How fast is Texas Motor Speedway, site of Saturday night's Duck Commander 500?
Pick an adjective.
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They all apply, because speeds are exceptionally high here, especially for the size of the track.
On Halloween of 2014, three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion set the single-lap qualifying record at TMS of 200.111 miles per hour in his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.
That meant Stewart was the first driver to break the 200 mile-per-hour barrier at a 1.5-mile track. And TMS remains the only 1.5-miler and one of only four of 23 Cup tracks where the track record is in excess of 200 mph.
The others are:
Talladega Superspeedway, April 30, 1987 -- Bill Elliott, 212.809 mph.
Daytona International Speedway, Feb. 15, 1987 -- Bill Elliott, 210.364 mph.
Michigan International Speedway, Aug. 17, 2014 -- Jeff Gordon, 206.558 mph.
All three of the above tracks are at least 2 miles long, with Talladega a whopping 2.66 miles, Daytona 2.5 and Michigan 2.0.
After he set the Texas record in 2014, I asked Stewart about his lap.
"I went 224 here in an Indy car," he said, shrugging and smiling.
With NASCAR's new low-downforce package, speeds in the Duck Commander 500 (FOX, 7:30 p.m. ET) likely won't produce new records, but you can bet the cars will be a handful to drive.
"I just love the speeds at Texas Motor Speedway," said Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing.. "They say that bigger is better, and everything is that way in Texas. That racetrack has that mentality. It's big, it's fast and it's a fun track when you are dialed in."
"We've had really fast cars at Texas the last few times we've been there," said Dale Earnhardt Jr. "I'm looking forward to going back. I've said it over and over -- I like this new package. It's great. Every week has been fun. The cars are fun to drive, slipping and sliding. It's a good challenge and I'm enjoying it. I think the fans are going to see good racing again this weekend."
Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing said Texas is one of the more challenging tracks on the circuit.
"The hardest thing to negotiate there is that the entries and exits are very flat, while the corners have a lot of banking and Turn 3 is probably the trickiest part of the track," he said. "Texas is very unique and I honestly don't think that you can group it with other 1.5-mile tracks that we race at."
Given that, Saturday night's race will be a challenge.
"It's one of those tracks where the track surface is old, but you're still fast on new tires," said Kenseth. "I think that especially with this new package, you're going to need to find that compromise to be fast on restarts, but then still have something that hangs on really good for the long run."