BROOKLYN, Mich. – It wasn’t a record, but Jeff Gordon still was the fastest man at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday.
A day after turning the fastest lap in track history and seventh fastest pole speed in NASCAR history, Gordon was the only driver to record a lap faster than 200 mph in the final practice session for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400.
Gordon, seeking his first win here since June 2001, had a lap of 200.156 on Saturday, eight-hundredths of a second faster than Kyle Larson. It came a day after he shattered the track record with a 206.558 circuit in the final qualifying session in the same car he drove to victory last month at Indianapolis.
Gordon and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates have to be hoping for the same kind of luck they had here in June, when Johnson recorded his first career win here and Kasey Kahne, Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished sixth through eighth.
All four drivers are in the top 16 of the standings with three races to go before the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Only Kahne, who started the weekend 13th in the standings, has yet to guarantee a spot in the grid with a victory.
Joey Logano, who’ll start next to Gordon on Sunday, had a lap of 198.785—sixth-fastest overall—in the final practice session.