NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying for 2019 season was slowest in seven years

At 111.810 mph, Sunday’s qualifying speed for the Daytona 500 was the second slowest for the “Great American Race” in seven years. The slowest in the past was a 109.268 mph posted by one…

NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying for 2019 season was slowest in seven years

At 111.810 mph, Sunday’s qualifying speed for the Daytona 500 was the second slowest for the “Great American Race” in seven years.

The slowest in the past was a 109.268 mph posted by one Ricky Rudd at Daytona International Speedway in 2003.

“I don’t know about Ricky Rudd, but I know it will take me months just to get back to top speed,” said team owner Rick Hendrick after watching another of his driver’s cars move slowly along a track that’s mostly flat during Goodyear’s tire tests.

Hendrick has had issues with his cars lately, with two of his team’s more expensive German-made F430 GTS/P hybrids failing NASCAR’s mandatory June 28 engine test at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The super-fast F430 was sent to Germany to be recertified as an IMSA race car, but it was found that changes to its engines, which dropped its starting speed by 31 mph, were not major enough to warrant a waiver from NASCAR.

In an early 2012 test at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the fastest of Hendrick’s experimental cars stood at 142.095 mph.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 21st Sunday and says he’s willing to sit out a race if it means making sure the team can afford engine testing as it prepares for the upcoming season. The last time Earnhardt sat out a race was because of a fractured vertebra.

“I’ve said I’m open to it,” Earnhardt said. “If we are going to talk about playing a really, really small part, I’d like it to be a really important part of our program.”

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