Edwards takes Watkins Glen pole
|By Diego Mejia||Saturday, August 7th 2010, 18:19 GMT|
Carl Edwards beat Earnhardt Ganassi team-mates Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya to pole position for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen.
Roush Fenway racer Edwards carried the momentum from his squad's victory at Pocono with Greg Biffle last week, setting a blistering pace on his qualifying lap to improve on Montoya's benchmark by more than four tenths of a second.
Edwards was the only driver able to break into the 70-second bracket, getting close to the track record that Jeff Gordon still holds from eight years ago. His time of 1m10.882s was set at an average speed of 124.432mph, edging front row partner McMurray by 0.354 seconds.
"Greg Biffle and [crew chief] Greg Erwin helped us a lot with our set-up for qualifying so that was a good team effort," said Edwards, after claiming his fifth Sprint Cup series career pole, his first on a road course.
"We're riding on a wave right now. Roush Fenway and Ford, we're making a comeback here and it feels good."
McMurray just edged team-mate Montoya to the front row by 66 thousandths of a second, in what was the best qualifying efforts for both at Watkins Glen. AJ Allmendinger, fresh from his multi-year deal announcement with Richard Petty Motorsports ended up fourth fastest, joining Montoya on row two.
"It was a good lap, I didn't make any mistakes," Montoya said after earning his best ever road-course start in the series. "It's very hard to get all of it together and you make one mistake here and end up losing half a second. Within check, I'd say it was a really good lap."
Penske's Kurt Busch rounded out the top five as the best Dodge ahead of five-time Watkins Glen winner Tony Stewart, while Red Bull's Scott Speed seemed to be running for pole until losing time at the Carrousel turn, ending as the fastest Toyota in eighth.
Sears Point winner Jimmie Johnson was by far the best from the Hendrick Motorsports camp in ninth, while former event winner Kyle Busch was 10th for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Canadian Patrick Carpentier, making his Sprint Cup series return a year after his last race in the series, was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 17th, while JJ Yeley, Dave Blaney and Tony Ave failed to qualify.
Pos Driver Car Time Gap 1. Carl Edwards Ford 1m10.882s 2. Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 1m11.236s + 0.354s 3. Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 1m11.302s + 0.420s 4. AJ Allmendinger Ford 1m11.348s + 0.466s 5. Kurt Busch Dodge 1m11.403s + 0.521s 6. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 1m11.458s + 0.576s 7. Greg Biffle Ford 1m11.469s + 0.587s 8. Scott Speed Toyota 1m11.493s + 0.611s 9. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 1m11.518s + 0.636s 10. Kyle Busch Toyota 1m11.571s + 0.689s 11. Marcos Ambrose Toyota 1m11.611s + 0.729s 12. Sam Hornish Jr Dodge 1m11.648s + 0.766s 13. Boris Said Toyota 1m11.662s + 0.780s 14. Denny Hamlin Toyota 1m11.744s + 0.862s 15. Robby Gordon Toyota 1m11.795s + 0.913s 16. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 1m11.834s + 0.952s 17. Patrick Carpentier Ford 1m11.921s + 1.039s 18. Joey Logano Toyota 1m11.952s + 1.070s 19. Ryan Newman Chevrolet 1m11.965s + 1.083s 20. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 1m11.990s + 1.108s 21. Ron Fellows Chevrolet 1m12.095s + 1.213s 22. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 1m12.113s + 1.231s 23. Paul Menard Ford 1m12.126s + 1.244s 24. Mark Martin Chevrolet 1m12.171s + 1.289s 25. Martin Truex Jr Toyota 1m12.325s + 1.443s 26. Michael McDowell Toyota 1m12.413s + 1.531s 27. Regan Smith Chevrolet 1m12.419s + 1.537s 28. Max Papis Toyota 1m12.461s + 1.579s 29. Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 1m12.525s + 1.643s 30. David Reutimann Toyota 1m12.576s + 1.694s 31. Matt Kenseth Ford 1m12.649s + 1.767s 32. Brad Keselowski Dodge 1m12.650s + 1.768s 33. Andy Lally Chevrolet 1m12.689s + 1.807s 34. Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 1m12.728s + 1.846s 35. David Ragan Ford 1m12.885s + 2.003s 36. Kasey Kahne Ford 1m13.135s + 2.253s 37. Joe Nemechek Toyota 1m13.171s + 2.289s 38. Elliott Sadler Ford 1m13.202s + 2.320s 39. PJ Jones Toyota 1m13.341s + 2.459s 40. Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 1m13.396s + 2.514s 41. Travis Kvapil Ford 1m14.126s + 3.244s 42. Kevin Conway Ford 1m14.561s + 3.679s 43. David Gilliland Ford 1m13.370s + 2.488s Retirements: JJ Yeley Dodge 1m13.876s + 2.994s Dave Blaney Toyota 1m13.957s + 3.075s Tony Ave Chevrolet 1m14.062s + 3.180s