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Carl Edwards Wins Pole for Sunday’s Race in New Hampshire
- Updated: September 23, 2016
By Summer Bedgood, Managing Editor
In the second race of the first round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase, Carl Edwards will be sitting pretty when the field rolls to the green flag this Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Edwards won the pole position for Sunday’s Bad Boy Off Road 300, his sixth pole this season and third career pole at this racetrack. The 37-year-old driver earned the front row starting spot with a time of 28.119 seconds around the 1.058-mile speedway. Fellow Toyota Racing driver and semi-teammate Martin Truex Jr. will start alongside Edwards when the race goes green.
Edwards earned just three pole awards through all of 2015, and has already doubled that through 27 of the 36 races this season.
“I’d say that the way JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) operates and the way that we can look at and share information between the drivers and the crews, I’d say that helps a lot,” Edwards said following his pole run. “It makes the weekend usually get off to a pretty fast start and then during qualifying – this year specifically – Dave Rogers (crew chief) has been scared of nothing. He’ll make any adjustment at any time. If he thinks it’s faster, he’ll do it and that’s hard to do when you’ve got a pretty fast car to start adjusting it, so I think Dave’s really probably the biggest reason.”
Edwards is ninth on the Chase Grid, 18 points behind points leader Truex and 17 points behind second-place Brad Keselowski. Truex won last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway so he will move onto the next round regardless of how many points he accrues in Loudon or the following weekend in Dover – the final race in the Round of 16.
The driver of the No. 19 has two victories this season and a victory this weekend would automatically advance him to the Round of 12. Edwards has never won at New Hampshire but has two top 10s in his last three races at the track.
“Not a lot actually translates from qualifying to the race except that confidence,” said Edwards. “To know that what everybody came here for – 40 guys – and we all went as fast as we could and our car was really fast and that’s nice. It’s nice to know the – we’ve got enough horsepower and we’ve got enough downforce and we’re figured out some setup that can run that fast lap, so that confidence is the biggest thing. Now we go into practice a little looser tomorrow, be able to work on the car and really expect it to be the fastest car and for me that’s what qualifying does. When I qualify well, it just makes me feel a little more relaxed, a little more confident.”
Starting positions of the remaining Chase drivers:
- Jimmie Johnson (3rd)
- Denny Hamlin (5th)
- Kyle Larson (6th)
- Jamie McMurray (7th)
- Matt Kenseth (8th)
- Chase Elliott (10th)
- Brad Keselowski (11th)
- Kyle Busch (12th)
- Kurt Busch (13th)
- Joey Logano (15th)
- Kevin Harvick (19th)
- Tony Stewart (22nd)
- Chris Buescher (28th)
- Austin Dillon (29th)