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Edwards On Pole For Finale

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, November 19 2011

Carl Edwards has the pole in Homestead. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Tami Kelly Pope)

Carl Edwards will begin his bid to win the season-ending, championship-deciding Ford 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway from the pole position.

Edwards, who won the race at HMS a year ago, won the pole with a lap at 175.467 mph.

“That’s huge,” Edwards said. “Thats a great start for us.

“It is great to be on the pole. It is just one lap and tomorrow we have 267 laps and we have some serious competition out there. We are just going to go put this Ford Fusion up there and get a good pit stall and race hard all day Sunday.”

Tony Stewart, the only other eligible to win the championship, will start 15th. His fast lap was at 173.332 mph.

“We didn’t have a pole winning car but our Chevrolet is pretty good,” Stewart said.

“I’m excited about it I’m not normally known as being much of a qualifier so 15th I’m pretty content with right now. I think our car, we spent a lot of time working on just the race setup. I feel like we spent the time we had this morning and I’m appreciative to NASCAR that they were able to re-do the schedule to get us all the practice considering what is on the line this weekend…get us the practice we all got. I think we’re going to be alright. We just have to sit and wait tonight until tomorrow.”

Qualifying second fastest was Martin Truex Jr. while Kasey Kahne was third.

Kurt Busch will start fourth and Brad Keselowski fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 in qualifying were Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.

Edwards will begin the race with a three-point lead over Stewart. The pole will give Edwards a good opportunity to pick up another point on Stewart by way of a bonus for leading a lap.

Edwards and his Roush Fenway Racing Ford were also among the fastest in practice sessions Saturday.

“That was all qualifying” runs. he said. “We focused on our race runs the first practice and had a tire issue the second practice and only made two runs. It worked out great though. I just really appreciate Matt Kenseth’s help and all of my teammates helping me the best they could today to give us the best shot at this pole. I can’t believe we got the pole. We were just hoping to start in front of Tony somewhere and preferably the top-five. The pole is a gift.”

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, November 19 2011
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