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Sunday, June 17, 2012 - Page updated at 07:00 p.m.

200 mph barrier gets shattered in NASCAR qualifying in Michigan | Auto racing

By The Associated Press

BROOKLYN, Mich. — The last time anyone was this fast in qualifying in NASCAR's top series, Richard Petty was still driving.

The icon is an owner these days, but when Marcos Ambrose won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday for Richard Petty Motorsports, Petty was on hand to put the accomplishment in perspective.

Ambrose posted a speed of 203.241 mph, the first time since 1987 the 200 mph mark was surpassed during Sprint Cup qualifying.

"I can't hardly remember that far back," Petty said. "To be able to do it on a flatter racetrack, not Daytona or Talladega, that is unheard of."

Nineteen drivers exceeded 200 mph on the newly paved surface at MIS. Speeds have been soaring since drivers began testing sessions, and NASCAR decided to alter the left-side tires for Sunday's race, but that change didn't affect qualifying.

Greg Biffle (201.816 mph) of Vancouver, Wash., will start in third and Kasey Kahne (201.720) of Enumclaw will start in fourth in the Quicken Loans 400.

The last pole winner to surpass 200 mph in the Cup series was Bill Elliott, a quarter-century ago at Talladega in Alabama.

"It's going to sound great at the bar when you have had about six too many," Ambrose said of his speed. "It is good bragging rights, I will give it that."

Goodyear changed its tire recommendation Friday night, saying the high speeds caused increased left-side tire temperatures.

Logano triumphs

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Joey Logano, who won the Sprint Cup Series race last Sunday, won the NASCAR Nationwide Series event Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.

Logano, 22, held off James Buescher for his fifth Nationwide victory of the year and 14th of his career. Kurt Busch, back from a 10-day suspension for verbal abuse toward a member of the media, finished third in the Alliance Truck Parts 250.

Danica Patrick finished 18th.

Tayler Malsam of Seattle was 21st and Angela Cope, who grew up in Puyallup, was 28th. She is the niece of 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope of Spanaway.

Hunter-Reay prevails

WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Ryan Hunter-Reay found his way back to victory lane at the Milwaukee Mile, holding off Tony Kanaan in the Milwaukee IndyFest IndyCar Series race.

It was the sixth career victory and first this season for Hunter-Reay, who brought home a victory for the man who brought the historic but financially troubled Wisconsin track back to IndyCar — car owner Michael Andretti, who served as the race promoter.

Hunter-Reay, 31, also won at the track in 2004 in the Champ Car World Series, which folded before a planned 2008 season.

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