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What is the fastest a car has ever gone?

What Is The Top Speed Of Cars In NASCAR?

NASCAR races showcase the speed, power, and durability of its vehicles, as well as the skill of drivers and their teams. NASCAR is the world’s largest governing body for stock car racing, sanctioning over 1,500 races each year. NASCAR vehicles are capable of reaching speeds of over 200 miles per hour, with a power output of either 510 or 670 horsepower in NASCAR Cup Series races. Variables including the track, the driver, weather conditions, and vehicle maintenance can all affect how fast NASCAR cars travel.

Table of Contents

  • NASCAR Top Speed
  • NASCAR Tracks and Speed
  • NASCAR’s Limit on Speed
  • How Fast Are NASCAR Cars?
  • FAQ

NASCAR Top Speed

The top speed ever recorded in a NASCAR race is 212 miles per hour. In a typical NASCAR race, the top speed achieved is around 200 miles per hour, with slower speeds at short tracks and road courses. NASCAR cars have their engines’ power output limited during races; in unrestricted form, they can reach more than 240 miles per hour. The top speed recorded by a NASCAR car without a mechanical speed limiter is 247 miles per hour.

NASCAR Tracks and Speed

nascar race track

NASCAR vehicles reach drastically different top speeds depending on the track they are racing. NASCAR races travel to different tracks throughout the season, testing each driver’s ability under different conditions. Each NASCAR track’s size, length, composition, and safety features vary. Each track will allow for different top speeds that drivers can reach safely.

The fastest NASCAR tracks on the schedule are the Daytona Superspeedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, and the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. On these tracks, NASCAR vehicles can reach speeds upwards of 200 miles per hour. By contrast, tracks like the Sonoma raceway only allow drivers to reach speeds of around 100 miles per hour. The record for the fastest qualifying mark is held by Bill Elliot who clocked a speed of 212.809 at the Talladega Superspeedway in 1987.

NASCAR’s Limit on Speed

The speed of race cars is regulated by NASCAR for safety reasons. Large tracks like the Daytona Superspeedway provide cars with the potential to consistently reach speeds upwards of 200 miles per hour. Even though NASCAR cars could potentially go faster, it would be extremely dangerous for drivers to attempt higher speeds, so NASCAR uses mechanical limiters and engine tuning to limit horsepower and, thus, maximum speed. NASCAR limits horsepower to 510 hp on superspeedways, like Daytona and Talladega, and 670 hp on intermediate and short tracks.

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How Fast Are NASCAR Cars?

Without limitations, NASCAR vehicles can reach top speeds much higher than those achieved during sanctioned races. NASCAR engines are built to produce maximum power outputs of around 800-900 horsepower and reach speeds of around 240 miles per hour. In 2007, the speed record for stock cars was broken by Russ Wicks, who drove a modified Dodge Charger NASCAR race car. He reached a maximum speed of 247 miles per hour at the Bonneville Speedway in Utah.


How fast do NASCAR cars go?

NASCAR cars generally travel around 200 miles per hour during a race; however, this varies based upon what track the race takes place at. At tracks such as the Daytona and Talladega Superspeedways, cars can routinely reach speeds over 200 miles per hour. However, at tracks like Sonoma, cars often travel slower, around 100 miles per hour. At a typical oval track, cars achieve an average speed of around 160 miles per hour.

Are NASCAR cars faster than Formula 1 or Indycar?

NASCAR vehicles are slower than their Formula 1 and Indycar counterparts. This is mostly due to engine composition, weight, and acceleration differences. NASCAR vehicles are significantly heavier than Formula 1 and Indycar vehicles and accelerate much more slowly. NASCAR race cars can weigh upwards of 3,000 lbs, while Indycar or Formula 1 cars tend to weigh about half as much. The large weight difference of NASCAR vehicles makes them significantly slower in comparison to other auto racing leagues.

What are the fastest NASCAR Cup Series tracks?

In NASCAR, the top speed that cars can reach greatly depends on the format of the track they’re racing on. Certain NASCAR tracks allow for cars to reach upwards of 200 miles per hour, while others only allow drivers to top speeds of around 100 miles per hour. The current fastest NASCAR Cup Series track is the Daytona Superspeedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. In 2019, William Byron had a lap average of 194.3 miles per hour in Daytona. The record for the highest speed recorded at the track was set by Bill Elliot in 1987 with a speed of 210.3 miles per hour.

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How much horsepower do NASCAR cars have?

Today, the average NASCAR race car can produce upwards of 750 horsepower. While each car is different, the most powerful NASCAR vehicles in the Cup Series are capable of producing over 900 horsepower. However, for safety reasons, NASCAR limits the horsepower of its cars depending on the racetrack. At most tracks, NASCAR cars are limited to 670 horsepower, but at superspeedways, the output is further limited to 510 horsepower. NASCAR engines are naturally aspirated and can produce such high horsepower without the use of turbochargers.

What is the highest recorded speed in NASCAR?

The fastest speed ever reached in NASCAR’s history was recorded at 212.809 miles per hour at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. The record was set in 1987 by Bill Elliot, making him NASCAR’s fastest driver. His lap is the fastest official qualifying speed in NASCAR’s history and still stands today. Elliot also holds the fastest qualifying record at the Daytona Superspeedway, with a speed of 210.364 miles per hour.

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4 Fastest Naturally Aspirated Production Cars Ever Made

Before I begin, I’ve created a poll for what my next list should be, go and vote on it, voting ends on the 24th of November. Here is the link.

Unless you live under a rock that’s been stuck in prehistory, or a non car guy, then you have heard about Koenigsegg achieving an average top speed of 277.9 miles per hour, making it the fastest production car in the world. However, while that is fine (good for them, too), every hypercar that has gone for the top speed record has been turbo’d (after the original Veyron). To think that we’ve come to an age now where to go fast you need what is essentially a hair dryer attached to the engine is strange. So today I’ve come up with a list of the 4 fastest production cars that don’t believe in that sort of wizardry. Without further ado, let’s get into it starting with number four

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Number four: Jaguar XK120

Even though it’s the slowest car on this list, back in the late 40s and early 50s, it was a rocketship. Using a carbureted 3.4 twin cam straight six making 180 HP and 203 LB-FT. Combine that with an aluminum body and a light chassis and it could send the XK all the way to 132 mph (212 km/h) which back in 1950 made it the fastest production car in the world…

Number three: Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

…Until 1955 when the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing snatched that record from the Brits with a top speed of 135 mph (217 km/h). Using a 3.0L single cam straight six, the Gullwing made 212 hp and 203 LB-FT, an increase of 32. A record Mercedes would keep for a while. Right up until the moment that it was taken away.

Number two: Aston Martin DB5

By the Brits once again. This time using the Aston Marin DB5, hitting a top speed of 142.6 miles per hour (230 km/h). Using a 4.0L twin cam straight six, this car made 282 hp and 288 lb-ft. To put that into some perspective, the Corvette of the time (C1) was only making 150 HP from it’s straight six. That’s mega power for a sports car, let alone one from the 60s. It would be a record to be held for quite some time.

Number one: McLaren F1

Although there were plenty of cars to go faster than the DB5, the current victor for the highest top speed with no forced induction is (and probably forever will be) the McLaren F1. Developed by Gordon Murray and BMW (and of course, McLaren, specifically Ron Dennis, if I’m a little off, please don’t shout at me in the comments, I’m not entirely good with this.) Using a BMW-sourced 6.1L V12, the F1 made 618 HP and 480 LB-FT. All that power was sent through a six speed manual transaxle going to the rear wheels. Hitting a top speed of 231 and 240 mph with and without the limiter, the F1 will most likely forever be the world’s fastest naturally aspirated production car, despite being a quarter of a century old.

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In conclusion
While turbocharging is great because of their efficiency, “it’s a cheating device to make more power”-Motor Trend. Using natural aspiration to not only power the car, but to go for a top speed record takes some serious effort, engineering, and heart to make it work. So I hope for the next manufacturer who decides to go for McLaren’s record, and hopefully the world will hold a new record holder for the fastest non-forced induced production car. That’s all for this one, if you enjoyed let me know in the comments and make sure to vote for the next list and write and tell me what you voted for. Whoever votes for the winning topic will get a shout out in the article.

What Is The Fastest NASCAR Car Ever?

Bill Elliott achieved the fastest NASCAR speed record of all time while qualifying for the 1987 Winston 500 at Talladega. In his #9 Coors Ford Thunderbird, Elliott reached a top speed of 212.809 mph. Find out how this incredible NASCAR record has stood for nearly thirty-five years.

Bill Elliott is still NASCAR’s official top-speed record holder

Bill Elliott prepares for a race. In 1987 Bill Elliott would set a top-speed NASCAR record while qualifying at Talladega that would last for over thirty years. | Focus on Sport/Getty Images

William “Bill” Elliott was born in Dawsonville, Georgia, in 1955. Driving for a family-owned team, he qualified for his first Winston Cup Series race in 1976. However, it was not until 1983 that Elliott won his first Winston Cup race. Coors offered him a full sponsorship–$400,000–for the 1984 season. In 1985 he scored an incredible 11 wins and 11 poles.

For the 1987 season, Elliott’s team built him a now-legendary Ford Thunderbird. His tube-frame stock car weighed 3700 pounds. Under the hood rumbled a 351 cubic inch Ford V8 making 625 horsepower.

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In his #9 Coors Ford Thunderbird, Elliott finally hit his stride.

The #9 Ford Thunderbird set an unbreakable NASCAR record

Bill Elliott driving the Coors Ford Thunderbird #9 car. In 1987 Bill Elliott would set a top-speed NASCAR record while qualifying at Talladega that would last for over thirty years. | Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

While qualifying for the Daytona 500, he broke the Daytona International Speedway record when he reached 210.364 mph. Then, while qualifying at Talladega he broke the overall NASCAR record when he reached 212.809 mph.

Elliott began the 1987 Winston 500 at Talladega in the pole position. But during lap 22, tragedy struck. Bobby Allison blew a tire, and his car went airborne, spinning around and tearing down a section of the fence protecting the grandstands. His car very nearly flew into the crowd. Five audience members were seriously injured, one even losing an eye. Thankfully, no one–including Allison–was killed.

Rusty Wallace drives his #2 Miller Lite Dodge. In 2004 Rusty Wallace would take an unofficial Talladega practice lap, without a restrictor plate, and reach higher speeds than Bill Elliott

In June 2004, NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace was completing practice laps at Talladega. Wallace said, “We’d all been wondering what it would feel like to run at Talladega again without the plates.” So, Wallace removed the restrictor plate from his #2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid to find out.

Wallace said the result was “a deal that I certainly will remember for the rest of my life.” Without a restrictor plate, his engine made hundreds more horsepower, and his stock car reached speeds Talladega had not seen in decades: “We hit 228 at the end of the straightaway.”

Obviously, Wallace’s practice run without a NASCAR restrictor plate does not qualify as an official speed record.

Rusty Wallace driving his #2 Miller Lite Dodge. In 2004 Rusty Wallace would take an unofficial Talladega practice lap, without a restrictor plate, and reach higher speeds than Bill Elliott


Wallace’s team had not tuned his suspension and aerodynamics for such unprecedented speeds; he backed off during the lap. But, he said, “I’ll bet we could be running speeds up to 235 without the plates.”

But Wallace is a realist and understands exactly why NASCAR must slow the stock cars down at Talladega. He said, “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.”

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