Edwards Earns The Pole For Cup Race At RIR
Carl Edwards won the pole for the Air Guard 400 Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway Friday afternoon.
Edwards, winless on the season but locked into the Chase, won the pole for Saturday night’s race with a lap at 127.762 mph. It was the Roush Fenway Racing driver’s second pole of the season.
“That is huge for us,” Edwards said. “We started 28th here in the spring and got all the way back up to fifth. We have been focusing so much on qualifying, it means a lot.”
Starting alongside of Edwards will be Juan Pablo Montoya, a non-Chase driver. Montoya’s fast lap was at 127.455 mph.
“I told Juan on the way out, I didn’t realize he qualified second at Watkins Glen too,” Edwards said. “He put up some stout numbers. That lap that he ran, I didn’t think there was any way we would be close to that. After the lap was over I thought we ran about a 40 or something. Pretty amazing job my guys did with the car.
“There were a lot of Ford’s up there and I think that is a testament to how much work the guys have been putting in at the shop. A.J. (Allmendinger) is fast. Greg (Biffle) didn’t run that well in qualifying but his car is really fast. I think we have a really good shot tomorrow. It will be a really great pit stall. It was just a really great lap for us.”
Richard Petty Motorsports driver Allmendinger was third fastest.
“Richmond is one of my tougher places,” Allmendinger said. “We have qualified OK here in the past, but it is a tough race track for me. You sit there and watch everybody go fast and then the track seems like it was slowing down a little bit. You just don’t really know. It is better than I was expecting.”
Clint Bowyer, the driver who will be on the Chase bubble when the final regular-season race of 2010 begins at RIR, will start next to Allmendinger in the second row as he qualified fourth fastest.
David Reutimann of Michael Waltrip Racing, was fifth in qualifying.
“We had a pretty good practice with the Aaron’s Dream Machine and we were just a little too free on our second lap,” Reutimann said. “We couldn’t be as productive as we needed to be and missed it a little bit. All in all, pretty good effort for the guys. We unloaded good, I made some smart changes and I feel like this is probably the best car we’ve ever had here.
“I am kind of disappointed though, I feel like we should have been better in qualifying. We got loose on our second lap and it cost us some time. When you have opportunities to get poles, you want to get them. When you miss them, it bums you out.”
Ryan Newman, 13th in points and 117 behind Bowyer will start from the 23rd position. Jamie McMurray, 11 points behind Newman, will start 34th and Mark Martin, 19 more points back, will start 19th.
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