Edwards leads Gibbs Bristol qualifying trifecta

Edwards takes second-straight pole at Bristol

Edwards takes his fifth pole of 2016

Carl Edwards proved Joe Gibbs Racing will be hard to beat at Bristol Motor Speedway as he headed a trio JGR Toyotas in qualifying for Bristol Night Race.

In a good sign for Edwards, he won the day race at Bristol earlier this season after starting from pole.

Edwards’ team-mate Denny Hamlin will start second after breaking the track record in the first round of qualifying with a speed of 211.899km/h (131.668 mph) on the “World’s Fastest Halfmile”.

Rounding out the top five were Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and the fourth Gibbs Toyota of Matt Kenseth.

“It’s nice to have fast teammates,” said Edwards.

“We wouldn’t have had a shot at (the pole) if it wasn’t for them. We thought it was going to rain, so we didn’t practice qualifying or anything. My guys made great adjustments based on that information.

“I just hope we can finish it off the way we did in the spring.”

Series points leader Brad Keselowski qualified ninth in the Team Penske Ford. Team-Mate and defending race winner Joey Logano will start 10th.

Also making news at Bristol was that Jeff Gordon will not race for the sidelined Dale Earnhardt Jr. next week at Michigan if NASCAR’s most popular driver remains out of the car.

Gordon, who is making his fourth start for the injured Earnhardt Jr., has a previous commitment and it would mean that Alex Bowman will again drive the #88 Hendrick Chevrolet after filling-in at New Hampshire.

Both Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports have stated that only after there is full medical clearance will he return to the car.

QUALIFYING : Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race – Bristol Motor Speedway

 
POS. CAR # DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR MPH TIME GAP
1 19 Carl Edwards Stanley 131.407 14.602 Leader
2 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express 131.200 14.625 –0.023
3 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s 75th Anniversary 130.931 14.655 –0.053
4 21 Ryan Blaney Virginia Tech / Motorcraft 130.637 14.688 –0.086
5 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General 130.619 14.690 –0.088
6 24 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts 129.850 14.777 –0.175
7 78 Martin Truex Jr Bass Pro Shops / NRA Museum Toyota Camry 129.544 14.812 –0.210
8 47 AJ Allmendinger Bush’s Grillin Beans 129.482 14.819 –0.217
9 2 Brad Keselowski AutoTrader 129.334 14.836 –0.234
10 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil 129.169 14.855 –0.253
11 88 Jeff Gordon Axalta 129.038 14.870 –0.268
12 34 Chris Buescher Love’s Travel Stops 128.296 14.956 –0.354
13 3 Austin Dillon Dow – Great Stuff 129.021 14.872 –0.270
14 41 Kurt Busch Monster Energy / Haas Automation Chevrolet SS 128.926 14.883 –0.281
15 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar 128.666 14.913 –0.311
16 48 Jimmie Johnson Kobalt 128.623 14.918 –0.316
17 43 Aric Almirola Waffle House 128.623 14.918 –0.316
18 83 Matt DiBenedetto Cosmo Motors 128.503 14.932 –0.330
19 5 Kasey Kahne AARP Drive To End Hunger 128.477 14.935 –0.333
20 27 Paul Menard Knauf / Menards 128.477 14.935 –0.333
21 13 Casey Mears GEICO 128.262 14.960 –0.358
22 6 Trevor Bayne Advocare Ford Fusion 128.142 14.974 –0.372
23 42 Kyle Larson Huggies 127.997 14.991 –0.389
24 4 Kevin Harvick Busch Beer Chevrolet SS 127.436 15.057 –0.455
25 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Fastenal Ford Fusion 128.279 14.958 –0.356
26 95 Michael McDowell Thrivent Financial 128.134 14.975 –0.373
27 14 Tony Stewart Haas Automation Chevrolet SS 127.835 15.010 –0.408
28 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 127.809 15.013 –0.411
29 10 Danica Patrick Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS 127.648 15.032 –0.430
30 44 Brian Scott Medallion Financial / Jacob 127.588 15.039 –0.437
31 15 Clint Bowyer 5-Hour Energy 126.997 15.109 –0.507
32 38 Landon Cassill MDS Transport 126.989 15.110 –0.508
33 7 Regan Smith APC Chevrolet 126.553 15.162 –0.560
34 16 Greg Biffle Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion 126.545 15.163 –0.561
35 98 Cole Whitt Carolina Skiff 125.486 15.291 –0.689
36 55 Reed Sorenson TBD 125.363 15.306 –0.704
37 23 David Ragan Dr. Pepper 125.158 15.331 –0.729
38 32 Jeffrey Earnhardt Can-Am / Kappa 124.307 15.436 –0.834
39 46 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J / Battle at Bristol 123.626 15.521 –0.919
40 30 Josh Wise Curtis Key Plumbing 122.263 15.694 –1.092

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