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Carl Edwards Captures Pole For 5-hour ENERGY 301, First With Joe Gibbs Racing And Toyota

Carl Edwards Captures Pole For 5-hour ENERGY 301, First With Joe Gibbs Racing And Toyota

by July 17, 2015 0 comments

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images

LOUDON, N.H. – For the first time in his career, Carl Edwards will bring the field down to the green flag at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after winning the Coors Light Pole Award on Friday afternoon for Sunday’s 5-hour ENERGY 301.

The pole run also marks the first for Edwards with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota. Edwards ran a lap of 28.179 seconds at 135.164 mph. He and the No. 19 Sport Clips Toyota team were fourth in opening practice. During qualifying, Edwards just barely transferred to the second round after clocking the 19th fastest time. In Round 2, he jumped up to third on the speed chart.

“I’ve struggled at this race track so this is big for me personally,” Edwards said. “Everybody at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) has been working so hard. These Toyotas are fast. I’ve got Sport Clips on here so I know there is some guy sitting there in his chair getting his hair done right now and he’s probably watching this and just having a good time. This is pretty cool. Everybody has worked really hard. We had a strategy that Darian (Grubb, crew chief) had to stick to that first round. We almost went a second time and he took a huge gamble. My guys did a great job today and this is really cool.”

Joey Logano will start alongside of Edwards on Sunday. He has 13 top-10 starts this season, and on Friday, he earned his fourth top-10 start at the speedway. Logano is coming off a second place run at Kentucky Speedway, so the team’s momentum is strong this weekend. In fact, the last time the series visited New Hampshire Motor Speedway, it was Logano taking the checkered flag and celebrating in Victory Lane.

“We’ve got speed in our race car once again,” Logano said.” We all know how special Loudon is to me to try to make something happen here, so it’s nice to know we’ve got a fast race car.  And I think it’s pretty good in race trim as well.  We weren’t very good in qualifying trim in practice.  We changed a lot of things and kind of lit it up a little bit, so it’s something good to know for some things to work on in practice tomorrow and try to make it happen.”

Starting third in Sunday’s 5-hour ENERGY 301 will be Michael Waltrip Racing’s David Ragan. So far this season, Ragan has seven top-10 starts, but Friday afternoon’s qualifying effort marked his first career top-10 start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Before clocking the third fastest lap in the final round, he was fifth quickest in Round 1 and second in Round 2.

“If you can just get by running one lap per round, there is such a big advantage to that,” Ragan said. “We ran two the first round and we were fortunate enough to only have to run one the second so I think that certainly helped us a little bit. Brian Pattie and our team made good adjustments. It’s a great lap. Anytime you’re in the top-five, you want a chance to sit on the pole. That would have been great, but that was a good lap for us and looking forward to some race practice tomorrow to see if we can get our Aaron’s Toyota comfortable in race trim.”

Rounding out the top-10 for Sunday’s starting lineup for the 5-hour ENERGY 301 is Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin in fourth and fifth, followed by Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne and defending race winner, Brad Keselowski.

The 5-hour ENERGY 301 will broadcast live on NBCSN and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

5-hour ENERGY 301 Starting Lineup:

1.) #19 Carl Edwards

2.) #22 Joey Logano

3.) #55 David Ragan

4.) #18 Kyle Busch

5.) #11 Denny Hamlin

6.) #41 Kurt Busch

7.) #48 Jimmie Johnson

8.) #20 Matt Kenseth

9.) #5 Kasey Kahne

10.) #2 Brad Keselowski

11.) #1 Jamie McMurray

12.) #4 Kevin Harvick

13.) #40 Landon Cassill

14.) #16 Greg Biffle

15.) #78 Martin Truex Jr.

16.) #21 Ryan Blaney

17.) #42 Kyle Larson

18.) #15 Clint Bowyer

19.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

20.) #10 Danica Patrick

21.) #13 Casey Mears

22.) #47 AJ Allmendinger

23.) #24 Jeff Gordon

24.) #3 Austin Dillon

25.) #14 Tony Stewart

26.) #31 Ryan Newman

27.) #9 Sam Hornish Jr.

28.) #27 Paul Menard

29.) #43 Aric Almirola

30.) #51 Justin Allgaier

31.) #6 Trevor Bayne

32.) #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

33.) #35 Cole Whitt

34.) #34 Brett Moffitt

35.) #83 Matt DiBenedetto

36.) #26 Jeb Burton

37.) #38 David Gilliland

38.) #46 Michael Annett

39.) #23 JJ Yeley

40.) #7 Alex Bowman

41.) #32 Eddie McDonald

42.) #33 Derek White

43.) #98 Timmy Hill

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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