Aric Almirola sets new track record at Darlington Raceway

Aric Almirola is the new track record holder at Darlington Raceway with a lap speed of 184.145mph.

SCARY FAST

It wasn't until 1988 that qualifying speeds at Darlington topped 160 mph.

Since then, speeds at the 1.366-mile track have advanced dramatically. Aric Almirola set a track record at 184.145 mph in the second round of knockout qualifying on Friday. Joey Logano wasn't far behind at 183.870 mph.

"It feels freaking fast, I promise you that," Logano said after qualifying second for Sunday's Bojangles Southern 500. "I remember the first time I came here. I was shaking after qualifying. It is insane. I can't really put it in words.

"I've never driven anything like an IndyCar or anything, but this is the place you go to with the most sensation of speed. Here and Dover you really feel like you are hauling the mail."

The pressure of time trials at Darlington is greater, Logano said, because there's no room for even a slight mistake.

"For one, you are going so fast into Turn 1, and you look at that corner, and you barely lift, and you just book right through it. It's just crazy. I'm having a hard time putting it into words. You go into (Turn) 3, and enter high and your car is loose, and if you go too hard, you'll chase the back end of the car into the fence.

"Then you're right back to the gas and wide open right up against the wall. That sensation of going fast and also having no room for error out there on the race track is what makes it feel like you're just crazy out there."

Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Interview
Tags aric almirola, darlington, joey logano, nascar, sprint cup