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NASCAR At Michigan: New Track Producing Record Speeds

On Thursday morning, the speed record at Michigan International Speedway was broken 39 times prior to the driver's taking a break for lunch as the competitors prepared for the Quicken Loans 400 set to take place at the speedway on Sunday.

Breaking in the newly repaved two-mile track in the Irish Hills, Mark Martin was the fastest driver in the morning sessions, topping out at 201.089 miles per hour, while Tony Stewart reached the highest speed of the day at 201.896 miles per hour in the afternoon sessions.

Prior to Thursday, the record was set at 194.232 miles per hour when Ryan Newman registered the speed in 2005. By the end of Thursday, 43 drivers had surpassed Newman's record.

The increased speeds have raised questions about safety by some of the drivers. Via the Detroit Free Press:

"I think we are approaching some safety concerns at the speeds we are going," said Biffle, who is third in Sprint Cup points after leading the standings most of the season. "I don't know that we are there yet though.

"The thing you worry is if a piece breaks on the car, an engine breaks at an inopportune time coming off the corner or getting into a corner. ... We are certainly pushing the envelope and with the extra speed, the wall still isn't going to move when you get there."

For more on NASCAR at Michigan, check out SB Nation's NASCAR hub.