LOUDON, N.H. – It may have been raining steadily when I left the cozy confines of the Maine Cave this morning, but it's a gorgeous sunny day here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The IZOD IndyCar Series is here at the track for the first time since 1998 – and already I've been impressed.

When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series last visited the track back in July, Ryan Newman set a new "track record" with a lap of 28.1-seconds. Unofficially, I've already clocked several of the IndyCar cars in the low 23-second bracket.

That, folks, is fast. In fact, it's an average lap speed well in excess of 160 mph.

According to one track official, the top recorded speed from this morning's testing was in the 164 mph bracket.

With testing ongoing until 4 p.m., it will be interesting to see how speeds pick up as teams get a better handle on the flat mile oval.

– TB