By limiting this list to speeds since 2000 I am throwing out three of the fastest qualifying track records in NASCAR history.
- Bill Elliott's 212.809 MPH lap at Talladega in 1987
- Bill Elliott's 210.364 MPH lap at Daytona in 1987
- Geoffrey Bodine's 197.478 MPH lap at Atlanta in 1997
The top 38 drivers in that race all posted speeds higher than previous number one Texas Motor Speedway's record lap of 196.235.
Michigan's new smooth surface makes it the king of speed.
Since 2000 the fastest qualifying lap belongs to Danica Patrick who drove the new Gen 6 car to the Daytona 500 pole at 196.434 MPH.
Texas Motor Speedway was repaved during the 2006 season providing an entirely different racing surface for the drivers when they returned during The Chase for the Cup. Brian Vickers took advantage of the smooth surface and posted a 196.235 MPH lap to take the pole. This vaulted Texas into first place as the fastest race track on the modern Sprint Cup schedule.
Until 2006 Atlanta Motor Speedway had held the title of NASCAR's fastest speedway since it was reconfigured during the 1997 season. However it must now settle for third on the list with the quickest qualifying lap posted here since 2000 belonging to Ryan Newman at 194.690 MPH. Newman has held this track record since 2005.
In 2012 Atlanta feel another spot to third on the overall list when Carl Edwards took the pole for the 2012 Daytona 500.
Since 2000 the fastest qualifying lap at Talladega was David Gilliland's 191.712 MPH lap from 2006.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway saw it's track record shattered by almost ten miles per hour in 2007. Kasey Kahne put his Dodge on the pole with a 184.855 MPH lap which laid waste to Kahne's own previous track record of 174.904 MPH.
Kyle Busch then edged that record up to 185.995 in 2009. This closed the gap on 9th place Indianapolis but didn't change Vegas' position on this list.
In 2011 Matt Kenseth added nearly three miles per hour to the track record with his 188.884 MPH qualifying lap. This caused Vegas to jump up to seventh on this list.
Kasey Kahne reclaimed the track record in 2012 when he posted a 190.456 MPH lap during qualifying but Las Vegas remained seventh on the overall list.
Kyle Busch is the track record holder here. Kyle ran this 188.245 MPH lap in qualifying for the February 2005 Auto Club 500.