Carl Edwards grabs pole for AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway

jutter@charlotteobserver.comNovember 1, 2013 

NASCAR Texas Auto Racing

Carl Edwards poses for photos with a rifle presented to the pole-sitter after he took the pole position for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.

LM OTERO — AP

  • More information

    After Friday qualifying; race Sunday

    At Texas Motor Speedway

    Track: 1.5 miles

    St.No.DriverCarSpeed
    199Carl EdwardsFord196.114
    22Brad KeselowskiFord196.100
    348Jimmie JohnsonChevrolet195.943
    427Paul MenardChevrolet195.837
    518Kyle BuschToyota195.780
    620Matt KensethToyota195.518
    788Dale Earnhardt Jr.Chevrolet195.312
    824Jeff GordonChevrolet195.171
    917Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Ford195.129
    109Marcos AmbroseFord195.030
    115Kasey KahneChevrolet194.665
    1222Joey LoganoFord194.517
    1339Ryan NewmanChevrolet194.384
    1411Denny HamlinToyota194.377
    1556Martin Truex Jr.Toyota194.161
    1642Juan Pablo MontoyaChevrolet193.805
    1743Aric AlmirolaFord193.659
    1816Greg BiffleFord193.618
    1929Kevin HarvickChevrolet193.604
    2031Jeff BurtonChevrolet193.403
    2133Austin DillonChevrolet193.334
    2247Bobby LabonteToyota193.126
    2330Parker KligermanToyota193.043
    241Jamie McMurrayChevrolet192.933
    2555Elliott SadlerToyota192.905
    2615Clint BowyerToyota192.802
    2713Casey MearsFord192.651
    2838David GillilandFord192.048
    2934David RaganFord191.891
    3010Danica PatrickChevrolet191.829
    3178Kurt BuschChevrolet191.421
    3221Trevor BayneFord191.347
    3314Mark MartinChevrolet190.530
    3435Josh WiseFord189.880
    3598Michael McDowellFord189.321
    3651Kyle LarsonChevrolet189.235
    3740Landon CassillChevroletOwn. pts.
    3893Travis KvapilToyotaOwn. pts.
    3983David ReutimannToyotaOwn. pts.
    4032Timmy HillFordOwn. pts.
    4187Joe NemechekToyotaOwn. pts.
    427Dave BlaneyChevroletOwn. pts.
    4336J.J. YeleyChevroletOwn. pts.

— Please excuse Carl Edwards. He was feeling left out.

Edwards interrupted what has become a two-man battle for the Sprint Cup Series championship in theory if not in fact, to win the pole for Sunday’s AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Edwards, who went out late in Friday’s qualifying session, used an average lap speed of 196.114 mph to knock fellow Ford driver Brad Keselowski out of the top spot.

Although he and his No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing team may be 10th in the series standings and out of the championship hunt for all practical purposes, Edwards remains focused on returning to Victory Lane.

“We’re here to win,” said Edwards, who has won twice this season, at Phoenix and Richmond, Va. “We’re trying as hard as we can. We’ve given it everything we’ve got.

“My guys worked so hard here on the test. I think we were the last people to leave the race track at that test, and the guys worked really hard and it paid off today. I have wanted the pole here so badly for so long – it is just really cool.”

The pole is Edwards’ second of the season and 13th of his career.

The pole contributes to an opportunity Edwards already had to end the season with a strong run, and he does not want to squander it over the final three races.

Roush cars have typically performed well at Texas – Edwards has three wins here – and Homestead, and Edwards won the spring race at Phoenix.

“I would like to win the championship, but I don’t know if that is in the cards,” Edwards said. “I can tell you that we will go to these last three races to win all three races. There is nothing we are not bringing to the race track equipment-wise, effort-wise and we are coming to win.

“For us, it is really about gearing up for next season. I never believed in momentum, but you guys have proved me wrong. I guess what I am saying is that we would really like to, no matter what the points situation, to finish the season strong because I feel it will help us get started next season.”

Fords may own front row Sunday, but this season’s top championship contenders are not far behind.

Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth – who are tied atop the standings – qualified third and sixth, respectively. Jeff Gordon, who is third and 27 points behind, will line up eighth.

Several drivers, including Edwards, Johnson and Kenseth, were just at Texas a little more than a week ago participating in a test that had been delayed a week by bad weather.

“We tested here, and I feel good about our car,” Johnson said. “We just wrapped up a few days in Homestead, so I feel good about our stuff.

“When we pulled in to test here and at Homestead, we noticed Joe Gibbs Racing was there, too, so it’s not like we’ve been getting a leg up on Matt. It’s hard to feel like we found something over them, but we had two really good test sessions.”

For the remaining drivers in the Chase, Kyle Busch qualified fifth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. seventh, Kasey Kahne 11th, Joey Logano 12th, Ryan Newman 13th, Greg Biffle 18th, Kevin Harvick 19th, Clint Bowyer 26th and Kurt Busch 31st.

Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @Jim_Utter

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service