June 15, 2012
By: Toby Christie – Follow on Twitter @Tobalical
The point of racing has always been to prove that you are faster than the competition, but in NASCAR – at least since the inception of the restrictor plate in 1988 – the 200 mph lap average has really been where the sanctioning body has stepped in to slow the cars down in the name of safety.
Buddy Baker was the first driver in NASCAR to ever record a 200mph lap time in testing. Baker put down a lap of 200.447 mph at Talladega Superspeedway in March of 1970. However a driver didn’t officially break the 200mph barrier in an official qualifying session until Benny Parsons accomplished the feat in 1982. From 1982 to 1987 speeds slowly crept faster and faster until Bill Elliott took the pole for the 1987 Talladega 500 with a speed of over 212 mph.