Correct me if I'm wrong, and I'm sure you all will, but wasn't that 252 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats? I'd be surprised to see them reach speeds like that on a tri-oval. I sure hope they repaired that fence. At that rate of speed the fence probably wouldn't come into play anyhow. They may have to repair the top ten rows instead.
Have you ever wondered how restrictive a NASCAR restrictor plate is? Well, Rusty Wallace decided to toss his and find out. On June 9, at Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega, Wallace hit a trap speed of 228 mph in his Miller Lite Dodge. "We hit 228 at the end of the straightaway," he said. Wallace's top lap speed was 216.306 and was 25 to 30 mph faster than with a restrictor plate. "It was a helluva deal that I certainly will remember for the rest of my life," Wallace added. "We'd all been wondering what it would feel like to run at Talladega again without the plates, and now I know. I'll bet we could be running speeds up to 235 without the plates if we spent time doing some tweaking. But I'll tell you this—there's no way we could be out there racing at those speeds. It was neat to be out there running that fast by myself, but it would be insane to think we could have a pack of cars out there doing that." The officially recognized Talladega track record is Bill Elliott's 212.809 mph set in a qualifying run in 1987.
UPDATE: The last thing Bill Elliott expected to be riding in on Wednesday at Talladega Superspeedway was an ambulance. Elliott was at the track -- where he set the NASCAR qualifying record in 1987 of 212 mph -- in an attempt to break that mark. He was driving a Ford FR500C Mustang, a production racing model modified by Brent Hajek of Hajek Motorsports. The same car reached 252 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats last year. On hand for the occasion were Len and Eddie Wood of the Wood Brothers racing team and legendary NASCAR team owner Bud Moore. But it rained most of the day and by the time the sun came out and the track dried enough there was just time left for a couple shakedown runs to check the car out before taking a shot at the speed mark on Thursday. Elliott was on the second lap of the second run when the right front tire blew, sending him hard into the wall on the backstretch. "That's not what I was looking for," Elliott said of the ride back to the garage in an ambulance. "Only hurt my feelings." Hajek was disappointed his shot at the speed mark was cut short but said he might give it another shot on another day. "We'll have to determine what happened and see if we can fix it," he said.(see images at Alabama Live)(5-14-2009)