Edwards leads Gibbs Bristol qualifying trifecta
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
|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|
|10||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil||129.169||14.855||–0.253|
|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|
|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|
|22||6||Trevor Bayne||Advocare Ford Fusion||128.142||14.974||–0.372|
|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|
|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|