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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 07, 2013 8:58 pm

Drivers expect to challenge Vegas speed record

The Associated Press

If it doesn't rain Friday, NASCAR's drivers won't be surprised if somebody sets a track speed record.

With cool weather already settling on Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday, the drivers finished open testing of the new Gen-6 race car with impressive speed around the 1.5 mile track. Matt Kenseth was fastest at 187.396 mph, barely edging Carl Edwards, last week's winner in Phoenix.

Kasey Kahne set the track's qualifying speed record last year at 190.456 mph.

"It's an opportunity, yeah," Jeff Burton said. "It's supposed to be cloudy (Friday), 60 percent chance of rain. Typically the race engines are better than test engines. Everybody has a little bit left. I think it's a fair shot the track record will fall."

Although rain was expected overnight, Clint Bowyer also expects to see quick work Friday when the track dries.

"We've been to Daytona, we've been to Phoenix, and then you come here and it's so much faster," Bowyer said. "Initially, your thought is, `Holy cow, these things are fast.' They're not record speeds yet, but I was looking at the board, and they're getting faster and faster. It's pretty cool outside. It keeps getting cooler and cooler. Who knows? If it doesn't rain tomorrow, I think with the cloud cover and stuff, you might see a new track record."