Carl Edwards was the first car out in all three of NASCAR’s knockout qualifying sessions Friday and that might have helped. Edwards put down a lap of 27.74 second, 195.21 miles per hour early in the final five minute session around the 1.5 mile Texas Motor Speedway and secured the pole for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Duck Commander 500.
“This is a fun place to race,” Edwards a three time Texas winner said. “The tire, I don’t know what the other guys feel, the tire and downforce package for me lets me feel like I can go into the corner and move around and feel the tire underneath me. Even in qualifying, there were times when I got a little sideways and it slid a little bit and I could recover and that’s really fun as a race car driver.”
It was the 17th career pole for Edwards and his second at Texas, the last coming in the fall of 2013. Joey Logano last week’s pole winner continued his hot qualifying streak nearly stealing the pole from Edwards but coming up just short. Logano will start second on the front row for his second consecutive race and his third front row start of 2016.
“It’s funny because where we were really good, we were really good in (Turns) 1 and 2,” Logano said. “That’s where we beating the No. 19 (Edwards). And then I went in there the last time and it didn’t turn like it was, and I was like, ‘Oh, no!’ It was our good area and we actually fixed (Turns) 3 and 4 to where we were pretty good down there.”
Martin Truex Jr., went out behind Logano in the final five minutes and put down an identically timed lap as Logano’s but lost a tiebreaker and will start third based on Lagano’s higher standing in owner points, he’s second to Truex’s third. Rookie Chase Elliott will start fourth with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fifth.
“It was a good run for us,” Truex said. “I guess we’re tied for second, which means we’ll start third. All in all, happy with that. We missed it a little bit from yesterday, I thought we were really good yesterday and the track was a little faster today and moved on us a little bit. I felt like we had a shot at the pole today, but the 19 (Carl Edwards) put a heck of a lap down, so proud for him.”
After just making the cutoff to advance to the second round, Denny Hamlin, who has made it to the final round in every race this year, survived to the third round and will start sixth. Rookie Ryan Blaney looked strong all three rounds and will line up seventh Saturday night. Blaney will be followed by Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth and Austin Dillon rounding out the top 10.
Brian Vickers who put down the fastest lap of the three rounds, leading the first round with a lap if 196.014; he failed to advance to the final round and will start 13th Sunday. With 40 entries no teams were sent home.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway will get the green flag Saturday night. Live coverage will on Fox starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.