Edwards On Pole At TMS
With chances for a Sprint Cup championship all but over, Carl Edwards hustled his way to the pole for Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon.
Roush Fenway Racing’s Edwards – 10th in the 13-driver Chase and 76 points behind the leaders – beat out fellow Ford driver, Brad Keselowski of Penske Racing, in the qualifying session.
Edwards fast lap was in 27.535 seconds and at 196.114 mph. Keselowski turned his lap in 27.537 seconds at 196.100 mph.
“This is huge,” Edwards said. “My guys did a great job. We had a test here and the guys spent six days here with three days being rained out and we came back the next week and this is just cool. This is so awesome. That was (crew chief) Jimmy Fennig and all the guys at the shop and the engine department. My guys worked so hard here on the test. I think we were the last people to leave the race track that test and the guys worked really hard and it paid off today. It is awesome for Aflac and Ford and all of us. I have wanted the pole here so badly for so long, it is just really cool.”
Edwards is a three-time winner at TMS, but Friday’s was his first pole at the 1.5-mile quad-oval.
Jimmie Johnson, who is tied for the points lead with Matt Kenseth, qualified third fastest. Fourth was Paul Menard while Kyle Busch was fifth in qualifying for the third-to-last race of the season.
Kenseth qualified sixth fastest.
“I was committed to the throttle off of Turn 4 and just kind of ran out of room,” said Johnson after his qualifying run. “And I hate to admit it, but at one point I think I had my eyes shut because I knew there was going to be contact. I just didn’t know how much. But, I just grazed the wall and scratched the sticker for the bumper cover and tail light on the back of the car.”
Rounding out the top 10 were Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Marcos Ambrose.
Even though Keselowski, a non-Chase driver, has had problems in qualifying at Texas in the past (his average start is 25th), he was only medium happy with his P2 effort on Friday.
“We had a really decent lap for sure going but I thought I left a little bit out there,” the defending series champion said. “We will have a great starting spot for here which is so important. Track position is important for the pit stalls. You want to have a good pit stall here because that can be the whole race for you. I know we are starting up front but I also know we left a little out there so I am a little disappointed in myself.”No Comment