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Edwards To Start Brickyard From The Pole

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, July 25 2015
Carl Edwards had the fastest lap in Brickyard qualifying on Saturday.  (File photo)

Carl Edwards had the fastest lap in Brickyard qualifying on Saturday. (File photo)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

With a race victory and, almost assuredly, a Chase berth already bagged this season, you’d think that winning a mid-season pole would elicit little more than a couple dozen perfunctory nods to his sponsors and team from Carl Edwards.

sprint-logo-08But the pole that Edwards won on Saturday was far from a meh moment for the veteran driver from Missouri.

Edwards drove to the pole for Sunday’s Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race after posting a lap at 183.464 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“This is really cool,” Edwards said. “Just to be here racing is cool and with all the work the guys put in yesterday, we started out terribly and we were really slow. Just proud of everybody for digging deep.”

The pole was Edwards’ first at the Brickyard, which is always considered a crown jewel race by those in the sport.

A victory on Sunday would also be a first for Edwards at Indy and, he said, by being top qualifier, his chances at getting the victory increase.

“I think this race is going to be hard to pass so it’s a huge thing to start up front,” Edwards, whose victory came in another of the series’ top-tier events – the Coca Cola 600 – said.

Second fastest in the qualifying session was Joey Logano of Team Penske with a lap at 183.139 mph.

“There is only one spot better than that,” Logano said of his effort. “Overall from where we have been this weekend to what we picked up today I am proud of what my Shell Pennzoil team has done. We have a good piece. I look forward to the race tomorrow. Clean air is king. If we can get a good start and settle in and click some laps off and run our strategy we can be there in the end.”

Rounding out the top five were David Ragan, Tony Stewart and Kyle Larson.

This weekend will mark two debuts for Sprint Cup as a new qualifying procedure (featuring two rounds of single-car runs) and a new high downforce aero package.

Asked his thoughts on those debuts, Edwards said, “The qualifying format, I like this style of qualifying. I like both of the qualifying formats, but I like the single car runs a lot because you do feel like you’ve got all the pressure and I like that. I know for me qualifying, when I got away from my little dirt track, it was interesting for me to go to places and realize you get one lap or two laps to go out there and set your position. It was always very stressful and I learned to really enjoy that. That’s fun.

“As far as the changes to the cars, nobody really knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. In my opinion, the best position we could start would be P1 to be in front of whatever happens. I have no clue how this is going to work. In my mind, I kind of go through the scenarios when the green flag drops and we go through one and go through two and then go onto that back straightaway. I have a feeling it’s going to look like Talladega. It’s going to be insane. I hope that we can figure that out quickly.

“No one really knows what’s going to happen. I have to say, as vocal as I have been about wanting less aerodynamic dependency on these cars, I still have to applaud NASCAR for going through this scientific method in trying all of these different things. I really look forward to the findings and what we’re going to end up racing. I still hope it’s no downforce, but I think it’s neat that NASCAR is trying all this stuff basically just for the fans to make this racing better.”

Stewart had the fastest lap of the afternoon (185.547 mph) in the first round of time trials, which trimmed the number of drivers eligible for the pole from 46 to 12.

While the Tony Stewart of the past might have found very little joy in a fourth-place qualifying effort, the Tony Stewart of 2015 found big joy on Saturday.

“It’s a moral victory if nothing else, for us and the team,” Stewart, have his worst career season, said. “It’s been a rough season so far, so this is a great way to come to your home track and I wish this was the second round, not the first round. But at least we’re locked into the second round and that’s the main thing right now.”

Stewart was loudly welcomed home to Indiana by his people. Felt great, he said.

“That is huge,” he said. “Like I say when you come home that is what you want.  They play as big of a part in this as anything when it comes to keeping your moral up.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying – Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Speedway, Indiana

Saturday, July 25, 2015

  1. (19)  Carl Edwards, Toyota, 183.464 mph.
  2. (22)  Joey Logano, Ford, 183.139 mph.
  3. (55)  David Ragan, Toyota, 182.886 mph.
  4. (14)  Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 182.823 mph.
  5. (42)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 182.634 mph.
  6. (4)  Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 182.448 mph.
  7. (15)  Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 182.382 mph.
  8. (88)  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 182.308 mph.
  9. (18)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 182.278 mph.
  10. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 182.238 mph.
  11. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 182.028 mph.
  12. (48)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 181.987 mph.
  13. (78)  Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 183.240 mph.
  14. (41)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 183.072 mph.
  15. (10)  Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 183.001 mph.
  16. (13)  Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 182.667 mph.
  17. (11)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 182.637 mph.
  18. (9)  Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 182.482 mph.
  19. (24)  Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 182.389 mph.
  20. (16)  Greg Biffle, Ford, 182.360 mph.
  21. (51)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 182.238 mph.
  22. (43)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 182.113 mph.
  23. (20)  Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 182.079 mph.
  24. (40)  Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 181.939 mph.
  25. (3)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 181.928 mph.
  26. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 181.910 mph.
  27. (5)  Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 181.386 mph.
  28. (25)  Chase Elliott(i), Chevrolet, 181.036 mph.
  29. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 180.963 mph.
  30. (21)  Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 180.919 mph.
  31. (2)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 180.854 mph.
  32. (95)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 180.777 mph.
  33. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 180.469 mph.
  34. (46)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 180.426 mph.
  35. (7)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 180.325 mph.
  36. (33)  Brian Scott(i), Chevrolet, 180.022 mph.
  37. (38)  David Gilliland, Ford, Owner Points
  38. (23)  JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, Owner Points
  39. (34)  Brett Moffitt #, Ford, Owner Points
  40. (83)  Matt DiBenedetto #, Toyota, Owner Points
  41. (35)  Cole Whitt, Ford, Owner Points
  42. (98)  Timmy Hill(i), Ford, Owner Points
  43. (31)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, Owner Points


3 drivers failed to qualify.


  1. (32)  Josh Wise, Ford, 178.941 mph.
  2. (26)  Jeb Burton #, Toyota, 176.170 mph.
  3. (62)  Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 174.540 mph.


| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, July 25 2015
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