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NASCAR: Speed freaks

File this away for future reference: In a NASCAR tire test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the other day, Mark Martin reportedly hit 212 mph. And Jeff Gordon's crew reported he topped out at 214.

This is almost 30 mph faster than the track record for an entire lap, and if that's jaw-dropping, there were a couple of mitigating factors: A new, environmentally friendly tire and ideal weather (cool, no wind to speak of).

The likelihood that those kind of top-end speeds will happen in the heat of late July, when the Brickyard 400 comes around again, is next to zero. Gordon reported, in fact, that the speeds markedly slowed in the heat of the afternoon yesterday.

Still ... it's going to be a faster weekend this year, looks like.

Ben Smith's blog.