast the NASCAR was going, and the qualifying lap time.

We have included both road and oval race tracks here, and although short tracks encourage less speed, they are quicker to complete a lap due to distance.

Date (D,M,Y)CircuitDriverTime(sec)How fast did the NASCAR go?
15/11/1997Atlanta Motor SpeedwayG.Bodine28.074197.478 Miles per hour
16/03/2018Auto Club SpeedwayK.Harvick38.147188.744 Miles per hour
05/04/2019Bristol Motor SpeedwayR.Blaney14.528132.076 Miles per hour
09/10/2014Charlotte Motor SpeedwayK.Busch27.167198.771 Miles per hour
13/09/2013Chicagoland SpeedwayJ.Logano28.509189.404 Miles per hour
11/04/2014Darlington RacewayA.Almirola26.705184.145 Miles per hour
09/02/1987Daytona International SpeedwayB.Elliot42.783210.364 Miles per hour
03/05/2019Dover International SpeedwayC.Elliot21.692165.960 Miles per hour
14/11/2014Homestead-Miami SpeedwayB.Keselowski29.795181.238 Miles per hour
26/07/2014Indianapolis Motor SpeedwayK.Harvick47.647188.889 Miles per hour
13/11/2015ISM RacewayJ.Johnson25.147143.158 Miles per hour
03/10/2014Kansas SpeedwayK.Harvick27.304197.773 Miles per hour
07/07/2017Kentucky SpeedwayK.Busch28.379190.282 Miles per hour
04/03/2016Las VegasMotor SpeedwayK.Busch27.498196.378 Miles per hour
28/03/2014Martinsville SpeedwayJ.Logano18.898100.201 Miles per hour
15/08/2014Michigan International RacewayJ.Gordon34.857206.558 Miles per hour
19/09/2014New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayB.Keselowski27.09140.598 Miles per hour
01/08/2014Pocono RacewayK.Larson49.063183.438 Miles per hour
06/09/2013Richmond RacewayJ.Gordon20.674130.599 Miles per hour
22/06/2019Sonoma RacewayK.Larson94.59895.901 Miles per hour
30/04/1987Talladega Super SpeedwayB.Elliot44.998212.809 Miles per hour
03/11/2017Texas Motor SpeedwayK.Busch26.877200.915 Miles per hour
09/08/2014Watkins Glen InternationalM.Ambrose68.113129.491 Miles per hour

It is evident from this table that NASCAR cars can reach speeds well over 200 miles per hour. Interestingly, on some circuits, the speed was not as fast, but it makes sense that some circuits would not have as many long straights for the vehicles to go as fast as on other circuits. Cornering reduces speed and the more corners the less speed.

Road course are not also full of corners, they also tend to be longer than most ovals.

Which NASCAR Cars and Drivers have Gone Over 200 miles an Hour.

It has been established so far that NASCAR Cars can go as fast as 212.809 miles per hour, or 228 miles an hour if unrestricted. What needs to be established now is which cars were able to reach these speeds.

In this part of the post, 8 vehicles will be listed that managed to break the 195 miles per hour mark. Whether these lists will expand depends on what happens when the Next Gen NASCAR starts to perform at tracks like Daytona and Talladega.

11/03/2017Texas Motor SpeedwayK.BuschToyota Camry200.915 Miles per hour
04/30/1987Talladega Super SpeedwayB.ElliotFord Thunderbird212.809 Miles per hour
08/15/2014Michigan InternationalJ.GordonChevrolet206 Miles an Hour
03/04/2016Las Vegas Motor SpeedwayK. BuschToyota196.378 Miles an hour
10/04/2014Kansas SpeedwayK.HarvickChevrolet197.3 Miles an hour
02/09/1987Daytona Int SpeedwayB.ElliottFord thunderbird210.4 miles an hour
10/09/2014Charlotte Motor SpeedwayK.BuschToyota198.7 Miles an hour
11/15/1997Atlanta Motor SpeedwayG.BodineFord197.4 Miles an hour

This comparison of the 8 fastest cars in NASCAR proves that all manufacturers have managed to break the 195 miles per hour mark more than once. This shows how similar, in performance at least, these cars actually are. There are only currently three OEM in NASCAR, although the hope is that the Next gen car will open up the way for more manufactures to join the sport over the coming years.

Nascar BrandFordToyotaChevrolet
How many times did this Nascar go faster than 195 Mph3 times3 times2 times

Who would have guessed that Ford, Toyota, and Chevrolet were so evenly matched by having two or more records for the fastest qualifying laps? It shows the caliber of drivers and vehicles that this sport has.

The Gen 6 NASCAR and Lap Records

Since the introduction of the Generation 6 iteration of NASCAR racers there has been a steady increase in speed. Where as top speeds may have been tempered at the Superspeedway liek Daytona Tallagega, as was the intention, speeds at other tracks increased.

To the point where 16 of the 23 tracks saw new lap records set my the gen 6 Nascar. You can read more about this in the link.

How Fast is the Next Gen NASCAR?

In testing the next gen car has been shown to be at the very least comparable to the gen 6 NASCAR and although this has been met with mixed opinions it should be remembered this is before teams have got their hands on the car.

Once NASCAR teams start making adjustments ( those they are allowed to) then we can expect speeds to increase over the course of the first full season of use. The first race at the Los Angeles Coliseum can not be used as a benchmark however! Its 0.25 miles long!


The cars that race in NASCAR are well-engineered machines that can reach speeds well over 200 miles per hour. Ford, Toyota, and Chevrolet have cars that produced speeds over 195 miles per hour more than once. Hopefully more manufacturers will be dipping their toe in soon!

NASCAR racing is about much more than just how fast the car can go of course, but speed is certainly one of the factors that draws millions of fans every year to cheer on their favourite drivers.

It is a sport that the whole family can enjoy. It is about the fans, and people appreciate when racing is family-friendly and as safe as possible for everyone involved.






Al lifelong Motor Racing Fan, with a particular love of NASCAR and IndyCar racing. Been in and out of cars of varying speeds since i was a child and sharing what i have learnt here.

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