Elliott sizzles at Talladega with record lap

Friday, April 30, 1987 – Bill Elliott didn’t go as fast as many had predicted but the Dawsonville, Ga. native still managed to win the pole with the fastest qualifying lap ever run in NASCAR. Elliott toured the 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 44.998 seconds for an average speed of 212.809 mph to break his own track qualifying record set the previous year (212.229 mph).

The Winston 500 pole was Elliott’s third of the season and his fifth consecutive pole at the Alabama track.

Temperatures in the 90-degree range slowed qualifying speeds – most expected Elliott to run as fast as 215 had conditions been cooler. In testing earlier that year, Elliott had run an unofficial fast lap of 214.206 mph,

Bobby Allison and Davey Allison qualified second and third, respectively, while Darrell Waltrip (fourth) and Dale Earnhardt (fifth) completed the top five.

Thirty-two years after his accomplishment, Elliott’s pole winning speed remains the fastest official qualifying lap ever turned in NASCAR.

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