Carl Edwards out-braved 18 others to take the coveted pole position for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Adding to the bravery quotient for the drivers was that pit-road speed, entering and exiting, was not enforced.
Qualifying consisted of three laps and a mandatory four-tire pit stop.
The NASCAR Sprint All-Star race will cover 135 miles and will be run in five segments, four of 20 laps and a 10-lap finale.
Driving the Fastenal Ford, the Missouri driver averaged 145.556 miles per hour over the three laps to claim the pole.
Said Edwards about the rapid run, “It was a pressure-packed qualifying lap. I realized I had to brake and also to take a breath. I finally got the car stopped, and I was grateful about it. I would like to do (this type of qualifying) this at every track.”
Edwards expressed his pleasure with the pole and hoped it marked the start of a rich weekend.
As a tribute to the late Dick Trickle, Edwards had the crew paint Trickle’s name over the driver’s door.
Kurt Busch zipped to the outside of the front row in the Front Row Motorsports Chevrolet. He averaged 144.068 mph for his run.
Greg Biffle motored to the third spot with Kyle Busch fourth.
Joey Logano timed fifth fastest.
Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top-10 qualifiers.
Penalties for missing pit box and loose lug nuts affected several, including Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Their respective starting spots were 18th and 15th.
Two additional drivers will be added to the field – the top-two finishers in the preliminary 40-lap Sprint All-Star Showdown. Martin Truex Jr. took the pole for the Showdown event.
SPEED will telecast the All-Star events at 7 p.m. ET.