Clint Bowyer hits ‘white-of-your-eyes-fast’ speed of 217 mph in tire test at Michigan

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There’s fast, and then there’s Michigan International Speedway fast … uh, err, make that F-A-S-T!

In the final day of a two-day Goodyear tire test at MIS, Clint Bowyer’s Toyota Camry hit an eye-popping 217 mph Wednesday.

“That’s white-of-your-eyes-fast,” Bowyer said.

Bowyer was part of a quintet of drivers that took part in the test at the two-mile facility in south-central Michigan. The others were Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Trevor Bayne.

According to a media release issued by the track, Earnhardt consistently hit speeds of 212 to 215 mph on the straightaways on the racing surface, which was resurfaced in 2012, making it the fastest non-restrictor plate track in the sport.

“This is one of our better tracks, and our fans will probably say the same,” said Earnhardt, who has two wins, two other top-five and a top-10 at MIS in the last six seasons. “Having the success here over the last four or five years has given us a lot of confidence when we come here, and I think that’s why Goodyear brings us to test.

“I enjoy racing here. It’s a fun track. The asphalt is really aging well and it’s just going to keep getting better and better over the next couple of years.”

Joey Logano holds the official speed record at MIS at 203.949 mph, set during qualifying there last August.

During a tire test at MIS last May, Kurt Busch and Bayne both topped 211 mph.

The Sprint Cup Series returns to MIS for the Quicken Loans 400 weekend on June 13-15.

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Gabby Chaves to sub for Joao Barbosa at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

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Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.

The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.

Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.

“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”

Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”

Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.

The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.

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