NSCS: “Catch-Up” With Carl; Edwards Wins Bristol Pole, All Four JGR Cars in Top-Five

Kyle Magda Featured, Midwest, NASCAR Leave a Comment

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Recap by Race Chaser Online Northeast Correspondent Kyle Magda — Matt Sullivan/Getty Images North America photo —

The Gibbs guys are still fast.

And to top it all off, Carl Edwards ran the fastest time in the final round of qualifying to score the pole for Sunday’s Food City 500.

His lap of 14.991 seconds (127.997 mph) gave the Missouri native his second consecutive pole in 2016 and the coveted No. 1 pit stall for the race.

“This place is really complicated, my guys did a really good job making the car drive well on different segments,” Edwards said. “You drive in the corner and these things just slide around. We’ve just had an awesome year so far, it’s a true team effort. From the top to the bottom, JGR is a true team. We’re excited about this.”

JGR teammate Matt Kenseth (127.419 mph) joins Edwards on the front row as all four Gibbs cars qualified inside the top-five.

“We were just a little off, but these guys did a great job with this Dollar General Camry today,” Kenseth said. “In the first round I thought we were pretty good, the second right we tried to make it better and we made it tighter and the last round we were just a little bit too loose. The atitude around this team is really good, we’ve had different things happen this year.L

Kenseth is the defending winner of Sunday’s race and hasn’t gotten the results so far in 2016. He was one corner away from winning his third Daytona 500 and a Las Vegas wreck dashed any hopes of cracking into victory lane and practically guaranteeing himself a spot in this year’s Chase.

“The encouraging part is that we’ve been leading laps and we’ve been in position to win races. I’d rather have fast cars and not get the results, those will eventually follow.”

The only driver to break up the JGR party was last August’s Bristol winner Joey Logano (127.191 mph) in third. Logano’s lap of 14.943 seconds in round one was the quickest of the day as he and pole-sitter Edwards were the only drivers to run laps in the 14-second range

“It’s always exciting qualifying here at Bristol,” Logano said. “I’m not sure I’m holding my breath, but I’m breathing really hard when I’m done, so I’m thinking I probably do hold my breath. Things happen so quick around this race track and we’ve a really good AutoTrader Fusion. We were close. We won the first session. We were second in the second session and in the third we were third, so we just kept losing a little bit.”

Denny Hamlin was fourth (126.804 mph), followed by red-hot Kyle Busch (126.553 mph) to round out the top-five.

The fastest Chevrolet driver was Jimmie Johnson in sixth with 2014 Cup champ Kevin Harvick right behind in seventh. Martin Truex Jr., A.J. Allmendinger and Trevor Bayne completed the top-10.

Ty Dillon spun in round one after clipping the apron out of Turn 2 and sliding nearly down the entire length of the back-straightaway, making contact with the slowing car of Landon Cassill. Both got damage in the wreck, but the teams will fix their cars for Sunday’s race.

“I’ll be honest, I wasn’t looking in my mirror,” Cassill said. “If I would have seen a car sideways at the right time, I probably would have tried to speed up. I don’t know how much that could’ve helped me, but it’s bad timing on my part, I guess.”

All 40 cars recorded a lap in qualifying and none will miss Sunday’s race.

The next time Cup cars get on the track is for the first of two Saturday practices at 8:30 a.m. ET (FS1).

RESULTS: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; Coors Light Pole Qualifying; Bristol Motor Speedway; April 15, 2016

  1. Carl Edwards
  2. Matt Kenseth
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Jimmie Johnson
  7. Kevin Harvick
  8. Martin Truex Jr.
  9. A.J. Allmendinger
  10. Trevor Bayne
  11. Kasey Kahne
  12. Brad Keselowski
  13. Jamie McMurray
  14. Paul Menard
  15. Austin Dillon
  16. Casey Mears
  17. Ryan Newman
  18. Ryan Blaney
  19. Chase Elliott
  20. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  21. Chris Buescher
  22.  Aric Almirola
  23. Greg Biffle
  24. David Ragan
  25. Kyle Larson
  26. Kurt Busch
  27. Brian Scott
  28. David Gilliland
  29. Regan Smith
  30. Matt DiBenedetto
  31. Michael McDowell
  32. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  33. Danica Patrick
  34. Ty Dillon
  35. Josh Wise
  36. Clint Bowyer
  37. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  38. Reed Sorenson
  39. Cole Whitt
  40. Michael Annett

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