The Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s NASCAR qualifying record could be shattered later this afternoon after Furniture Row Racing’s Kurt Busch topped the charts in this morning’s final practice session with a lap of 188.419 miles per hour in his Chevrolet – more than two mph better than Casey Mears’ record of 186.293 mph, which he set in 2004.
After being caught in a wreck two weeks ago at Loudon, Busch is one of multiple contenders that are currently on the outside looking in as the run to the Chase continues. He sits 14th in the standings, but is only just seven points out of 10th place.
That spot in the standings currently belongs to Hendrick Motorsports’ Kasey Kahne, and it appears he also has a fast ride going into today’s qualifying session at IMS. He was second-quickest in “Happy Hour” with a lap at 188.210 mph.
2000 Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, who led yesterday’s first practice, was third-quickest (187.664), followed by defending Brickyard 400 champ Jimmie Johnson in fourth (187.379) and Ford leader Marcos Ambrose in fifth (187.106). Kyle Busch (187.075) was sixth-quickest this morning to lead the Toyotas.
In all, 14 drivers turned laps in “Happy Hour” that broke Mears’ track record, which means this afternoon should hold a very interesting run for the pole. Qualifying will start at 2:10 pm ET.