Carl Edwards became the 10th different pole winner in the last 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races with the pole for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500. Edwards seeks his fourth win at Texas and third of the season for Roush Fenway Racing.
Edwards was one of the last cars to run and despite getting loose briefly through Turns 1 and 2, Edwards corrected and powered through Turns 3 and 4 to set the pole. His lap was 196.114 mph and 27.535 seconds around the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway.
“That’s Jimmy Fennig, all guys at the shop, and the engine department right there,” Edwards admitted to ESPN. “I’ve wanted to get the pole so bad. Turns 1 and 2 weren’t that good, I had a ton of grip but a huge wiggle in the sun. Everyone was getting beat in 3 and 4 and we stuck there. With Brad and I on the front row, that’s big for Ford.”
The aforementioned Brad is Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski, second on the day in one of his final races holding the title of defending champion. Keselowski said after his own run that “the 99 is the strongest bullet left,” and the statement proved prophetic when Edwards set his flier.
Jimmie Johnson starts third and Matt Kenseth sixth. The pair are tied for the points lead heading into the final three weeks. Paul Menard in fourth and Kyle Busch in fifth split the two championship rivals.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martinsville winner Jeff Gordon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top 10.
Parker Kligerman clocked in 23rd for his first Cup start for Swan Racing. JJ Yeley had a spin in the session but didn’t hit anything; he’ll start shotgun on the 43-car field.