It takes a lot in a NASCAR stock car to be able to pull off speeds of 200 miles per hour.
While it may be argued that the introduction of steep banks at Daytona may be a game-changer in cars clocking such high speeds, the design of the car, its weight, the engine, a good chassis, the aerodynamics, a lowering drag, and an increasing downforce are just as important.
Not to forget the contribution of the NASCAR drivers who bring all of it together when it matters most.
Here's taking a look at NASCAR's fastest and greatest cars and drivers over the years in descending order.
#5 426 HEMI Belvedere
The year 1966-67 in NASCAR saw the return of the 426 HEMI engine.
The living legend and NASCAR Hall of Fame Richard Petty steering his Plymouth Belvedere showed the world that the 426 HEMI engine was there to stay and the one to beat.
Petty, who finished third that season, started in 48 out of the 49 races. In the process, he had a whopping 40 Top 10s and won 27 of the races.
He also won the Daytona 500 that year. While all this may add up to become one of the most dominating performances in the history of NASCAR, much credit also goes to the force of 426 HEMI Belvedere.
#4 Fabulous Hudson Hornet
The Fabulous Hudson Hornet is a famous NASCAR Grand National Series and AAA stock car that was campaigned during the 1950s.
The low center of gravity chassis and the lightweightness of the car proved to be a racing delight.
It was driven by Marshall Teague, Herb Thomas, and Tim Flock during the 1951-53 period. Thomas won 12 races in 1951 along with the NASCAR Grand National title the same year while Flock won the same in 1952.
A two-barrel carburetor set up in the engine helped produce 145 hp(108 kW) at 3800 rpm which was however increased to 170 hp (127 kW) in the year 1954.
Marshall Teague, however, claimed that he could clock 112 miles per hour (180.2 km/h) from an AAA- or NASCAR-certified stock Hornet.
It was the overall combination of the Hudson engine along with the design and built that made the car next to unbeatable in competitions during the 1950s.
#3 The Chevrolet Monte Carlo
The 1995-99 phase in NASCAR can easily be remembered as the one where the now NASCAR Hall of Fame Jeff Gordon combined his driving skills with the might of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo to be practically unbeatable.
The unparalleled aerodynamics of the No. 24 driven by Gordon saw him win the 1995 Winston Cup. Easily one of the fastest in competition, Gordon then repeated the feat in 1997 and 1998.
The legendary Dale Earnhardt too won his first-ever Daytona 500 steering the 1998 Monte Carlo.
#2 The Ford Thunderbird
The Ford Thunderbird was the fastest stock car in the history of NASCAR. In the year 1987, Bill Elliott, a record 16-times winner of the NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award, clocked an insane 212.809 mph in his Thunderbird.
This qualifying lap at Talladega still stands as the top official speed in NASCAR history.
In addition to this, Elliott's 210.364 mph at Daytona International Speedway also stands as the qualifying record.
#1 Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Superbird
Saving the best for the last, these two cars go down as some of the most celebrated cars in NASCAR history during the 1969-70 and beyond.
The Dodge Charger Daytona was the first in its class in NASCAR history to breach the 200 mph mark. With its trademark wings, it got started to be known as the "Winged Warrior."
On the other hand, the Plymouth Superbird was based on the Road Runner concept with huge wings and sharp in the front to be able to cut through the air.
Both the Dodge Charger Daytona and the Plymouth Superbird are one of the most expensive vintage cars in the American market.
Also Read- How can NASCAR cars go so fast