Carl Edwards On Pole For Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 At Watkins Glen Internationalby Hunter Thomas August 6, 2016 0 comments
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Carl Edwards earned his fourth Coors Light Pole Award this season at Watkins Glen International on Saturday.
Edwards captured the pole for the Cheez-It 355 after running a lap of 69.689 seconds at 126.562 in the second and final round of qualifying. Before earning the pole on Saturday, the driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Stanley Toyota Camry was also second fastest in Round 1 of qualifying. The 36-year old sat on the pole at the road course back in 2010, when he finished fifth. This season, Edwards has now swept the pole for both road course events.
“My guys did a great job, worked really hard this morning to change a bunch of stuff,” Edwards said. “I just have to really thank my teammates. I was I think the slowest of the group yesterday and we had a really good meeting and they helped me a ton and I think that input with those guys I got to sleep on that and I thought about it a lot. And, then the changes we made this morning all came together. The car was really fast. Just really proud of this pole. I think for us it’s a good accomplishment especially as slow as we were yesterday.”
Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS will start alongside of Edwards on Sunday, following his second place effort in qualifying. He was eighth fastest in Round 1, and then he ran a 69.871-second lap in Round 2 to place him second on the speed chart. Larson now has five top-10 starts this season. The qualifying effort also marks his second top-10 start in only three races at the track.
“Yeah, it’s good to start on the front row,” Larson said. “Everybody on our Target team worked extremely hard yesterday. I had them slinging wrenches and everything to try and fix our car. We got it better there late in practice and it paid off here for qualifying. Hopefully, we will have that same speed tomorrow in the race. I know it will be tricky and strategies and all that going on. But, just as long as we can keep a good balance we should be alright.”
Starting third on Sunday will be five-time Watkins Glen International winner, Tony Stewart. He was the 12th and final car to make the cutoff to the final round of qualifying. His last win in New York came in 2009, but as Stewart’s final fulltime NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season continues to near its end, he’ll certainly be driving hard to capture his sixth victory at the track. The driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS now has six top-10 starts this season and 14 at the road course.
“I was happy with the lap,” Stewart said. “It seemed like the track is a lot slicker today than it was yesterday. I’m sure all 12 of us that ran the final round if we could do our last lap over we would like to do it over. I’m no different. I would like to have ran that over I think we could have got a little more out of it. It’s still a solid run. I’m pretty happy with it.”
Edwards’ teammates, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin will start fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Rounding out the top-10 is Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, AJ Allmendinger and Jamie McMurray.
The Cheez-It 355 will broadcast live on USA and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images