Daytona Qualifying Speed 220.944 mph?

The actual qualifying speed is more likely to be in the mid to high 180’s as it has been for the past 5 years. That seems right around where NASCAR wants to keep it. It makes for good speculation as to how fast they could be going if left unrestricted. I’m not mechanically inclined at all, but logically there has to be some topping out point. Right? I mean going fast and turning left has it’s peak speed built in by virtue of the left-hand turn. There’s another series for go fast, go straight. My quick search shows John Force besting the NHRA at 333.58 mph.

In NASCAR’s first 18 years (1950 – 1967) of Spring races at Daytona International Speedway the pole speed went from 98.840 mph to 180.831 mph. That’s an average increase of 4.555 mph each year.

The next 20 years (1968 – 1987) of Spring races the pole speed increased from 189.222 mph to 210.364 mph. An average increase of 1.057 mph each year.

Where would we be 20 years later at the Spring race of 2007?

Even with an average yearly increase of 0.529 mph (half of the prior 20 year span) the pole speed for the ‘Daytona 500′ 2007 would be 220.944 mph.

Is that possible?

History of Daytona Pole Speeds for Spring Races
Date Driver Make Pole mph +/- Prior Restriction
02/05/1950 Joe Littlejohn Oldsmobile 98.840 none
02/11/1951 Tim Flock Lincoln 102.200 +3.360 none
02/10/1952 Pat Kirkwood Chrysler 110.970 +8.770 none
02/15/1953 Bob Pronger Oldsmobile 115.750 +4.780 none
02/21/1954 Lee Petty Chrysler 123.410 +7.660 none
02/27/1955 Tim Flock Chrysler 130.293 +6.883 none
02/26/1956 Tim Flock Chrysler 135.747 +5.454 none
02/17/1957 Bamjo Matthews Pontiac 134.382 -1.365 none
02/23/1958 Paul Goldsmith Pontiac 140.570 +6.188 none
02/22/1959 Bob Welborn Chevrolet 140.120 -0.460 none
02/14/1960 Cotton Owens Pontiac 149.892 +9.772 none
02/26/1961 Fireball Roberts Pontiac 155.709 +5.817 none
02/18/1962 Fireball Roberts Pontiac 158.774 +3.065 none
02/24/1963 Fireball Roberts Pontiac 160.943 +2.169 none
02/23/1964 Paul Goldsmith Plymouth 174.910 +13.967 none
02/14/1965 Darel Dieringer Mercury 171.151 -3.759 none
02/27/1966 Richard Petty Plymouth 175.165 +4.014 none
02/26/1967 Curtis Turner Chevrolet 180.831 +5.666 none
02/25/1968 Cale Yarborough Mercury 189.222 +8.391 none
02/23/1969 Buddy Baker Dodge 188.901 -0.321 none
02/22/1970 Cale Yarborough Mercury 194.015 +5.114 none
02/14/1971 A.J. Foyt Mercury 182.744 -11.271 none
02/20/1972 Bobby Isaac Dodge 186.632 +3.888 none
02/18/1973 Buddy Baker Dodge 185.662 -0.970 none
02/17/1974 David Pearson Mercury 185.817 +0.155 none
02/16/1975 Donnie Allison Chevrolet 185.827 +0.010 none
02/15/1976 Ramo Stott Chevrolet 183.456 -2.371 none
02/20/1977 Donnie Allison Chevrolet 188.048 +4.592 none
02/19/1978 Cale Yarborough Oldsmobile 187.536 -0.512 none
02/18/1979 Buddy Baker Oldsmobile 196.049 +8.513 none
02/17/1980 Buddy Baker Oldsmobile 194.009 -2.040 none
02/15/1981 Bobby Allison Pontiac 194.624 +0.615 none
02/14/1982 Benny Parsons Pontiac 196.317 +1.693 none
02/20/1983 Ricky Rudd Chevrolet 198.864 +2.547 none
02/19/1984 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet 201.848 +2.984 none
02/17/1985 Bill Elliott Ford 205.114 +3.266 none
02/16/1986 Bill Elliott Ford 205.039 -0.075 none
02/15/1987 Bill Elliott Ford 210.364 +5.325 none
02/14/1988 Ken Schrader Chevrolet 193.823 -16.541 Restrictor Plate
02/19/1989 Ken Schrader Chevrolet 196.996 +3.173 Restrictor Plate
02/18/1990 Ken Schrader Chevrolet 196.515 -0.481 Restrictor Plate
02/17/1991 Davey Allison Ford 195.955 -0.560 Restrictor Plate
02/16/1992 Sterling Marlin Ford 192.213 -3.742 Restrictor Plate. 35° Spoiler
02/14/1993 Kyle Petty Pontiac 189.426 -2.787 Restrictor Plate. 45° Spoiler
02/20/1994 Loy Allen Jr Ford 190.158 +0.732 Restrictor Plate. 45° Spoiler
02/19/1995 Dale Jarrett Ford 193.498 +3.340 Restrictor Plate. 45° Spoiler
02/18/1996 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet 189.510 -3.988 Restrictor Plate. 45° Spoiler. 14:1 Compression Ratio
02/16/1997 Mike Skinner Chevrolet 189.813 +0.303 Restrictor Plate. 45° Spoiler. 14:1 Compression Ratio
02/15/1998 Bobby Labonte Pontiac 192.415 +2.602 Restrictor Plate. 45° Spoiler. 12.5:1 Compression Ratio
02/14/1999 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 195.067 +2.652 Restrictor Plate. 45° Spoiler. 12.5:1 Compression Ratio
02/20/2000 Dale Jarrett Ford 191.091 -3.976 Restrictor Plate. 45° Spoiler. 12.5:1 Compression Ratio. NASCAR issued front & rear shocks. Minimum rear spring rate of 345 pounds
02/18/2001 Bill Elliott Dodge 183.565 -7.526 15/16″ Restrictor Plate. 70° Spoiler with a 1″, forward-facing flange at the top. 4″ front air dam. Addition of a roof spoiler, 1 3/8″ high by 40″ wide, 10″ behind the top of the windshield. Fords & Pontiacs rear spoilers 59″ wide. Chevrolet at 57″.
02/17/2002 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 185.831 +2.266 7/8″ Restrictor Plate. 55° spoiler angle with maximum width of 57″. Spoiler heights: Chevrolet & Dodge 6 1/4″, Ford 5 3/4″, Pontiac 6 1/2″.
02/16/2003 Jeff Green Chevrolet 186.606 +0.775 7/8″ Restrictor Plate. 55° spoiler. Smaller fuel cell. 1.5″ nose “kickout,” or the extension of the front air dam below the bumper. Bodies must mount on the same reference point. Total rear weight of the right rear & left rear not exceed 50% of car’s minimum weight.
02/15/2004 Greg Biffle Ford 188.387 +1.781 29/32″ Restrictor Plate. Rear spoiler increased to 6 3/4″.
02/20/2005 Dale Jarrett Ford 188.312 -0.075 Restrictor plate down 1/64″. 55° spoiler.
02/19/2006 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 189.151 +0.839 Restrictor plate down 1/64″. 55° spoiler.

The restrictor information is from Jayski’s.