Ford’s new EcoBoost 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 in a Daytona Prototype set the fastest laps ever turned at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday, in the hands of driver Colin Braun.
Braun, one of sports car racing’s top talents and a full-time driver for CORE autosport in the American Le Mans Series, set single lap (222.971 mph), 10-kilometer from standing start (202.438) and 10-mile from standing start (210.018) records at Daytona. All were subject to homologation by the FIA.
The previous fastest single lap set on the DIS 2.5-mile oval was a qualifying lap by Bill Elliott in 1987, 210.364 mph. That, though, was held on an official weekend of competition.
Here are some other speed records achieved in motorsports over the years, and additional notes regarding DPs at Daytona:
The DPs that run at Daytona race on the 3.56-mile road course for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, not on the oval. So from that standpoint you’re never going to see a one-lap speed by a DP anywhere near Braun’s lap.
Secondly, none of the marks set are a closed-course single lap record. That mark is held by Gil de Ferran, at 241.428 mph in a 1000-plus horsepower Reynard-Honda CART Champ Car in qualifying for the 2000 season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
Thirdly, there’s a series that exists where 300-plus mph passes happen on nearly every run, every weekend they race: NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing. And there, when speeds exceed 330 mph, that’s when you’re talking record speed.
And lastly, we haven’t even touched on world record speed runs to be done on the legendary salt flats of Bonneville. There, speeds have been turned north of 600 mph.
It is a credit to Braun, the Ford engineers, the Michael Shank Racing team and the Ford EcoBoost engine. They’re Daytona’s new record-setting laps turned, but not record-setting in a traditional sense.
Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.
There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.
Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.
Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.
By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.
With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.
This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.
Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.
Two privateers have started the season on a high note.
Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.
The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.
Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.
In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.