10 Fastest NASCAR Speeds in History

NASCAR is a high-speed, high-stakes sport that draws millions of fans worldwide. The rush of the race is palpable as drivers battle for position, trying to outmaneuver their opponents and claim victory. At the heart of this competition is the quest for speed — and a few select drivers have managed to achieve some awe-inspiring feats behind the wheel.

Whether it’s a qualifying lap or the race’s final stretch, every moment counts as these drivers push their cars to the limit. The roar of the engines and the rush of the wind make for an exciting spectacle, and the competition is fierce as drivers fight for the coveted title of fastest on the track.

Here are 10 of the fastest NASCAR speed records in history.

10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Top Speed: 202.643 mph
 Birthday: October 2, 1987
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee
 Career Started: 2003

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.photo source: sportscasting.com

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. competes in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 47 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for JTG Daugherty Racing. Stenhouse has won two NASCAR Cup Series races, both at Talladega Superspeedway and has also won two NASCAR Xfinity Series championships.

Before racing in the Cup Series, he had a successful career in the Xfinity Series, winning 17 races and two championships.

Did You Know:

Ricky’s father, Ricky Stenhouse Sr., was also a professional race car driver and competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.


9. Erik Jones

Top Speed:202.654 mph
 Birthday: May 30, 1996
Birthplace: Byron, Michigan
 Career Started: 2003

Erik Jonesphoto source: nascar.nbcsports.com

Erik Jones began his racing career in the karting ranks and quickly made a name for himself as a young up-and-comer. He drives the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Richard Petty Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series. Jones has won two NASCAR Cup Series races, the most recent being the 2021 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

Jones has also succeeded in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, winning six races and the championship in 2015. Jones drove for Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row Racing before joining Richard Petty Motorsports.

Did You Know:

In 2014, Erik Jones made his NASCAR debut in the Camping World Truck Series, driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He won his first race in the series that same year at Phoenix International Raceway.


8. David Ragan

Top Speed: 202.654 mph
 Birthday: December 24, 1985
Birthplace: Unadilla, Georgia
 Career Started: 1996

David Raganphoto source: minutemediacdn.com

David Ragan was a part-time driver for Front Row Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 38 Ford Mustang. Ragan has two NASCAR Cup Series victories, the most recent at Talladega Superspeedway in 2013.

He has also won two races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and one in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Before joining Front Row Motorsports, Ragan previously worked for Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, and Michael Waltrip Racing. Ragan joined Rick Ware Racing in 2022 in their No.15.

Did You Know:

In addition to his racing career, David Ragan is a licensed commercial pilot and owns a small aircraft.


7. Kurt Busch

Top Speed: 202.671 mph
 Birthday: August 4, 1978
Birthplace: Las Vegas, Nevada
 Career Started: 2000

Kurt Buschphoto source: sportscasting.com

Kurt Busch last raced in the NASCAR Cup Series full-time in 2022, driving the No. 45 Toyota Camry TRD for 23XI Racing. He has also won one NASCAR Xfinity Series race and one NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race.

In addition to his racing career, Busch has won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona twice, in 2018 and 2020. Before joining 23XI Racing, Busch drove for several other teams in the Cup Series, including Stewart-Haas Racing, Penske Racing, and Chip Ganassi Racing.

Did You Know:

Kurt Busch has announced his leaving from full-time NASCAR Cup racing in 2023. However, Busch is not retiring and will continue to race in the future.


6. Joey Logano

Top Speed: 203.949 mph
 Birthday: May 24, 1990
Birthplace: Middletown, Connecticut
 Career Started: 2007

Joey Loganophoto source: forbes.com

Joey Logano currently drives the No. 22 Ford Mustang for Team Penske in the NASCAR Cup Series. Logano has won 27 NASCAR Cup Series races, making him one of the sport’s most successful drivers. In addition, Logano has won the NASCAR Cup Series playoff championship twice, in 2018 and 2019.

Before joining Team Penske, Logano drove for Joe Gibbs Racing and Yates Racing.

Did You Know:

Logano became the youngest driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race when he took the checkered flag at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2008 at 18.


5. Kevin Harvick

Top Speed: 203.995 mph
 Birthday: December 8, 1975
Birthplace: Bakersfield, California
 Career Started: 2001

Kevin Harvickphoto source: kget.com

Kevin Harvick competes in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 4 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. Harvick has won a total of 52 NASCAR Cup Series races in his career, making him one of the most successful drivers in the sport. He has also won eight NASCAR Xfinity Series races and one NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

In addition to his racing career, Harvick is also a team owner and co-owns Kevin Harvick Inc., which fields teams in the Xfinity Series and the Truck Series. Before joining Stewart-Haas Racing, Harvick drove for Richard Childress Racing and Furniture Row Racing.

Did You Know:

In 2001, Harvick made his NASCAR Cup Series debut as a replacement driver for Dale Earnhardt Sr. following Earnhardt’s death in a racing accident. He won his first Cup Series race in his third start, making him the first driver in NASCAR history to win a Cup Series race in his first attempt.


4. Ryan Newman

Top Speed: 204.157 mph
 Birthday: December 8, 1977
Birthplace: South Bend, Indiana
 Career Started: 1993

Ryan Newmanphoto source: townnews.com

Ryan Newman competes in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 6 Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing. Newman has won 18 NASCAR Cup Series races, with his most recent win coming at the 2020 Daytona 500. He has also won eight NASCAR Xfinity Series races and one NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

In addition to his racing career, Newman is also a team owner, as he co-owns a team in the ARCA Menards Series. Before joining Roush Fenway Racing, Newman drove for several other teams in the Cup Series, including Penske Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing.

Did You Know:

Aside from his racing career, Ryan Newman is a licensed engineer with a degree in vehicle structure engineering.


3. Denny Hamlin

Top Speed: 204.904 mph
 Birthday: November 18, 1980
Birthplace: Chesterfield, Virginia
 Career Started: 2004

Denny Hamlinphoto source: thespun.com

Denny Hamlin competes in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 11 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin has won a total of 36 NASCAR Cup Series races in his career, making him one of the most successful drivers in the sport. He has also won three NASCAR Xfinity Series races and one NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

In addition to his racing success, Hamlin is also a team owner and co-owns the No. 18 Toyota Supra in the Xfinity Series. Before joining Joe Gibbs Racing, Hamlin drove for JTG Daugherty Racing and Evernham Motorsports.

Did You Know:

In 2006, Denny Hamlin made his Cup Series debut and won his first Cup Series race the following year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.


2. Martin Truex Jr.

Top Speed: 205.936 mph
 Birthday: June 29, 1980
Birthplace: Mayetta, New Jersey
 Career Started: 1998

Martin Truex Jr.photo source: sportscasting.com

Martin Truex Jr. is a professional NASCAR driver. He drives the No. 19 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series. Truex Jr. is a two-time Cup Series champion, winning the title in 2017 and 2018.

He began his professional racing career in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he debuted at the age of 18 in 1998. He quickly established himself as a promising young driver, winning his first race in the series in 2000 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

He has also won numerous races throughout his career, including the 2017 Coca-Cola 600 and the 2018 Daytona 500. Truex Jr. is known for his consistent performances and has consistently been a contender for the Cup Series championship in recent years.

Did You Know:

Martin Truex Jr. is also a successful business owner and owns a race car dealership in New Jersey.


1. Bill Elliott

Top Speed: 212.809 mph
 Birthday: October 8, 1955
Birthplace: Dawsonville, Georgia
 Career Started: 1978

Bill Elliottphoto source: racer.com

Bill Elliott has the fastest NASCAR speed in history with a top speed of 212.809 mph at Talladega Superspeedway on April 1987. He is a retired professional stock car racing driver. He is a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and is widely considered one of the greatest drivers in the sport’s history.

Elliott competed in the NASCAR Cup Series for over three decades, winning 44 races and the 1988 Cup Series championship.

He is also a two-time winner of the Daytona 500, having won the race in 1985 and 1987. In addition to his racing career, Elliott is a successful business owner and owns a race team competing in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Bill Elliott joined SRX Racing and returned to the all-oval series for two races during the 2022 season, competing at Five Flags Speedway and Stafford Motor Speedway.

Did You Know:

Bill Elliott’s son, Chase Elliott, is also a NASCAR Cup Series driver and is the reigning series champion.

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